The sun shines brighter in Scotland.
Okay, it also sometimes feels like the wind blows harder, the air feels colder and the rain falls heavier. But the sun is definitely brighter – and warmer too – than I’ve felt anywhere before in the UK. It also shines for longer in summer!
We moved up to Scotland from London about a month ago. I loved living in London, but after four and a half years in the capital I was ready for a change. And what a change! We switched country. Went from the South to the North. From a small one-bedroom flat in Zone 4 to a large three-bedroom house in a seaside town. From three rooms to eight (plus stairs, many cupboards and a loft). From a communal car park to our own gardens, front and back. From being crushed on the tube to driving down open roads. From traffic noise to bird song. From the A40 overpass to the Forth Rail Bridge.
Scotland has its own money, its own TV channels and programmes, its own shops and its own dialect. I was surprised to discover that there are far more Scottish words than the simple likes of ‘wee’, ‘bonny’ and ‘lass’, and I am trying to learn them by watching Still Game (an exclusively Scottish sitcom, almost incomprehensible to English people).
Scotland has its own food too – and I’m not just talking about haggis (which, yes, I rather like). A ‘Scottish breakfast’ alone contains ‘sausages’ that are flat and square, ‘scones’ that are triangular and made of potato, and ‘puddings’ that are not only black but also white and filled with raisins. Scottish takeaways are another new frontier. Ever heard of a pizza crunch? It’s a battered and deep-fried pizza, available in chippies nationwide alongside battered burgers, battered haggises and battered Mars bars. I don’t know about you, but I’m noticing a trend…
I’m typing this sat on a pile of cushions in the corner of our living room – we’re still waiting for our sofas to arrive! But despite the unfinished nature of our house, and the unfamiliarity of the world outside, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. I can’t wait to get out there and see everything under the bright Scottish sun.