Category Archives: Thursday Thirteen

T13: Happiness is…

Okay, so it’s late; but I’ve been gone all day.

1. Finding $10 in your winter coat you forgot you had.

2. Colouring with crayons. Alone.

3. Realising the full potential of a set of headphones and the volume control.

4. A box of Krusteaz Lemon Bars…oh sweet heaven, I love these things. They need to start selling them in Scotland! If you don’t like lemon bars, you don’t love the baby Jesus!

5. Discovering your laundry hamper does have a bottom to it. The others probably do too…

6. Buying super-sweet toys.

7. Walking into an optometrist’s office with +7.5 and +6.5 lenses and walking out with +4.5 and +5.0. It’s a medical miracle ladies and gentlemen! There’s no reason for it, and the only thing I can think of is having Cameron may have caused it. At this rate, if I have two more, I could be 20/20 in say, 6 years. Bonza!

8. Watching a beatbox championship on youtube.

9. Listening to a child’s hearty laugh.

10. Finishing a bloody list.

11. Getting a package in the mail.

12. Saving money because people like your accent. The most I’ve ever saved? Over $300. Don’t hate.

13. Me time. Any kind of me time.

T13: Things I Wanted to Be When I Grewed Up

1. Wonder Woman. With those thighs of steel, the shiny shorts and the spangly headband, I couldn’t help but adore this woman from an early age.

2. A Vet. But come on, what wean doesn’t want to be a vet?

3. A Blue Peter Presenter. Probably only the Brits’ll get this. I really did though.

4. A Zoo Keeper. With my very own zoo, thank you very much.

5. A Policewoman. I was 1″ too short in Scotland, and they require perfect eyesight, the bams. I’d never entertain the thought here…

6. The Littlest Hobo. Oh, to be a wolf-looking dog wandering aimlessly, and have perfect strangers take you in, only to rip out their hearts and move on.

7. An Artist in Paris. I don’t know why the locale mattered, but it did. I eventually went to Caen, France when I was 15 and sat and drew a picture when I was there. I think it was close enough for me.

8. Cabin Crew/Trolley Dolly. I only wanted to do this because a friend did. The thought didn’t last long.

9. Dog Trainer. I’ve never even owned a dog. Ever.

10. A Background Dancer. Fine, I still want to. Don’t hate, and stop laughing.

11. A Ventriloquist. Something about sticking my hand up the backside of a puppet was oddly appealing.

12. A Stand-Up Comedian. I’ve always been funnier out of the blog. Of course, this is my opinion.

13. A Guest on the Muppet Show. Big fan. Huge fan. Although in saying that, the Swedish Chef and that specy bloke, Beaker, freaked me out though.

What were some things on your list?

T13: You Might Be Scottish If…

1. You drive on the left side of the road and shift with your left too. You stop at red lights (even if nobody’s around), and often have to stop at green lights too. If you’re a pedestrian and cars are stopped at a red light, you will fearlessly cross the street in front of them – except in Glasgow, where the colour of the lights is of no importance.

2. You know how to use the 24-hour clock and can read train, tube and bus timetables shamelessly. And you still commute, even if you have a car.

3. Three straight weeks of horizontal rain is nothing; and a brolly (umbrella) is completely optional but generally required all year.

4. You only wear tartan at weddings, a Ceilidh, and special occasions (or even Boy Scouts), but certainly not the High Street in Edinburgh.

5. You know real men wear kilts, and if they wear anything underneath it, it becomes a skirt.

Ian in his kilt, Dec 2004

6. You know what jumble sales, wellies, pantomimes, a 99, clockwork orange, a skelf, balaclavas, Oor Wullie, midgies and a tea cosy are.

7. You’ve eaten a different meat pie for every meal. Or, you’ve had pizzas and calzones, curries, kebabs and chinese all delivered to your door. But you have to go get a chippy yourself.

You butter your sandwiches or butties, biscuits don’t come with gravy, you eat scones with jam, ask for gravy on your chips, eat French toast with ketchup, your back bacon and sausages don’t get smeared in syrup, have been known to eat a plethora of things on toast; eggs, beans, etc. and pudding is any kind of dessert.

8. You show up on a beach in Ibiza, Lanzarote, Turkey or Greece, and not only are you spankin white, you’re pale blue.

9. You know how to pronounce Crianlarach, Autermuchty, Inverary, Kirkcudbright, Wemyss Bay, Loch, Milngavie, Sauchiehall Street, Penicuik, and Ecclefechan – not to mention Glasgow and Edinburgh.

My spell check just exploded.

10. You blatantly misuse the words “how” and “they” and end sentences with “but”.
“How no? They ones? I don’t like those, but.”

11. You save your spare change in a huge water (cooler) bottle.

12. You still enjoy and watch Braveheart even though it’s more Hollywood than historical.

13. A hundred miles is a long way, but 100 years is nothing. You walk past buildings that are 200 years+ every day and think nothing of it, but have to plan a week or so ahead if you need to drive 75 miles or more.

This isn’t a complete list of course, so any Scots out there feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

T13: Thirteen Things I Should be Doing Instead of a Thursday Thirteen

1. Reading. As much as I love There’s a Wocket in my Pocket and Goodnight Moon, I bought Twilight as a supplementary Mother’s Day gift (when I say supplementary, I also include the Rebel XTi with a 50 mm 1.8 lens) for myself – in May, not March (UK) and I’ve only managed to pick it up twice. I also have seven other books I bought in the UK that I need to read too.

2. Domesticating. There’s wash to do and a carpet to hoover/vacuum. I could also empty the dishwasher, stock the pantry with my bulk buy green beans and corn and put away clean clothes. Life’s so short, why bother?

3. Photoshop. There’s so many things still to learn and relearn, I’d rather hone some sweet skills.

4. Homesickness. As much as I’ve been trying to overlook it and even ignore it, I still get bouts of homesickness from my recent trip home. I hadn’t been back in 5 years and had successfully managed to remove myself from everything. It’s only been 3 months, and I already need to go back. I can relate to the episode of Spongebob Squarepants (the first one I ever saw in 2004, incidentally) where the squirrel, Sandy Cheeks, felt like she belonged back in Texas and not in Bikini Bottom. Listen to her song of lament.

5. Paper and cardboard. I like to do drawrings and make stuff. I also like to make jigsaws. We just bought Ian a 70-piecer, made for a 5-year-old. I’ll sit and pretend I’m helping him just to see how far he can get by himself. I’m itching to get myself a huge one now. Family parameters don’t allow this ideal (read: we have a destructive wee (almost) 18-month old).

6. Pet watching. The Memorial Day Parade we went to where Ian won like 5 prizes, including 2 goldfish? Well, the first one, Shane, up and died a few days later. Ian, noticing his fish was gone, said, “where’s the other fishy?!” I panicked. “Go ask your dad!” I blurted out without thinking. He then ran into daddy who was in another room and out of earshot, incidentally. He came out of the room still worried. “It’s OK Ian” I empathised, “great-granny’s taking care of him…” I offered in a calming, understanding voice. “What?! Nooooo, I want fishy back! He didn’t die!” Oh, for all that is sweet and holy, what did I say wrong?! I ran into the room where Bryan was. “What did you tell him?!” “I told him I took the Shane to the fish doctor, that he needed medicine. Why? What did you say?”

Shawn has the dark mark now too. I give him 2 days at best. Lesson learnt: It’s always good to confer.

7. Leafy greens. We just bought a 4-pound bag of raw, washed spinach. Now I need a smokin recipe to use most of it with. Hot spinach and artichoke dip only goes so far…

8. Windows. Contrary to popular believe, we don’t own a dog. Although, first glance at my living room window might infer otherwise. It’s toddler prints, and sadly it looks like wet nose dog goo. I need to seriously clean them. But as Winston Churchill once said, “Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world: We are still masters of our fate. We are still captain of our souls. And it would serve us all better to let us husbands clean the windows.” Never a truer word was spoken.

9. E-mails. I used to be a prolific letter-writer, with much thanks been given to my (late) Gran. She wrote to me profusely throughout my teenage years from Australia. It was one of the things I thanked her for the day before she died. She said, “oh, it was just a small thing–” I conceded, “yeah, but it’s the small things that matter.” With the introduction of amazing technology connecting thousands of people together, I, amongst others, I presume, have forgotten the lost art of sitting down and penning a letter. With this, I have also become lackadaisical in responding to e-mails if I don’t do it as I’ve read them. I’ll formulate responses and I’ll forget about it. I have two waiting for me like that.

10. Money. Of the 120-something dollars I’ve had in my Amazon account since December, I still have $33.47 to spend. I need to get to it.

11. Clips. I need to watch more of these to help with No. 4.

12. Hair. Sadly, this almost made the (to-do) list. Every day 1 o’clock would roll around and I’d say to myself, “I’ll phone Jody after lunch.” Or “I’ll do it in a minute, I’m in the middle of something.” FOUR MONTHS later, I get a haircut. This is very out-of-character for me. I’m usually go 7-8 weeks at most. I would have taken a before shot, but it was ghastly. I now have a much shorter style that enables my ideal to not have to wash and style it every day. I didn’t even dry it yesterday and it almost fell into place. One minute with the hairdryer fixed it up sweet. I love this woman.
Point to note: It takes a full 20 minutes to dry my hair, long or short. It retains water better than a post-HRT woman on steroids and Dr. Pepper.

13. Me time. How long has it been since I have done something for myself? Uninterrupted? Too long. Sadly, I can’t even count blogging. This post has taken me 5 hours.

* * * * *

You may also care to know, today I have been with WordPress for exactly 6 months (after leaving MSN Spaces – one of my fave sarcastic posts), and what a great time I’ve had already. Here’s my first official WP post from 10 January 2008.

T13: Thirteen Tips for Travelling (Long Haul) with Children

1. Sleep. Be well rested for your trip. If you need to, set your target bedtime for an hour earlier than the actual time you want to get to sleep.

2. Think Positive. If you think it’s going to be a bloody nightmare and go pear-shaped, then it will. Setting out with a great attitude will set a preface for your entire journey, and, it’ll rub off on the children too. Experience the day with a child’s sense of wonder. This is their experience too…

3. Slow Down. Arrive at the airport 10 minutes before your target time. Take a moment to describe to the little ones what’s going on, where you are and what to expect. If possible, take an opportunity to visit the airport for a self-hosted mini tour. Also, don’t feel rushed through everything, it’ll only make you flustered and add undue stress.

Also, slow down going through airport security. Feeling like you have to rush through it will only add stress and complicate the situation. Take your time and don’t worry about the people behind you who are in a rush. You can only do one thing at a time, so think it out methodically and have a plan in your head of where everything is and what you need to show. A good rule of thumb is to deal with your own things first and then turn to the children. This goes for removing shoes too.

4. Necessities. If you think you’ll use/wear it, you won’t. Leave it home. Trust me.

5. Carry-on luggage. Rather than humph around a nightmare on wheels, opt for a backpack, it’ll free up your arms and you can organise everything easily too.

6. Flights. Aim to get flights that have the fewest amount of layovers possible. Contrary to what you may think, giving your kids a break from flying by hurtling them through airport security and/or flight changes is time consuming, stressful and can be avoided. It’ll also lengthen the process for them.

7. Spend it. Children under 2 can fly for free on most airlines if they sit on your lap. Consider the length of the flight before taking advantage of this. Holding a baby or small child on your lap for several hours is harder than it sounds. If your flight will last for more than 2-3 hours, I’d recommend you buy a seat for your under 2er. It’s well worth it and they can sleep and rest easy. You can too.

N.B. Check the label on your car seat or the safety instructions and also check with your airline to make sure that yours will meet FAA (or applicable) regulations.

8. Meals and beverages. Make sure your wee one has been reserved a child meal. Be sure to confirm it when you confirm your flights. If they are small enough, airlines and security allow the individual Gerber plastic juice bottles. They also allow fruit cups (e.g. Del Monte), Gerber Graduates food bowls and sippy cups with juice in them. Be prepared to drink from them too. Be sure to pack all of your bairn’s food and drink in a separate plastic ziplock bag and let the staff at security know you have it right off the bat. Plan to take a few more drinks than usual for your kids (in case dehydration sets in) and avoid sugary snacks or anything with caffeine. The last thing you need couped up on a plane is a high pre-schooler. Even if your child is past the age for a sippy cup, use one as a container for snacks. Remember: Ice packs will be confiscated, plan accordingly.

Similarly, make sure you all take a trip to the toilets before take off.

9. Surprises. Pack a new toy and/or book for each child. We brought a small etcha-sketch, A Color Wonder Pack, a thick colouring book with chunky crayons and 3 new books. We also bought 3 new DVDs (two of them we found for $5 each at Target – Muppets in Space and Stuart Little. The other was Curious George.) We also packed a small pair of binoculars for looking out of the windows.

Be sure to let them walk (with supervision, of course) freely around the plane too, don’t feel like they need to be restrained to their seating area.

10. Equipment. You can gate check your stroller. After tagging it at the gate, just leave it on the ramp and the airport staff’ll pick it up. You can ask for a large plastic sack to cover it. Note: Some airports only stock these in the main terminal. We stored our 3 year-old’s booster seat base in the seat of the folded stroller and bungee corded it on before bagging it. Also note: I spent an extra $25 (all in) to rent a CARES restraint for my almost 4-year-old. It was unnecessary and unused. Save your money (and time and stress).

11. Travel in Comfort. Make sure you all dress comfortably. I dressed my two in open leg sweat pants and long-sleeved t-shirts. I also removed their shoes after we got aboard and were all seated.

12. Packing. It may sound rudimentary, but don’t over pack for you or your kids. Plan outfits that can be interchanged easily. This will also help cut down on the new checked luggage fees. Pack an extra set of clothing in your carry on for your kids. Eating, drinking and turbulence don’t mix. Pack some plastic/poly bags (and disposable scented diaper/nappy bags too. Sassy sells them in packs of 50). You may like to know: The diaper changing station on a plane is directly above the toilet. All those tween (or sloshed adult) years of playing Twister will finally pay off.

13. Ask. If you need help from a flight attendant or airport staff, ask. They are more than willing to help when needed, especially when you have a little one to gush over! One flight attendant crouched and spoon fed my 14-month old his ravioli when she saw the shapes I was getting into trying to feed him from the side. She also offered to hold him as we prepared to get off the plane.

If your baby is 6 months or younger, most airlines have bassinets for your baby to sleep on. It’s also a nice idea to pack your own blanket if possible.

Tip: It’s also a good idea to ask to be seated after the First Class passengers and before everyone else. Some staff at the gates didn’t offer it as we boarded, so it’s better to ask than be left struggling to make it up the tiny aisle with small children, a car seat and your carry on luggage (and the other passengers).

Bonus: My two weren’t bothered by their ears at all with all five flights. But you can take pre-packaged fruit snacks or juice cups to alleviate any pressure to the ear drums during take off and landing.

Tip of the Century: If you are at all flying to the UK, don’t exchange your money at the airport. There are plenty of places when you arrive at your destination that will do it commission-free. Travel agencies, the Post Office and Marks & Spencer (aka M&S) are great places to look out for.

T13: Thirteen Things I Have Learned from Blogging

The end of June is my 3rd blogversary (so they say). Here are some things I’ve learned from airing my dirty laundry for all and sundry since 2005:

1. There are many blogging platforms, niches and types: Human interest bloggers, photo bloggers, diary/photo bloggers and inside-ma-heid bloggers, to name a few. I’m the latter.

2. Writing is very cathartic. (Reading others’ is just as cathartic.)

3. It’s easier to write and be read when people you’re not close to are reading along with you.

4. Which brings me to: People you’d rather not read your blog will find it. That’s all I’m saying.

5. Lurkers are friendly. Lurkers come in the blogger and the non-blogger variety. I lurk all over the place. Mainly because I have comment envy. There, I said it. Sod off.

6. a) When you write from the heart and are completely honest, it’s akin to people riffling through your underwear drawer when you’re holding an Open House and you’re not fully fenced, but very worth it. See No. 2

b) Write like no’one else is reading. Even if they’re not.

7. You can be precisely vague and still get a point across.

8. It doesn’t really matter if you conceal names, people still find out about you.

9. If you don’t feel like writing, then you probably should. I learned this one too late. Introspective introvert traits…

10. Your blog design can have a huge impact on your readers. I’d love to change mine…

11. Post often.

12. You don’t need to know HTML, but it helps.

13. It takes a lot of time, dedication and effort. And even when you think you’re done for, there’s always something to blog about. Blogging gimmicks are worth it just for this reason alone: Wordless Wednesday, T13, Haiku Friday, Photo Hunt, Weekly Winners…to name a few.  Post-dating your blog entries is a sweet miracle.

T13: Scottish Inventions and Discoveries

Wikipedia.org can be quoted as saying:

“The Scots take enormous pride in the history of Scottish invention and discovery.”

Personally speaking, this seems like a gross understatement. I grew up learning all about the great inventors and pioneers in Primary school — my Mum even has a heavy-bound book entitled “Inventions that changed the world”. Joking aside, here it is, my list of inventions and discoveries that changed our world, all from the great people of Scotland.

1. Do I have the chachungas to list TELEVISION as number 1? Ha-ha-ha, Yes, yes I do.

John Logie Baird (1888-1946), Helensburgh, Scotland:
“On March 25, 1925, Scottish inventor John Logie Baird gave a demonstration of televised silhouette images in motion at Selfridge’s Department Store in London. In 1927, Baird transmitted a signal over 438 miles (705 km) of telephone line between London and Glasgow. In 1928, Baird’s company (Baird Television Development Company / Cinema Television) broadcast the first transatlantic television signal, between London and New York, and the first shore-to-ship transmission. He also demonstrated an electromechanical color, infrared (dubbed “Noctovision”), and stereoscopic television, using additional lenses, disks and filters. In parallel, Baird developed a video disk recording system dubbed “Phonovision”; a number of the Phonovision recordings, dating back to 1927, still exist. In 1929, he became involved in the first experimental electromechanical television service in Germany. In November 1929, Baird and Bernard Natan of Pathe established France’s first television company, Télévision-Baird-Natan. In 1931, he made the first live transmission, of the Epsom Derby. In 1932, he demonstrated ultra-short wave television. Baird’s electromechanical system reached a peak of 240 lines of resolution on BBC television broadcasts in 1936, before being discontinued in favor of a 405-line all-electronic system developed by Marconi-EMI.” – wikipedia.org

In a banter-fuelled discussion with my FIL, I responded a little too defensively, “come on, do you really think someone from Idaho could invent the TV?!” It was then I recalled he was born in Pocatello…

2. TELEPHONEAlexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), Edinburgh, Scotland.

3. IMPROVEMENTS TO THE STEAM ENGINEJames Watt (1736–1819), Greenock, Scotland.

4. PENICILLINSir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), Lochfield farm near Darvel in East Ayrshire, Scotland.

5. THE PEDAL BICYCLE – Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813-1878), Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

6. FIRST WORKABLE RADAR SYSTEM – Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, a descendant of James Watt, (1892-1973) Brechin, Scotland.

7. ADHESIVE STAMPS and POSTMARKJohn Chalmers (1782-1853), Arbroath, Scotland.

8. INSULIN – John James Richard MacLeod (1876–1935) of Clunie, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

9. TARMACADAM (TARMAC) ROADS – John Loudon Macadam (1736-1856) Ayr, Scotland.

10. THE U.S. NAVYJohn Paul Jones (1747-1782) Kirkcudbright (‘Kir’kood’bree‘), Scotland.

11. WHISKY – Derived from Gaelic word for “water”, and given its full title of “uisge-beatha” Water of Life. “The first written record of whisky comes from 1405 in Ireland, where it was distilled by monks. It is also mentioned in Scotland in 1496. However it is thought that whisky had already been around for at least several hundred years prior. When or where whisky was first distilled is unknown and the local, undocumented beverage production during the period makes identification of the drink’s origin difficult. Additionally, it is possible that different groups discovered processes of distillation completely independently of one another.”
Arguably the best whisky in the world is distilled in Scotland. It is unofficially the Scottish National Drink. Irn Bru is “the other national drink”.

12. THE PNEUMATIC TYREJohn Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921), Dreghorn, Scotland.

13. BRIDGE DESIGN Sir William Arrol (1838-1913) Houston, Renfrewshire, Scotland; Thomas Telford (1757-1834) Westerkirk, Scotland; & John Rennie (1761-1821) East Linton, Scotland.

There are many more far too numerous to mention, but a comprehensive list can be found here. A few others, for example are:

PIONEERING THE USE OF ANTISEPTICS
Joseph Lister (1827-1912) Edinburgh, Scotland
CHLOROFORM, AN ANAESTHETIC discovered by Sir James Young Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.
LIGHTHOUSE DESIGNRobert Stevenson (1772-1850)
THE ULTRASOUND SCANNERIan Donald (1910-1987)
BANK OF ENGLAND founded by William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland
GOLF circa. 1100
FOOTBALL The first known rules of the game were published in Scotland. Edinburgh was home to the world’s first club The Edinburgh Foot Ball Club.
BASKETBALL James A. Naismith (1861-1939) Although its origins hail from Canada, his parents were both emigrants. Guess where from?
THE FOUNTAIN PEN Robert Thomson (1822-1873)
THE MRI BODY SCANNER John Mallard in 1980
THE BREECH-LOADING RIFLECaptain Patrick Ferguson of Pitfours, Scotland.
Honourable mention: FIRST MAN NAMED IN THE BIBLE – King James VIKJV

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I posted this today and my good friend Laura, posted this. If you watch any video today, let it be this one. It also gives great insight into us Scots. Incidentally, I went to Primary and High School with the narrator’s cousin, Sharon.

T13: Thirteen Places in Scotland that I Love (and Miss)

In no particular order: (But I would say that…)

1. Inverness. The Highlands’ biggest city.

2. Loch Lomond. As you leave the industrial capital of Scotland (Glasgow) behind and head for the Highlands, you’ll be privy to some spectacular scenes and breath-taking serenity. A beautiful scenic rural area of Scotland, with break-neck, windy, narrow roads and an amazing view to distract you. Mind the rock on the passenger side as you glide past tourist coaches, then your heart suddenly stops as you fear death itself. It’s worth it though.

3. The Old Man of Stor, Isle of Skye. Spectacular scenery in a breath-taking location.

4. Edinburgh and Stirling Castles.

Edinburgh Castle (Edin’burra, nae “Edinburg”, mind)
A tiny chapel, built on the summit of the castle rock in the early twelfth century, is dedicated to the memory of Queen Margaret and is the oldest building in Edinburgh Castle.
Stirling Castle
Most principle buildings date from 15-16th century

5. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Glasgow).

6. The very rustic, remote areas of the Highlands.

7. Glencoe. (Gaelic: “Gleann Comhann”) Not the highest point in Scotland, but awe inspiring.

8. The Glenfinnan Viaduct. Made famous by the Harry Potter series films.

9. Princes Street, Edinburgh. A shopping metropolis in Scotland’s capital on one side and a honkin’ huge castle on the other. Don’t worry, it trips us out too.

10. Fort William. The only place IN THE ENTIRE WORLD where McDonald’s ALLOWED them to change the name (Mac Dhomhnuill’s). Oh, and it’s pretty too. The biggest little city up north.

11. Carnoustie. Another golf h(e)aven – other than St. Andrews, this is. Apart from that, I totally love the name. (Auchtermuchty and Crianlarach come a close second and third)

12. Buchanan Street, Glasgow. A shopper’s Utopia. I could spend hours on this street alone. Not aLONE, but, you know…alone.

13. Eilean Donan and Dunnottar Castles.

Eilean Donan Castle, built in 1220
Dunnottar Castle, outside Aberdeen (older than dirt, i.e. The Dark Ages)

P.S. Although I would love to lay claim to these wonderful shots of my homeland, they were all retrieved from a search engine who shall, for my own selfish purposes, remain nameless. That, and they’re already rolling in money, and who am I to keep them in the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to?

T13: The 80’s American Sitcoms I Used to Watch in Scotland Donkeys Years Ago and Thought I Had Learned All I Needed to Know (About Living Here)

An instance where TV doesn’t teach your kids as much as you’d think it does.

1. Family Ties

2. CHiPS

3. Roseanne

4. Small Wonder

5. The Wonder Years

6. The A-Team

7. Married: With Children

8. Mork & Mindy

9. Taxi

10. The Golden Girls (shut your dirty mouth)

11. Cheers

12. Heart to Heart

13. Cagney and Lacey

(14.  The Cosby Show)

TT: Thirteen Scottish Actors of the Male Persuasion

Despite the fear of verbal retribution from my nearest and dearest, I’m going to go and throw caution to the wind and post my homage to Scottish actors. Hate me not for I speak the truth.

1. Craig Ferguson: Yes Craig, I picked you first, because I know how you “like to Google your Yahoo!” and how bemused your wee face would be if you saw I’d placed you #1. I also like talking about you like we’re LIKETHAT and have some sort of lengthy history (nothing sordid, just of a purely platonic nature with a smidgen of unrequited). You’ll get over me though, they all do. One day I’ll devise a question for you to read out loud on your lovely, wind-swept and snazzy show and I’ll get the validation I’m obviously craving. You can thank me for converting my husband to your ideology (when we can bear to stay awake), because until my clandestine intervention, he’d been stalking the gangly Conan O’Brien for years. Yes, I’m THAT good. Oh, and happy birthday on Saturday.

2. James McAvoy: Where were you when I was growing up? — And don’t say Glasgow. I enjoyed the stellar performance in The Last King of Scotland, but don’t hate me because I fell asleep half way through. So what if I’m a lightweight?

3. Gerard Butler: The first time I came across him was ‘Dear Frankie’. I had no idea that 50% of the film was shot in my hometown, so what an added bonus to see his lovely wee face grace the screen. I was no longer resigned to staring blankly at old Scottish actors….

4. Sean Connery: Seany-Sean-Sean, thank you for putting Scotland on the map and for paving the way for Scottish actors everywhere to bog off to Hollywood and leave us all with the dregs of society. I forgive you though, thousands of other women wouldn’t.

5. Ewan McGregor: He blazed the trail for the influx of actors that would come after him. Oh how we owe him. As haunting as Trainspotting was, his shaven-headed face softened the blow. He may also be responsible for the “Scottish haircut” phenomenon to sweep the nation…

6. Dougray Scott: I don’t have much to say, just “hello.” If I say much more I’ll babble. And wet myself.

7. Billy Boyd: It might be hard to believe, but Scotland has its wealth of tonal and accent intonations and differences, probably only noticeable to the trained (read: Scottish, or well-spent) ear. Maybe it was just the appeal of LotR, but then again, Took’s character was much more appealing with the added advantage of the softened Glasgow accent.

8. David Tennant: The new god of the small screen. Admittedly, I was probably too little for Dr. Who in the eighties – but that never stopped me watching – the bloody Daleks scared the jobby out of me. To spite me, Ian stops in his tracks and sits statuesque to watch him parade around, blasting around in the Tardis. I can’t thank him enough for that alone. Move in, we’ll make the space.

9. Gordon Ramsay: OK, he may not be an actor, but worthy enough in my eyes to make my glorious list. His drive for perfection appeals and resonates with me. I’d love to do that stuff but couldn’t tolerate the profanities that would be strewn at me. Nonetheless, I heart you.

10. Robert Carlyle: Probably best known for the leading role in The Full Monty. You can come to your own conclusions, but that’s as far as I’m taking that one.

11. Ewen Bremner: With a face only a mother could love, this one’s all over the place with popular films, but rarely a supporting actor. Sorry, it’s true. Come to think of it, I never did see Snatch.

12. Kevin McKidd: He may be a Ging-er AND a tcheucter, but I can overlook this because he’s known RIGHT NOW for Maid of Hono(u)r. How happy was I that a real Scot is playing a Scot? Very.

13. Alan Cumming: Alan, I’m sorry, but as I have been explicitly honest thus far, why break a habit of a lifetime? I was watching Jay Leno a few years ago with my dear, significant other and during your interview I blurted out, “I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS GAY?!” “You didn’t know Alan Cumming was GAY?!” he spluttered, with a scathing tone of incredulous-ness (it’s a word, shut your dirty mouth), “just listen to him TALK!” “Bryan, he’s from the eastcoast, THEY-ALL-SOUND-LIKE-THAT!”