Friday, March 25, 2022

Scotland the whatsit?


Scotland is obviously rather fabulous as I’m sure you all know so I have challenged myself to blog about the darker aspects of the Land of the Thistles. I googled the topic – “the worst things about Scotland” and an awful lot came up.

Here are the edited highlights, in no particular order.


The Proclaimers and bagpipes. There really is nothing else to say apart from a Scottish gentleman is somebody who knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn’t.



We don’t have poisonous things, we just have clouds of these intensely irritating little beasties with their incredibly itchy bite. In some places at dusk in summer with no wind the midges can be Biblical.


The weather;

I would say the rain, but scientifically this is not the worst thing – it’s a lack of sunlight that does the damage. The west coast manages to have sunshine with massive cloud cover simultaneously which sounds impossible but I’m looking out the window right now and I can see it.  We all have borderline rickets.



When we were in the EU, the Scottish University and Further Education system was free to Scots and members of the EU with the exception of the English, the Welsh and the Irish. They had to pay.  I’d like to know how many fights that caused in the Student Union bar. And when I say free, free for the student. Obviously somebody pays. And there had to be a balance of rest of UK/rest of the world to balance out the non fee paying Scots and Europeans which sometimes meant your kids couldn’t go to the University they wanted despite having all the right qualifications.  Sometimes they had to go South of the border. And pay.



No much beyond the central belt, roads are too narrow and full of potholes. For a small country it can take an amazingly long length of time to get anywhere which is a pity as the ….


…. Life expectancy:

Is not very good overall. However in some parts of Glasgow life expectancy is 12.5 years below the national average. This takes us to medieval death rates. We are the heart attack kings of the world per capita head. Don’t eat the deep fried haggis.



There is a nasty insidious undercurrent that’s generally known as the Braveheart factor. This is due to Mel Gibson. The statue of William Wallace at Stirling has been heavily criticised as it bares no resemblance to the Australian actor at all.  Some folk think the film was a documentary.



On the list of the worst things about Scotland was Edinburgh, I’ll just leave that there. It is a weird place though, everything about Edinburgh is difficult.



When the broadband provider says that the signal is available over 96.5% of the country, the other 3.5% is in Scotland. Mobile phone signals are the same. This is a boon to us crime writers.



While our xenophobia is very specifically targeted at Englandshire, our sectarianism really knows no bounds. Martin Luther’s protestant reformation still resonates in all levels of society especially education, sport and often your career choice. Sad but true. Always be wary of the question what school did you go to? At a job interview or, the more personable, what foot do you kick with? It’s not uncommon to hear “You can tell – they look like a protestant” or “they look like a catholic”. Which leads us on to the fact that protestants tend to be unionists whereas Catholics tend to be republicans. Which leads to 14% of Scottish people detest the SNP, thinking that they are a breeding ground of Nationalism, xenophobia and incompetent government.

Another 10% think the worst thing about Scotland is being under the control of Westminster, for exactly the same reasons.



  1. Edinburgh's not so bad so long as you avoid the chip shops. 'Salt and sauce' is an abomination.

    1. Just stay in Glasgow for a good pickled egg and deep fried pizza!

    2. What's happening with the blank pics and alert triangles?

  2. Any hope for vegans in Scotland, or would we just starve?I guess I could eat fish and chips without the fish

    1. Strangely yes Kwei, very good vegan stuff here and the cafes and restaurants are very popular.

    2. Oh, good to know! Eventually, barring a new pandemic catastrophe, I do intend to visit Scotland and go horseback riding over the Scottish Highlands 😁

  3. Replies
    1. Fish shops and not a bit of shark meat to be seen- thank goodness!

  4. I believe the rest of the world could beat your 14% of population believing their country is a breeding ground for incompetent government. World-wide, I believe the statistic is about 85%. The other 15% live in totalitrian dictatorships and aren't allowed to think. (I may have the numbers wrong; I frequently add 2+2 and come up with Trump...

    1. Personally I think it's the 10% that might have the issue. They can think, but choose not to.

  5. I can attest to the state of the roads...think flat tire on two lane highway at 60 MPH blurrrrrr, but we still love the land (and people).

    1. Yes, I confess I was thinking of you when I wrote about the roads!

  6. My dad: “The Scots—they call bagpiping music and golf a game.”