I am, as must be apparent in every word I speak, a woman of Scotland. After almost 30 years happily living in the lovely South of England, I’m still a Scot and proud of it.


Many of our characteristics are world famous. We are a hard working, capable, practical, enterprising and adventurous nation. We are skilled in argument and war. By and large, we are good-looking. Our engineers, doctors, businessmen and anything that requires logic and argument are building bridges, running clinics, laying down the law the world over. With these positive characteristics, are some equally well known defects. We can be belligerent and quarrelsome, vengeful, unforgiving, vain, violent and drunk. These attributes, good or bad, are I suggest, well known.


You may not have realised however when you consider Scotland’s poor record on addiction to alcohol and sugar, that Scots (women in particular) suffer from an additional addiction – a dpendency on cardigans. I myself am a closet sufferer.


We have lived in the beautiful south of England for nearly 30 years, and I resist any suggestions of returning to The Frozen North by arguing that the weather is so much worse there. I appreciate the mildness of the climate in the Deep South and we no longer have to make an annual dash from The Frozen North to the shores of the Mediterranean, desperately longing for sun. So, mild weather is desirable. Hot weather is a different matter.


We recently spent over 3 weeks in France in which for longer than a week, the temperature edged towards the 40s. Cold may not be good, but if it were this hot all the time, life would be miserable. I should perhaps mention at this point that we are famously lucky with our holiday weather, to the extent that other people used to try to take their holidays when we did. (In part I think this ‘luck’ is just a willingness to accept with good grace whatever comes. We’re Scots. We’re unfazed by ‘weather’.) But when you wake up in the morning realising that you’re already in a slick of sweat and the temperature before breakfast is in the 30s, it’s not good. Then the noon-day sun is almost unbearable. There is a whiff of drains. The crowd is too stupid, too smelly, too slow and FAR too near you. Everything is too steep, too difficult, too much bother, TOO HOT! You can keep your air-conditioning on, and we did, but its constant drone almost cancels out the benefits of its coolness.


And the insects! I, who have boasted that I ‘never get bitten’ (I have a robust, though not an impenetrable, resistance even to the fearsome Scottish midgie) get horrible bites which linger, unsightly, itchy, hot and festering until we come North of the Loire, when over-night they all disappear!


So we return to England and cloudy, grey, cool skies, and I think, how absolutely lovely. You can keep your hot weather.


I realise my idea of a ‘nice’ day is one on which the sun shines; you don’t need to wear your hat and gloves, and if you find a seat out of the wind, you THINK about taking your coat off. And your cardigan? Like I said; it’s an addiction. You’ve got it firmly buttoned up under the coat. There’s no chance at all of your taking it off.

About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

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