Friday, 9 January 2009


If you are new to this guide, please see the previous parts if you wish to catch up.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

So we're at the fourth and final - for now - part of our guide. It's annoying me because I had thought of a few additional things I wanted to talk about but now I can't remember for the life of me what they were. Don't you hate when that happens? Anyway, let's wrap up with the last couple of points I want to bring to your attention . . .


As a general rule of thumb, if you are in Scotland and go elsewhere, do NOT take the weather with you under any circumstances. It sucks. Why?

1) It rains. A lot.
2) It's windy. A lot.
3) There's a lot of ice in winter . . .
4) . . . But hardly any snow (at least not where I live)
5) The one time I remember having a white christmas resulted in one of the most horrific January and Februarys weather-wise EVER. There was crappy ice, yucky slush, burst pipes and flooding EVERYWHERE.
6) Our average summer temperature is something like 14 degrees celcius.
7) We do have the odd heatwave which may give us up to 30 degrees (on a very good day) but these are a) very rare and b) usually during the week when I HAVE TO WORK!!!

If you take that kind of weather anywhere, someone might kill you. Just a friendly warning . . .

I actually did a post about my favourite Scottish musical peeps a couple of weeks before Christmas so really you're probably best just going there if you want to learn about some of the great Scottish songs and singers/bands around. Here's something that's important though . . . if you happen to be out in a pub or club and a cult Scottish song begins to play - say "Dignity" by Deacon Blue or "I Would Walk Five Hundred Miles" by the Proclaimers . . . it is a requirement that you get all enthusiastic, proclaim to love it (whether you do or not), sing along with it and (an optional extra in certain cases) dance and/or jump up and down with your arms around all your friends.

Got it?

Okay, let's have a practice run . . .

Well done!!! You were the one right in the middle of the crowd, right??? I didn't realise you knew the words already, that's fantastic!!! ;)

(Hope you didn't throw any beer in the air. I don't like that.)

And while we're on the subject of Scottish music, one final note. Bagpipes??? Should be eliminated from the face of the earth. They LOOK stupid and they SOUND even worse. I mean, think how much breath a bagpiper (bagpipist? bagpippet? bagpiperist?) must waste trying to make that AWFUL sound??? I think the episode of "Friends" when Ross was learning to play the bagpipes summed it up pretty damn well . . .

Yes, I know it must sound like a tall tale, but in Scotland we have TVs too! Sometimes we even have big ones. (I don't.) And, even more unbelievably, there are a couple of Scottish tv programmes that are virtually institutions here. For various different reasons . . .
  • "High Road" - formerly known as "Take The High Road", this soap opera no longer exists. It was set in a village near to Loch Lomond (I think!), my mum used to watch it and . . . watching it was about as much fun as watching paint dry. Only slightly LESS fun than that. No wonder it is dead and buried now!
  • "Taggart" - a show which has been going for years. And years. And years. Since I was at primary school at least. The character Taggart himself hasn't actually been in it for nearly as long. The guy who played him (who came from Hamilton, just like me. People even used to say he lived at the bottom of my street, but I don't think that was true.) actually died in 1994 - while filming an episode! Anyway, it's like one of those police drama/crime drama thingys. It's quite crap too, but lots of people seem to like it. I remember the first call centre I worked in, the guy who was sitting next to me during training was an actor and he told us he was going to be on "Taggart". I think we only half-believed him, but I watched the show anyway and sure enough there he was - as a schoolboy who was murdered. He was about 22 in real life so that was quite funny. I wanted to slag him off about that, but he never came back after the show aired. I don't know if it was because he was embarrassed or had got his big break as a result of it. But next thing I knew he had ended up on the next show for a while which is . . .
  • "River City" - this is Scotland's most recent attempt at a soap opera. My ex used to call it "River Shitty" (okay, that was pretty funny!) but I actually quite like it myself. The acting isn't particularly good and the storylines are ridiculous but that's what I like about it, in much the same way I used to worship "Sunset Beach" - except the "River City" actors don't quite have that same level of glamour. See for yourself here. My favourite part was back near the beginning when Paul Robinson from "Neighbours" (sorry, Stefan Dennis!) was in it. He was a complete arsehole (typecasting much?) and got murdered. Hehehe.
  • "Chewin' The Fat" - a bit of a silly comedy sketch show which everyone seemed to worship for some reason - at time time anyway. Personally, I wasn't a massive fan of it but it did have its funny moments, admittedly.

  • Then there's "Still Game" - another comedy, another show that the dude I used to work with showed up on (as a ned, funnily enough!). This is a programme about a couple of OAPs (well it's middle aged dudes dressed up as OAPs) but it's actually funnier than it sounds . . .

    (If you want to watch this clip, I feel I should point out that "Boaby" is another word for a penis in Scotland. Just a heads-up!)

Hopefully you used your knowledge of scottish lingo gleaned from part 2 of the guide to be able to understand the clips. But I'm guessing it was probably STILL pretty damn difficult. Don't worry. Sometimes even I have trouble understanding the Scottish language, so don't be too hard on yersel'!!! I mean, YOURSELF! Sorry, I don't know where that came from, it just slipped out . . . Fuck, I've been immersed in Scottishness way too long noo. I mean, NOW. Shite.

Anyway, so concludes my Guide to Scottishness. For now anyway. If I think of anything else, one day perhaps there will be a part five. Like I said, if there's anything else you want to know about being Scottish feel free to ask! I hope you had fun reading it . . . I certainly enjoyed writing it! Cheerio!!!


  1. Your health is so important you should not risk it by taking chances. Go to the Gold’s gyms in College Station and have an expert show you how to take care of yourself physically.

  2. Your guides to Scottishness are so cute. And probably helpful! I don't want to offend guys with cute accents with my American ignorance. ;)

  3. I have loved the four part guide aula - job well done!

    Perhaps a job with Lonely Planet is in order ?

  4. Very cool! I'll be sure to read up on each part of your guide!

  5. I don't know who that was in the music video but I LOVE when crowds are like that

  6. mooskietx - spam, I assume? because i have absolutely no idea what going to the gym has to do with this post . . .

    sequined - thank you very much! :) and i'm sure you wouldn't offend anyone! in fact, perhaps you can use the fact you don't understand them as a pulling technique? just a thought . . .

    amy xoxo - well, i don't know anything about any other countries. would that be a problem do you think???

    mistressmom - cheers! yes, you should do that, it's AMAZING how full of useless information I am!

    deutlich - it's deacon blue. they're an institution in this country!

  7. Ha! The weather ... I've sunbathed in a bikini at the beginning of March, walked around in jeans and a t-shirt in December and been frozen in June in Scotland before ...

    Awesome guide! :0)

  8. Just wanted to say thanks, really enjoyed your 4 part intro to 'Scottishness'. I'm already an English fan of 'Sweatydom', loving all things Irvine Welsh, long wishing to be able to go to an Old Firm game. I think being a proper Sweaty is an almost religious experience, certainly from an audience perspective.

    Looking forward to reading more of your stuff,

    aka Wolfeeboy999


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