I remember many years ago this particular question being put to me, in the course of a casual conversation : John, “can you name five things you love about Scotland”?
I STRUGGLED TO COME UP WITH AN ANSWER!
I was probably in my thirties then, and in spite of always having lived here, putting the answer to this simple question into words was way beyond me.
Now much older, I’ll try to answer that question, in simple words! So here are a few things I love best about the country, without any attempt at promotion, persuasion or influence. This is simply my views on what I think of modern life in Scotland, from an entirely personal perspective.
FIVE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT SCOTLAND :
1) – Living Here. It’s simply a great place to live, very relaxed, and compared to many other countries in the world, Scotland feels safe. We haven’t seen any conflict since the end of World War II in 1945, and the last battle to take place on British soil was the Battle of Culloden in 1746. That’s a blessing, and one thing I don’t take for granted.
We can Travel Freely around the country. Not just in scotland, but in the whole of the United Kingdom. There are no road boundaries or passport checks, so crossing over the border into England or Wales is no fuss, and hassle free. When going to Ireland we have to cross the Irish Sea either by ferry or by flying. No passport is needed to enter, but you do need to provide photographic evidence of identity on arrival at the airport.
I’ve lived here happily for over 60 years, and I’ve never felt the urge to leave. If I ever decide to leave, it would be to one of the Canary Islands, either Lanzarote or Tenerife, other places I love. I’ve retired now and my idea of perfect relaxation is sitting sipping coffee in the sun, and gazing out to the Atlantic Ocean. For now, Loch Lomond will do.
2) – The People. Another thing I love is the people, they’re brilliant, and most are very friendly and extremely helpful. Of course we do have our share of crime like anywhere else in the world, but on the whole they’re the salt of the Earth. You can always rely on the Scots to conjure up something Humorous, even in the most adverse situations.
And we’re generous to a fault. I bet you’ve heard all the jokes about Scots being mean with money. I hope so, because we made most of them up ourselves. But seriously, anytime a disaster fund is set up, or some worthwhile charity is appealing for help, the average amount we donate per head of population is very commendable.
Neighbours are friends, we watch out for each other and help one another when we can. We’re there for each other, and in an ideal world, that’s how it should be.
3) – Open Spaces. With a population of just under five million, we have lots of space. There are less people living in all of Scotland than there are in the city of London. That’s a big plus, especially when you’re commuting to and from work during rush hour. The only major congestion we experience is on the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh at peak times. The traffic flows steadily on most urban roads.
Driving on our ‘B’ roads is nice, with our lush green countryside, mountain and coastal routes, and not a tall building to be seen. And we’re really spoiled for choice with an amazing amount of glorious woodland walks offering tranquility, and some rare and wonderful wildlife spotting. We are blessed with magical scenery, in particular our mountains and lochs. They’re magnificent, and I’ve covered some of them on this site.
4) – The Food. I love my food, and one of the great things about Scotland is the vast number of choices we have for sampling fine food from all over the world. But I love traditional Scottish food, I was brought up on Porridge, Scotch Broth, and Mince & Tatties. Nowadays the choice is endless given the number of fast food outlets, and some of my favourites like French, Italian, Chinese and Indian food. I love them all.
Now you can’t write about Scotland and food without mentioning our Haggis Neeps & Tatties. It’s traditionally eaten on Burns’ Night, 25th January, to celebrate the birth of our national poet, Robert Burns, best remembered for the song “Auld Lang Syne”.
I have this almost as often as my other personal favourite, Fish & Chips. (Haddock of course, with salt & vinegar). Remember it used to be wrapped in newspaper?
Have a look at Your Scottish Recipes for some cooking ideas on our favourite dishes.
5) – Everything Else. Other things I love about Scotland and haven’t mentioned here, I’ve probably written about elsewhere on this site. You see, there’s so much. I love our history. I love our culture. I love our traditions. I love our events, activities, nightlife, scenery and shopping. Yes, if I were asked the same question now … Name five things you love about Scotland, my reply would be short and simple … I love everything!
I’ve written about all of these things because not only do I love them, I also think they will appeal to visitors worldwide. But the truth is ….. I wrote THIS page for me …..
Just to remind myself of how lucky I am 🙂