Welcome to my Homeland!
Fàilte ort a dh'Albainn!
Say “Scotland” to someone who was not born there and what do they think of?
Tartan clad highland dancers, whisky, haggis, castles, heather covered mountains alive with Red Deer and salmon filled rivers? Perhaps – and with the entire population living in “romantic” cottages shrouded in a perpetual mist no doubt and all speaking Gaelic.
A land I hardly recognize, in fact.
I was born in a large industrial town in the Central Lowlands. I know only a few words of Gaelic – most other Scots would say the same – and my everyday language is the Scots form of English. The roots of this language owe more to Norse and French than does standard English.
I grew up at the seaside – and mountains were in full view – but I am not a Highlander and my forebears came from the “Borders” (with England!) I have never lived in a cottage other than when on holiday!
Castles there are in plenty – we tend to take them for granted……..whisky is a great export earner but that is all I know about it. On the other hand I enjoy haggis, salmon and venison………
Scotland is my home and I would not willingly live anywhere else – in fact most Scots living in other countries refer to it as “being in exile”. That did not stop us from travelling far and wide and having influence far beyond that which would be warranted by our country’s size. We say that if all the exiled Scots returned to their homeland, then Scotland would sink!
What is it that makes Scotland special and so very different from the other parts of the United Kingdom?
It is a separate nation, with a separate parliament. Scots law is very different from English law – an obvious example is that we have 15 jurors as opposed to 12! The Church of Scotland does not have the Sovereign as head of the church.
We are the other “kingdom” of the Union – the Scottish Crown jewels are housed in Edinburgh Castle. We have shared the monarchy with England since the death of Elizabeth Tudor. The present Queen is Elizabeth 1st of Scots and Elizabeth 2nd of England.
If you are interested in facts and figures, you will find these in some of the sites I have listed.
As for the rest of this site, I will try to give little insights into different aspects of what it means to be Scots.
There will be some music, some stories, some photographs – there may even be something about castles and mountains but I am not so sure about the tartan or the whisky!
© copyright: Elizabeth M. Tolson 7th November 2000.
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