…on over romanticising Scotland.
Scotland in general is magical. Skye in particular. We have the most beautiful scenery which touches people in ways they can’t explain. People who came to stay with us when we first arrived still keep in touch because their memories are so precious. But it’s a real place, with real people doing real stuff.
Its tipping it down outside, not fluffy snow, wet sploshes of very chilly rain that soak right though my cardi. I turn on my lap top with my wee, frozen fingers. Someone on one of the Scotland fan pages on Facebook is in Glasgow. Should I go to Skye or Inverness in my campervan she asks? Not Skye, I reply. It’s foul here today. From across the world I am contradicted. No, Skye is beautiful whatever the weather, you’re so ungrateful, you’re so lucky to live there (actually not lucky, we sold everything we had and moved to the unknown to do a job also unknown, foolish maybe, brave possibly – not lucky). Trust me, today is not a day to be visiting Skye. The dog blew over, you can’t see a blimmin foot in front of your face… but hey what do I know, I’m only the one chasing the bins across the croft.
While I’m on one. It’s not coos (to rhyme with ‘ ooooh, aren’t they cute’) it’s cows (to rhyme with ‘ow I’ve been stabbed by a 12’’ horn while trying to pet the calf because I saw it on Instagram’) unless you’re actually speaking Scots. Also coorie is not the new hygge. In fact if you check with the Danes, hygge isn’t even the new hygge. Coorie is not about harris tweed cushions, tea cosies (tho I’m very in favour of teacosies, no one likes cold tea and the ladies of Portnalong make amazing ones) or paying £7 for a blondie. It comes from the Scots word meaning crouch for protection, families sheltering their children from the grinding poverty of the time – listen to the beautiful Miner’s Lullaby (Coorie doon) to get the idea. Or read Lesley Riddoch’s fabulous article in The National.
So come, eat our extraordinary food, sample our world famous malts, breathe in the fresh air of Talisker Beach, check out the dolphins at Fiskavaig Bay. Chat to the incredibly hardworking housekeeping chaps in your b & b, to Neily Beag on the bus who makes a point of escorting those who find their shopping hard to manage to their door, to the hilarious locals at the bar who’ll buy you a dram and tell you All The Stories. Take photos that people back home won’t believe are real. But you’ll know. They are. Because Skye is.
Also follow the fabulous @wodieskodie on Twitter to get the best take on island life.