Friday 28 January 2011

The Scottish Question

I don't get the Scottish.

If you go to the BBC news page, Scotland is now called Alba. That probably means nothing to anyone who lives in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, let alone the rest of the world. Next thing they'll be telling me they've renamed Rhodesia, and that Peking doesn't refer to the capital of China. I understand that Wales is known to a few die-hards as Cymru, and that plenty of EU funds go into re-naming everything in joint English and Welsh. But I've never come across a single Scot (or indeed a married one) who spoke anything but the Queen's English, albeit with an impenetrable accent.

Whilst a pretty unreasonable proportion of my taxes goes to supporting their deep fried Mars bar and whisky habit, I'm not sure what we get in turn, apart from regular insults from a politician whose name sounds like a fish. Probably farmed at that. I'm driven to distraction by Scottish acquaintances who've lived 90% of their lives in England, but still claim that Scotland is a better place, and that Scots invented everything. Auntie Gwen is, of course, 'Present company excluded' on the basis that she seems to have been dragged down here under false pretences and would return to the mother country given half a chance. Or even a tenth of one.

And now, of course, we're just about to kick off with the Six Nations. The question is (thank you Norman Tebbit) which team will you be cheering for?

Scotland is on my mind this week because we celebrated Robert Burn's birthday on Tuesday. We had haggis, and in a nod to modernity, vegetarian haggis too. McSweens of course. My advice...avoid the veggie soggy nut cutlet. I whistled it in, because we don't possess bagpipes, and The Cat wouldn't pipe it in on her flute. She did read some poetry to make up for it though. And we all drank some Speyside. Which I appreciated more than every one else. Hurrah for Scotland the Brave.

The Boy and The Cat had colds this week. The Cat took a day off school; The Boy has spent two days in bed and drunk the world's entire supply of Lemsip whilst mooching around and feeling terrible. It's not for me to comment of course, but I do feel that I've brought him up brilliantly and ready to slip into his role as Alpha Male susceptible to Man Flu at the slightest sign of a sneeze. Toodlepip.