Seven things you might want to know about Scotland

Picture of Scotland from the airHere I am on the other side of the world, an Australian ‘over there’. What have I discovered? Well…

1. The weather is cold

It may be late spring in Scotland, but there is still snow and we had sleet on the windscreen. Thank goodness I brought a jacket.

2. The roads are narrow

Very, very narrow.

3. You can park any which-way

Put you car on the kerb, facing whichever way you want. This is on the road, ‘ye ken, not in the carparks. And when you have an already narrow road, you might have to wait behind a parked car while the on-coming traffic goes past. And that includes double-decker buses with four people in them. (They seemed to run an awful lot of Very Large Buses through Very Small Villages and none of them had many passengers.)

4. The houses all look the same

In Oz houses are individual. Here, you get whole streets of identical facades with maybe a little bit of different paint sometimes. And they’re semi-detached, even when they’re built in a paddock.

5. The birds are boring

The most common bird here is the large seagull with the haunting cry, followed closely by crows. Oh, and a few starlings and pigeons.

6. The people are lovely

I love the Scots. They’re great, friendly, helpful people. Och aye!

7. It’s green

So very, very green apart from the iridescent yellow of the rape crops. And that’s so very different to the ancient, eroded landscape of Australia.

Summary: It’s great.


About Greta van der Rol

I'm an author of fast-paced, action-adventure novels, mainly space opera - although I've been known to write in other genres. I live not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoy photography and cooking when I'm not bent over the computer. I have a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping me in my writing endeavours.

Posted on 9 May 2012, in Life and things and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. The RAPE crop? What are they growing over there?

    Is that the principal ingredient of that haggis slop?


  2. oooh I love Scotland – enjoy!!

  3. First, you chose a particularly cold, wet spell for your visit. t does rain here, and it is cold sometimes, but May is usually much better than this.
    Not sure if you’ve experienced parking in Paris or Rome yet but in the former, the rule seems to be – find a no parking sign and park there, and in the latter, it’s stop the car wherever you are and just leave it there.
    And try to catch some of the smaller birds – chaffinches and the like – not as showy as those in Oz or the USA, but very pretty.
    I’m glad you’re feeling welcome, but it’s no surprise – that’s what Scots do.

    • I’ve been driven through St Petersburg, where it seems to be no rules, push in. It’s just that we Aussies are more regimented, I guess. And our roads are wider. Weather hasn’t been too bad, actually. So far. I’ll try for the chaffinches.

  4. I loved your observation about the houses–I remember that, too, from being in Scotland. And don’t forget the supremely tidy little gardens!

  5. Always want to know more about Scotland, and your comments remind me of my trip there. I loved the “snipe,” a long-billed bird that wanders the shores. I loved how moss grows over everything–the trees, roofs, gravestones. I went in the fall, because I wanted to see the heather in bloom. If I remember right, I just missed it: there was still some, though. And yes, GAWD, I loved the people. The Irish weren’t half-bad, either. I live in a desert where everything green has to be labored over: it was all so abundant and free-flowing in Scotland. And the mists….the lochs….the mountains. I got to see the summit of Ben Nevis, didn’t think anything about it, then heard that one can only see the summit on average 9 days out of the year. Love your blog posts, Greta!

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