I can’t have a blog called Kilt For Hire and not mention Scotland.
Although I now live in Australia I will always call Scotland my home. It is my country of birth and where I lived till I was 29.
But it is much more than just a country. It is much more than just a small piece of land filled with heather and hills and grumpy people sick of the rain.
It is a part of who I am. It defines my spirit, my passion and my fire.
It blessed me with an accent (which I don’t think I have) and one that people (for some bizarre reason) enjoy listening to. I’m one of the rare Scots I know who are quite open with their feelings – past generations of Scots would simply grunt or nod rather than say ‘I love you’ but since my uncle was murdered in Scotland and I was in Australia I vowed to always tell my parents, my sisters and my friends that I love them and how much they mean to me.
I am also blessed with a history as rich and as deep as Loch Ness (yes I do believe in Nessie and Haggis are real) and much of that history has bled into who we are as a nation.
Scotland is a wet country. It rains all the bloody time. It’s also a hard culture. You don’t grow up in a wet and miserable land being constantly attacked without ending up with a chip on your shoulder. So the Scots have grown into an angry race they will defend its own but to combat the anger they also developed what I can only describe the best sense of humour in the world.
We spend a lot of time in pubs drinking hard and when you drink through the dark winter months with others you learn to have a fast wit. You learn to riposte barbs and insults with speed and learn to make people joke and smile. Some are better than others and if you’ve read my blog post about my dad you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I’m currently reading/listening to the audiobook of Craig Ferguson’s story called “American On Purpose”. It’s remarkable story about his life and rise to fame as a chat show host in the US. My book would be called “Australian By Accident” if I ever get round to writing it! I never realised it before but he and I have a few things in common including being born in Stobhill Hospital where both my mum and gran were nurses.
Every few days I speak to my mum and dad and listening to @craigyferg (yes he is on Twitter) lately has made me miss the old country a lot. I miss it’s rolling hills, I miss the cold mornings, the dark winters where the sun sets at what seems like 2pm and the light summers where at 11pm it’s still so bright. I miss the heather and the brachen. I miss the smell. The taste of real water out of the tap.
I miss my friends.
I miss my family.
I miss home and one day I’ll return … maybe for good.
If you haven’t heard of or listened to Craig Ferguson before I suggest you do – here’s a very unusual piece of television from him, especially as it was on US TV.
At the end he says: “”The relationship I have with my father is not unlike the relationship I have with the old country, you know with Scotland, I grumble about it, I complain about it, I can even be mean about it, but I love it beyond reason it’s where I’m from, it’s what I am.” Never a truer thing has been said.
Which makes me think about one last thing that we Scots are and that’s honest and straight to the point.