Tuesday, 19 May 2009

10 Things I Love and Miss About Scotland

The concept of 'Home is Where the Heart is' has concerned me over the past few weeks. I have realised that I am becoming more and more at home in London. Does that mean my heart is here? 

I would find it very difficult to leave London, and I have not yet been here a year. I still miss Scotland and all things Scottish of course but these days they seem less important than they did before. 

To remind myself of why I will always want to call Scotland home I have made a list of 10 things I love and miss about Scotland. When I first wrote these, they also acted as a relief to homesickness!

  • Scottish News
Newspapers are television are far less ‘British’ in Scotland. A fact I did not realise until living in London. The Scottish Parliament, the fish farms, Glasgow, Edinburgh - I miss it all being discussed (in a Scottish accent of course) It can be a struggle to relate to full UK politics as opposed to issues that affect your ‘local’ area.
Tip: Keep BBC Scotland website as home page. I have to keep up to date some how!

  • Scottish Football
Football is without a doubt Scotland’s national sport and the title race was often a talking point in conversation with my family. It is different now. I used to love going to the pub to watch the old firm matches. Down here it is all Irish bars and walking into a sea of green is more than a little daunting for ‘gers girl. The atmosphere that surrounds the sport in Scotland is very different to down south.
Tip: Keep up to date with what is going on with your team and persuade a neutral friend to come along and watch the game in a non ‘team themed’ bar!

  • Socialising
The comfy sofas in Beanscene – the high tables in the tree house – the uncomfortable benches in Wellies – the long sharp grass at Wellingston Square. I miss it all! Going places you recongise, with people you have known for years is comforting. It gives you a sense that everything is OK. Nothing is changing too 7803 1300quickly and you can deal with it. Suddenly everything becomes new when you leave and I found that particularly hard to deal with.
Tip: Get a regular coffee shop / pub / bench in one of London's gorgeous Royal Parks and pay attention to the new routines that you witness.

  • The Beach
Living by the coast is something you cannot truly appreciate until you are no longer there. Having lived by the coast my whole life I never realised how important it was to me. The long walks, watching the boats coming in, listening to seagulls and watching the sun set are all things I truly miss. There is something so calming about the sea that the Thames can simply not match.
Tip: Go to Chiswick and take a long walk west along strand on the green. Its gorgeous and semi-relaxing. Failing that, hop on a train to Brighton!

  • The Food
Who new Scottish food was so different from food in England? For one thing, no tattie scones or square sausage. (Rule number 1 – do NOT be fooled into buying spermarket square sausage in an English supermarket. It is awful!) Even restaurants are different! It could well be that they don’t fry everything as they do in Scotland. Either way… it is not the same.
Tip: Whenever you have friends or family coming to visit, encourage them to take the train and bring you a Scottish food parcel. Lovely! Failing that - make your own!

  • The Old Regular Haunts
The places I used to love going such as Ronaldo’s in Ayr for some new and exotic flavour of homemade ice-cream, or The West Kirk for burger and pint.
Tip: See above in Socialising! Also, find novelty places, such as cafes that specialise in chocolate ☺ treat yourself every once in a while.

  • Glass Bottles of Irn Bru
They don’t exist in England. You can buy cans in most shops (not in pubs or restaurants) but you cannot get a glass bottle and every Scottish person knows it tastes best out a glass bottle. It is my number one cure for a hangover and it is non-existent. Bad news!
Tip: As with Food – get friends and family to bring it to you!

  • General Courtesy
Everything from people saying sorry when they barge you on the street to complete strangers saying good morning on the streets. That doesn’t happen in London – not even in Chiswick!
Tip: Do as you would do in Scotland. Graciously apologies if you collide with someone. Thank people for holding doors, say hello to friendly looking people if you are the only two on the street. It makes them a little happier and you never know – they might follow your lead with the next person they see.

  • Live Music
The atmosphere at a gig! People say that the Scots are the best crowds in the world – I can see why now! The venues are amazing, the bars are cheaper, the sound is phenomenal and crowd are immensely supportive.
Tip: Go to small local band gigs. The band’s friends provide the same atmosphere in a far smaller level.

  • The Humour
Sarcasm is a permanent fixture in a Scot’s personality. Apparently it doesn’t work like that down here! I had to learn this the hard way!!!
Tip: Save it for when you visit Scotland.


  1. Hahahahahahaha....I adored this article. (The part about the newspapers/media didn't surprise me at all :) Damn dissertation!I I was surprised about the Irn Bru though! Even we carry the glass bottles here!)

    It's a tough situation when your home and heart are fighting it out for attention. Mine still fights the same way and did then as well.

    Love this post :)
    The beautiful thing is...you can have both. Heart AND home.

  2. Thanks!
    I actually had a lot of fun writing this post but limiting my list to 10 was pretty damn difficult :)

    Hope you are OK honey.

    You're right, I have both heart and home, I'm a lucky lucky girly :) x

  3. Anonymous11:28 am

    I know exactly what you mean about the sarcasm..
    Because we are really sarcastic this far up north (in england evidently) and when i go to my sisters in essex.. or even just to my college in leicestershire, they really don't get it and often take it the completely wrong way..
    Sarah xxxxxxxxxx
    ps. i love these blogs =]