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Good and bad things to come from Scotland

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      11.03.2013 14:36
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      Scotland is a great country which has brought many useful things to the world, except Blair.

      Here is my list of the things i want to return to Scotland, and of course, the things I am grateful for. This list is just my opinion so if you disagree with any of these please leave a comment.

      Things i want to return:
      ----------------------------

      1. TONY BLAIR

      For the Iraq war, building the deficit, destroying parts of british infrastructure and the disgraceful open doors policy on Immigration, I declare this item faulty, and wish to return it to Scotland. I doubt i'll get a refund.

      2. GORDON BROWN

      The man who damn nearly bankrupted us. The chancellor of the Exchequer and his tonyness' right hand man for many years, when all the money had run out, he continued to spend money we didn't have and eventually tipped Britain over the brink into what we now know as the credit crunch. Not before time too, as he had considerably less time in power than Tony did. Scotland, please take this man back.

      3. HAGGIS

      This disgusting ball of end trails can only be described as vile in my opinion. Having tried it, before I said I don't like it, I can confirm that this item is not fit for purpose, as it is not edible. I'd like to return it.


      Things I am grateful for:
      -----------------------------

      1. THE TELEPHONE

      Alexander Graham Bell, an Edinburgh man, invented the telephone back in the early 1800's. Without the telephone we wouldn't have communications at the level we do today, so this was a huge turning point for humanity. Thank you Scotland.

      2. ANAESTHESIA

      For the times when minor surgery is too painful to bare. Thanks Scotland for this excellent medical advancement, it's proven to be a great use in modern medicine and it looks like it'll still be used long into the future. Much like the telephone, it's not a gimmick invention, it will last a very long time before it is made redundant, if that.

      3. SCENERY

      I quite enjoy going to Scotland for a weekend break up in the hills. It's great to explore the country side and the beautiful lakes. The fact that all this is right on the doorstep for us Brits is just an added bonus. There are so many sights and attractions for everyone so this is another great thing scotland has given us.

      Overall I do like Scotland, I don't like the two PM's we've had from there and i'll admit the food isn't my cup of tea but I think the good things far outweigh the bad things. The inventions such as the ones listed above are only the beginning, they also invented Golf, paper, fountain pens, postcards, electric light etc, and there are plenty of good people to come from Scotland not just the bad PM's. Sherlock Holmes for example, and so I believe the things Scotland has given us are worth thanking them for.

      Now about Gordon Ramsey...

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        05.08.2007 22:27
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        Scotland stripped bare!

        I think i may be slightly biased when it comes to talking about the good and bad things to come from Scotland. Being a good Scottish lass myself I would have to say I would be one of those good things (although some may diasgree lol) but there are a great many other things that Scotland has produced that warrant a mention here!


        Now you can't talk about Scotland without mentioning it's national drink...Scotch Whisky of course. My dad used to work at a whiskey distillery as a cooper, making barrels for the amber nectar, Whisky of course has an acquired taste and there are a number of different distilleries throughout the country, my dad's own favourite tipple was a dram or two of Chivas Regal of a Friday night on his way home to hand over the pay packet to my mum. (god forbid he handed it over opened already lol) I, myself have never acquired the taste for whisky, preferring instead Scotland's other national drink......

        which is another amber liquid...but this time non alcoholic. Barrs Irn Bru, you will either love it or hate it, personally I love it, especially on a Sunday morning with a bacon buttie and a hangover! Best served chilled straight from the glass bottle!

        One thing guaranteed to see us through the cold snowy winters of youth was a steaming bowl of hot porridge in the morning, served with milk and sugar (some prefer salt) it was a substantial meal and kept us going until lunch time easily.

        Haggis is Scotland's national dish and many people are put off by what it is made with...but if they tasted it first then they may not even realise it is sheep's offal they are delighting over (I have to admit to never having tried it but have it on good faith that it is indeed delicious)

        Now I can't mention Haggis without mentioning Ayr's great Rabbie Burns. Burns is regarded as our National poet, he collected folk songs from across the country, adapting or revising them as he went. His most famous song (and poem) is Auld Langs Syne which is sang famously at Hogmanay.

        Hogmanay...or New Years Eve as it is known anywhere else in the world is one of Scotland's most celebrated times of year. We Scots know how to ring in the new year in style (ring in the bells) Whether it is at a Ceilidh ( scottish country dancing ) with pipers in full scottish dress (Bagpipes and kilts) or simply a house party with first foots bringing good luck (the first person to arrive after midnight) the festivities are almost always lasting throughout the next day...and many households have a special new years day dinner to rival any Christmas dinner!

        Anyone who has been to Scotland will be able to tell you about the gorgeous scenery, you can be in a concrete city one minute and be surrounded by greenery from every angle the next, some of the views are breathtakingly stunning, there are hills and mountains to be climbed i.e The Cairngorms or the North West Highlands, The Munros etc, and also many places to visit throughout our beautiful country. If you are interested in walking/hiking then I would advise you try the highly recommend West Highland Way, this links Milngavie to Fort William, a distance of 95miles, from the outskirts of Scotland’s largest city to the foot of its highest mountain, following the shores of its largest freshwater loch. It passes from the lowlands, across the Highland Boundary Fault and on into the Scottish Highlands (taken from west highland way's website) I know a few people who have completed the walk for charity, it usually takes around 5-6days I think. Check out the website if you are interested in this (www.west-highland-way.co.uk) This is something I am thinking about undertaking one day...when I am fit enough for it!

        The weather! Many people think Scotland is the land of infinite rain, and whilst this seems true especially at the moment we do actually get more than our share of sunshine and warm weather too, I can only too fondly remember the summers of my childhood playing in the sunshine from the minute school finished until the new term. And in the winter we were practically guaranteed at least one decent snowfall per year! Scotland is a place where it is not unusual to experience four seasons in one day! It can be stormy one minute to sun splitting street the next... the best thing about Scottish weather is it's unpredictability. Some may say this is a bad thing but I love it!


        Now this has only been a taster to the many delights of Scotland I think I could write a book about it one day....and I don't think the general dooyoo audience are quite ready for that experience just now. I could easily write pages and pages about things to do, places to see, etc
        Instead I will just list a few other things that have come out of our wonderful country

        Sean Connery (actor)
        Billy Connelly (comedian)
        Travis (band)
        William Wallace (legend)
        Dear Frankie (film)

        ***Auld Lang Syne***
        Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
        And never brought to mind?
        Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
        And auld lang syne!

        Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
        For auld lang syne.
        We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
        For auld lang syne

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          05.08.2007 16:31
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          A balanced view of the subject...mibbes

          Good and bad things to come out of Scotland.
          Where to start?

          There are many good things which come from Scotland - like me!
          But is there anything else? I think there is.
          This subject could never be given justice without mentioning the enterprise, ingenuity and inventive character of the people. I won't list all the inventions, discoveries with a Scottish theme that have improved mankind's lot over the years - there isn't enough space - but just a few are: steam engines, bicycles, adhesive postage stamp, tarmacadam roads, radar, insulin, logarithms, TV, telephone, ultrasound scanner, anaesthetics, the refining of oil, vacuum flasks, pneumatic tyres...etc. Oh and penicillin. Hey, a Scot even formed the Bank of England. And so much more.

          Not a bad little list to start off with, I think you'll agree. Although, to be fair, the Scots haven't invented everything in the world...it just seems like it.

          Then there's food and drink. Well, not so much the food (unless you consider deep-fried Mars Bars to be the height of culinary delight). Having said that, Scotch beef (Aberdeen Angus) is regarded as the best in the world and most numerous beef cattle breed in the world. Then there's salmon. What about that most Scottish of dishes, Haggis. Don't bother turning your nose up, if you haven't tasted it, don't knock it.
          Ah, seafood. Did you know that as you sit at the restaurant terrace on the Med, tucking into langoustines that these little fellas most probably arrived from Scotland around the same time as you were booking into your hotel? One of the busiest fishing ports in Europe is Peterhead - the Scottish waters are still some of the richest fishing grounds in Europe. Now that silver darlings are a little harder to find and the Scottish fleet no longer feeds the northern European passion for pickled herring to the same extent, we have to rely on some of the best lobster, crabs and prawns to supply demand...then there's Arbroath smokies.

          Drink? Drink is it?
          I'm not a great fan of Whisky, but there are a few people around the world who are partial to a wee drap. Scotland brew some very tasty beers as well and are distinctive in the use (or under-use) of hops. Scottish beers are generally the maltiest in the world. But for all round 'gerritupyeness', yecannaewhack our other national drink - Irn Bru. Scotland is probably the only country in the world where coca cola is not the most popular soft drink, but Irn Bru is. I like to think that says a lot about Scotland, but it probably doesn't.

          Then there's shipbuilding and engineering. From the three 'Queens' to supplying most of the world with locomotives, the term 'Clyde-built' used to be synonymous with quality and reliability. Thatcher put paid to that though.

          What about literature? Walter Scott, Conan Doyle, R.L. Stevenson, J. M. Barrie managed to scribble down a word or two, but the daddy of them all has to be Burns.
          Then there's language. What? you don't think so, do you?
          After Happy Birthday to you, undoubtedly the most widespread song line is: Auld Lang Syne.

          I could go on about the natural beauty, the warmth of the people, the legal system, the education system, the military traditions, the sense of social equality, and countless other good stuff, but I won't.


          But it can't a all be good, can it?
          No.

          Obviously, the weather is pretty grim. If you can't see the top of a hill in Scotland, it means it's raining. If you CAN see the top of a hill, it means it's about to rain. Grey, drab, and generally overcast, people don't come to Scotland for the weather. Dreich - a good Scots word to describe the weather.

          Then there's the bile of religious intolerism and sectarianism. Most people are under the impression that Ulster is the home of Tims and Billys. Where do you think all those Orangemen in Londonderry originate from? They are mostly the descendants of Scots who arrived in the 17th century.
          That's not to say that sectarianism isn't still alive and kicking in present day Scotland, especially in the west. The reformation in Scotland was one of the most thorough in Europe leading to a Calvinist presbyterism that didn't tolerate 'papish idolatries'. Cue the Irish famine and the influx of hordes of catholic immigrants and you have the recipe for unrest. These days, sectarianism is frowned upon and has been the subject of legislation. It still goes on though.
          We're not too bad concerning racism though...always assuming you discount the fact that the Ku Klux Klan allegedly first appeared in Pulaski, Tennessee - a town proud of the purity of its Scottish roots.

          Scotland's pretty violent as well. It has the second highest murder rate in western Europe and Scots are more than three times more likely to be murdered than people in England and Wales. In fact, Glasgow is the murder capital of Europe. Most of this is fuelled by alcohol and drugs, but it's also a cultural thing - we're just more violent. Perhaps that's why Scots have traditionally made good soldiers.
          As for health, life expectancy in some areas of Scotland is actually falling. Eight out of the ten lowest rates in the UK are in Scotland. Rates for heart disease, lung cancer and other serious disease are higher in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.
          This has a lot to do with poverty. Although parts of Scotland are as rich as anywhere in the Home Counties, the proportion of people living below the poverty line is Scotland is also higher. Add to this a poor diet, smoking and substance abuse and you have the recipe for the sick man of Europe.
          Some would say that much of these problems are self induced, but most Scots like to think it's the fault of the English.

          Which brings me to what I consider to be the worst thing to come from Scotland. The failure to a grip of the issues that affect us and blame all our problems on our southern neighbours. There's no doubt that the partnership suits (or has suited) England's interests - last time I looked, England wasn't a registered charity, just as it suits (or has suited) Scotland.
          For too long, the Scots have been brainwashed into believing that we can't control our own affairs and many gullible fools have swallowed it. We have a lack of self belief that I don't, and have never understood. We're quick to put ourselves and each other down and accepting the propaganda of those with their own agendas.
          Anyway, I'm off on something else there.

          So that's it. A brief list of some of the good and bad things to come from Scotland...in my opinion. So, cheerybye a'body!


          ©proxam2011

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            05.08.2007 14:02
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            Bieng eaten alive amidst the mountains!!!

            Being of English blood i am no expert, but i have visited Scotland many times.
            I,ll be honest! i have been lucky enough to have not yet encountered any bad things, other than those blasted midgies of course! do not even think of going anywhere near water in Scotland without a bottle of Deet at the ready, if you go with the attitude... oh they won't get me... be sure that you will eat your words!!! (after the midgies have eaten you).

            You can't always count on good weather, it likes to rain lots, but when the sun is out and there is a slight breeze it is just glorious!!

            The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, if its peace and quiet your after and you don't mind a bit of solitude then visit the highlands, the midlands, particularly Perthshire and surrounding area's are stunning.

            Arochar has a wonderfull camp site surrounded by mountains, there's nothing like having your morning coffee with the mist rolling down the mountain! and if, like me you love to see motorbikes, these campsites are a hot spot.

            In recent years we have rented holiday cottages, mainly around the Perthshire area.
            We rented for a fortnight on the Isle of Lismore which to us was wonderfull.
            Not everyones cup of tea as we had to leave our car on the mainland, and get the small chug boat ferry on and off the island.

            If your looking to rent a holiday cottage, i would strongly recommend ..Hamster Cottages.., They have many different holiday homes to choose from all over scotland.
            We have used them many times and have always been over the moon.
            Prices do vary depending on the time of year you choose, and on the size and location of the property.

            Another good thing about Scottish country side is that your pretty much free to walk wherever you like, unless of coarse there are signs to state otherwise or fences to keep you out, and if your unsure just ask!

            If your an avid animal watcher you will never be bored as there are an abundance of all things furry!
            You are likely to see Deer grazing on the mountains, if your lucky you may spot an eagle on the prowl.
            But do watch out for the grouse if you go hill walking or mountain climbing, as they frightened the life out of me by leaping out of the grass if i walked to close, only problem is you can't see them hiding.

            If castles are your thing, there are many, some that are still habitable and many are in ruins.
            Kilchurn castle is well worth a visit, as is Loch ness!
            You may spot Nessy or you may even hear the haunting sounds of the loan piper wandering the mountains with his beloved bagpipes.

            The sence of history is all aroud you.

            I could go on and on(but don't worry i won't!).
            If anyone out there is thinking of visiting Scotland, you will not regret it!!

            Who needs to get on a plane for a peiceful holiday!!!!

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              04.07.2007 10:37
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              Cut the guide rope!

              The A-Z of…

              Would all Scottish people please take a big pinch of salt before reading this…lol!

              The best thing to come out of Scotland is the A74, of course. Who doesn’t want to get out of Glasgow fast, now Western Europe’s most deprived city. One in four of the working population is apparently not, and so on Incapacity Benefit or Jobseekers, mostly because the City of Culture (cough!) has the highest amount of smokers, heart disease, and alcoholism rates anywhere in Western Europe. I can only imagine how painful the smoking ban was up there. But if the pungent Alex Samond gets his way he will probably cancel the smoking ban, too, to win back some delinquent vote’s next election and pep back up Scotland’s biggest industry—bingo!

              A is for Andrew Murray, the best thing to come out of Scotland, sporting wise. What I like about this guy is he has succeeded in spite of the snobbery of tennis and the way the LTA runs the game both sides of the border. With his cognitive and sassy mom they up ‘sticked’ from tennis funding structures here, realizing Andy was outplaying everyone in his and the next age group up, and went to Spain, and soon hitting with the likes of Nadal at one of the Barcelona academies.
              As a 14 year old prospect he was learning, and more importantly maturing, against much older and better players than him, making Muzza the all-round player and smart ass he is now. And all that anti-English stuff is bollocks as the guy, like Henman, is intelligent and armed with a likewise cutting sense of dry humor. This kid is going to win a Grand-Slam event because he didn’t go through the L.T.A system, which says way too much about the state of British tennis.
              His wonderfully spiky mum has been superb on the radio all week and perhaps a lady who should be running the L.T.A. She talks of resentful parents in the age groups down south that wanted Murray to fail at a young age because he was so good. When the head of the L.T.A in Paul Draper is crow barring his 8 year old kid on to an elite performance school, effectively pulling rank, when the boy is nowhere near good enough then just how much of this nepotistic crap is going on?


              B is for ‘Bukkie’, the national drink that rots your teeth quicker than your brain. But Glasgow isn’t patch on Russia; an incredible 48% of all deaths are because of drinking illicit moonshine there, the new Scotland of Europe!


              C is for Curling. I presume it’s now the national sport after the Olympic gold and the most popular after dinner talking point! And heres me thinking Curling was the national sport in the Big Brother House, hair tongs replacing brushes.

              D is for Debt

              Scotland has lots of it and we, the English, are paying for it. The North Sea oil was never in Scottish jurisdiction by the way.

              E is for the Edinburgh Festival, of course, one of the UKs great city jamborees, mainly because the English have taken over it and bought in some class and culture.lol. We have now replaced heart disease with the comedy festival and smoking with high property prices in the nation’s capital.

              The Edinburgh festival tends to be load of ruddy cheeked English public school boys/ students being remarkably unfunny and untalented, although it is a great thing to have a weekend at, discovering the handful of talented and cheap shows amongst the dross that showcase the future of comedy and the arts. The only time I went I stumbled on john Shuttleworth! ‘Pigeons in flight? No…? Oh well...

              F is for football. In the old days the Scottish players were some of the best in the top English leagues and Liverpool won championships because of them. Last year you could count the Scottish pros on the fingers on one hand that played in the Premiership as they have been undercut by poor Africans and Eastern Europeans. And when you are ready you can have Darren Fletcher back.

              G is for Gordon Brown, our new PM. He looks just as Machiavellian as the last one with timely bomb scares in London and Glasgow already to keep us all scared. I’m not scared Mr Brown so what you going to do about it!
              We also have this absurd situation where Scottish MPS are voting in the English parliament to push through controversial and often anti English legislation yet the English MPs can’t counter that in their parliament. English MPs only for Westminster…?

              H is for high cholesterol, unemployment and violent crime. Oh, we have done that already.

              ‘I’ is the Independence, what 44% of the country would vote for tomorrow if there was a referendum, the predominantly working class population driving that split. No one has told them how they would survive without English tax revenue now the North Sea oil and gas is running out. Could London be skillfully cutting free a future dead weight we wonder?

              J is for junkies with their stiff legged, purposeful gate, on the sniff of crack, which Scotland has lots of. Many of them have been exported to provincial towns of the UK, your traditional and new breed of homeless in England and Wales often having a distinct Celtic dialect.

              K is for Kilt, of course. The plaid dress is a bit like Glasgow because if you lift it up and have a look underneath it’s not a pretty sight.

              L is for the literati and the luminary, Scotland very much a country of great inventors and scientists. The list is too long and great for me to mention and I’m sure there are many more to come working by candlelight right now. Stephenson…Watt…Baird…

              M is for mountains. I must admit Scotland is beautiful country and I don’t go there enough. If you want a romantic weekend in the mountains then I can’t think of a better place to go. There’s something primeval about walking buy a mountain stream next to one of those old walls in the shadow of the great ranges. Awesome history and hidden legends abound.

              N is for No Smoking, the Scots again the crash test dummy when it comes to bringing in tricky new laws in the UK. Although a lot of bingo halls have closed and some more established rough house boozers have bee boarded up it’s generally been accepted as a good thing and will hopefully make a very unhealthy nation much fitter.

              O is for Oil and gas. Although running out it has generated billions for the Treasury since the mid seventies. If the Scottish rigs can strike gas and oil before the Scandinavian prospectors of the North Sea then they may well become a real player in the energy sector.

              P is for the Proclaimers. Oh for f**k sake. Don’t they have any other songs!

              Q is for the Queen, of course, and respect her you should.

              R is for racism, a country unique in its need to embrace sectarianism, especially in football. Like Northern Ireland and the Balkans if your kids can’t judge each other by skin color then you have to make sure there are other ways to tell your bairns they should hate each other before school age. This extraordinary and moronic religious divide in Scotland has you throwing your hands in the air. What on Earth is that about!

              S is for Sean Connery, the man who put the ‘T’in tax exile and his wife through the wall. He was a great Bond, that there’s no doubt, but the wife beater refuse to pay any tax in the UK. He’s all for Scottish devolution and help fund the SNP into power but does he pay tax there? Does he fluck! He would rather play gold with Jimmy Tarbuck on the costas than really get involved in his bonny Scotland.

              T is for Tartan, the Burberry of its day. Its wraps those shortbread biscuits you can, rather mysteriously, only buy at airports (what’s with that?) and is adorned around a man called Andy Williams, who only seems to turn up on English TV for New Years Eve and we are all expected to have a great time with him! Isn’t that like Mike Reid doing Scotland’s Mew year celebrations..

              U is for University! One thing I do agree on with the Scottish First Minister is free university education in Scotland. Although it is annoying that English students have to pay fees in English and Scottish universities yet Scots don’t have to pay here or there, even European Union students getting their fees paid too, it’s opened up the debate and the eventual gate for all fees to be annulled under a Gordon Brown government. It’s insane to price kids out of uni. If he doesn’t and Scotland continue to pull out more tax than they bring into the crumbling union then Scotland may well get their independence quicker than they think. Subsidizing the failing Scots is nothing new.


              W is for whisky, Scotland unrivalled for making the best hard stuff. Unfortunately the greedy sods drink most of it so we never get to taste it!

              X is for X-rated. Those Scottish girls are very naught after a couple of Irn Brus.

              Y is for Youngers Tartan Ale. It used to come in a five pint can and taste bloody lovely. It even had a huge ring-pull on it so you had to drink the whole party-seven before it went flat .Those were the days…

              Z is for zzzz when I watch the over rated older Billy Connelly’s act, hopelessly unfunny if he took all the F words out. The Big Yawn was the only way to finish this pungent opinion.

              This was a bit of fun guys…

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                27.06.2007 15:47
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                The pros and cons of Scotland!

                Being a Scot who has recently done the unthinkable and relocated south of the border, I felt I had to suggest a topic that might help me with my home-sickness that I get from time to time...

                I've been considering suggesting this topic for quite some time now as I think it will also lead to some very interesting debate. Of course this can be applied to anywhere - so get some suggesting done, folks!

                I didn't want this to be just another 'top 10' best or worse list... (though it will no doubt include many examples of what I consider to be good and bad exports from Scotland) for me at least, this list isn't exhaustive and will no doubt be added to in the future when I miss 'Bonnie Scotland'... Och!!!


                THE GOOD STUFF
                ----------------------


                Sean Connery
                ------------------

                As a self-confessed movie geek, I had to include Sean Connery...

                Born Thomas Sean Connery in Edinburgh on 25 August 1930, Sean Connery has been in absolutely loads of my favourite movies including seven James Bond movies (he was the first actor to play 007 in the official series of Bond movies), Highlander, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Rock.

                Connery recently announced his retirement from movies and even reprising his role of Dr Henry Jones Senior (Indy's father) couldn't tempt him back. His official response was as follows:

                "I get asked the question so often, I thought it best to make an announcement. I thought long and hard about it and if anything could have pulled me out of retirement it would have been an Indiana Jones film.

                I love working with Steven (Spielberg) and George (Lucas), and it goes without saying that it is an honor to have Harrison (Ford) as my son. But in the end, retirement is just too damned much fun.

                I, do however, have one bit of advice for Junior: Demand that the critters be digital, the cliffs be low, and for goodness sake keep that whip by your side at all times in case you need to escape from the stunt coordinator!

                This is a remarkable cast, and I can only say, 'Break a leg, everyone.' I'll see you on May 22, 2008, at the theater!"

                That's a pretty cool statement. I love how he referred to Harrison Ford as Junior as that's what he called Indy throughout most of Last Crusade - much to Indy's utter annoyance!

                I saw Sean Connery when I used to work at the Edinburgh Odeon. He attended the premiere of 'Dragonheart' (in which he gave the voice to the Dragon, Draco). He got onto the stage of Odeon 1 and gave a speech. I was on the stairs (on duty) he was due to walk up when his speech was finished and for whatever reason, the person who was behind the spotlight didn't follow him off the stage...

                Thinking quickly, I pulled out my torch and lit the steps ahead of 'big Tam' in case he should fall...

                "Chrisht! Bloody Bashtard shteps!"

                Thankfully, he didn't fall... and he didn't even thank me as he passed by! Hmppph!!!


                Billy Connolly
                -----------------

                Born in Glasgow on 24 November 1942, Billy Connolly is one of my all time favourite comedians. His stand up routines are often full of expletives and probably not for the faint of heart - but are always extremely funny - with lots of takes on everyday life and bodily functions - including farting and much, much more!

                Billy endured a very hard childhood life in his Glasgow tenement - including sexual abuse at the hands of his own father. He then went on to leave school at the tender age of 15 to become a welder in the Glasgow shipyards.

                Billy is also a notable musician and folk singer. He formed a folk duo called The Humblebums with Tam Harvey who eventually left and was replaced by Gerry Rafferty (who would go on to form his own music career - including recording Baker Street).

                While Billys rise to fame has been far from easy, it is very easy to see his utter happiness and joy when up on the stage. I've never yet had the chance to see Billy live but if he tours again and I get the chance to see his show, I will jump at the chance.

                I'll give some classic quotes from 'The Big Yin' before moving on...

                "I worry about ridiculous things, you know? How does a guy who drives a snowplough get to work in the morning? That can keep me awake for days.."

                "What always staggers me is that when people blow their noses, they always look into their hankies to see what came out. What do they expect to find?"

                "A well balanced person has a drink in each hand."

                "The human race has been set up. Someone, somewhere, is playing a practical joke on us. Apparently, women need to feel loved to have sex. Men need to have sex to feel loved. How do we ever get started?"

                "Scottish-Americans tell you that if you want to identify tartans, it's easy - you simply look under the kilt, and if it's a quarter-pounder, you know it's a McDonald's!"

                "Who discovered we could get milk from cows, and what did he think he was doing at the time?"

                "The great thing about Glasgow is that if there's a nuclear attack it'll look exactly the same afterwards."


                Irn Bru
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                Produced by A.G. Barr since 1901(!), Irn Bru is now regarded as Scotland's other national drink - with the main drink associated with Scotland being Whisky.

                The drink is equally loved and reviled by many (I fall into the former category) but it certainly is now regarded as a part of Scottish life. I'm happy to say that Irn Bru is available in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where I live now - so I can always grab a drink of it if I get too home-sick.

                It's a bold, bright orange colour and to be honest, the sight, smell and taste of the drink certainly isn't for everyone. On the packaging, it states itself to be a 'flavoured soft drink'... but what flavour is it?!?

                The advertising campaigns for Irn Bru have always been very memorable. I remember adverts for the drink on TV in my childhood that stated that the drink was "Made in Scotland from girders". They often showed drinkers of Irn Bru to get stronger when drinking it... It must be all those artificial colours and flavourings!

                The ads have often been controversial - with funny TV adverts and bill board posters offending some people who failed to see the funny side of the tongue-in-cheek humour therein.

                One billboard poster had a photo of an old man surrounded by his dogs. The tagline said "I love Irn Bru and so do my bitches".

                The most recent television advert shows a group of Goth teenagers (well known for being supposedly very miserable) who decked out in suitably goth-esque black and blacker clothing and white and black make up on their faces and sitting around miserably until they drink Irn Bru - at which point they all become very happy and head off to Blackpool. Once there, they surf on coffin-shaped surf-boards and try to drink Irn Bru on a rollercoaster.


                Television
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                Now, I know that some people might want to put television in the bad stuff list rather than the good stuff list - but love it or hate it, the television is one of the most influential inventions ever.

                Although the invention of television can be attributed to other inventors, it was the Scottish inventor, John Logie Baird played a massive part in the evolution of television as he was the first to send an image across 438 miles of telephone line from London to Glasgow.

                So... regardless of your opinions on the televisual goggle-box, haunted fish-tank or whatever you call it in your home, a Scot played a very important part in it being there!


                Telephone
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                Although other inventors played an important part in the invention of the telephone, it was Edinburgh-born inventer Alexander Graham Bell who following his emigration to America was was awarded the U.S. patent for the invention of the telephone in 1876.

                It would surely be unimaginable to him to see how the telephone is used by everyone these days - with the constantly changing mobile phone market.


                THE BAD STUFF
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                Deep fried Mars Bars
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                The deep fried Mars bar is now sadly very much associated with Scotland - and very often attributing to media speculation on the poor diets of many Scottish people.

                This odd dish apparently originiated in a chip shop in Stonehaven - on the North-East coast of Scotland.

                The deep fried Mars Bar has now become infamous due to media attention and is made by placing a chilled Mars Bar into a deep fat fryer and placed into the type of batter used for fish and other dishes.

                I'm delighted to say that I have never tried this culinary "delight" and have no intention to - so I can't give any insight into whether or not it actually tastes nice but if the very thought of it is anything to go by then I'll give it a miss, thank you very much!


                Scottish sports and results
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                As someone who doesn't really care for televised sports (I mostly HATE football but sometimes watch a little rugby from time to time), I am still aware that generally speaking, Scots are pretty much crap at every sport they play.

                The exceptions to this rule seems to be any sport that can be played in a pub - i.e. darts, snooker etc (though God only knows how we got a gold medal in curling... I guess the bar at their local was polished up and they had to brush the bar to get pints down it?)...

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                There are very likely more additions coming to both the good and bad lists above... so come back to see what else is added... my mind has currently gone blank!

                Many thanks for reading this nonsense!

                Derek.

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