Monday, 15 September 2014

Scottish debate

I would never try to influence any Scots about something so important, and yes, personal, on whether Scotland should be independent or stay in the UK, but here is my pennyworth, for what it's worth.

My maiden name is Buchanan.  A fine old tribe of red-headed, hairy Scots, who came from around Loch Lomond, and within stomping ground of Glasgow.  As children, my mother who had no family, was thrilled to have joined up with someone who had.  She collected bits of Buchanan tartan stuff - made me a little kilt to wear in the tartan, had a nice set of tartan egg cosies (who uses egg cosies?) and we were told stories of our Scottish heritage, but we never visited Scotland

After Mum died, I found all these little bits of tartan, and in fact, all the men in the family - including my OH - all worn Buchanan tartan scarves to her funeral.  (That went down rather well with our French neighbours - the Auld Alliance?)

One summer, my dear OH and I took our beaten-up old caravan up to Scotland and hunted down anything to do with the Buchanans.  There was David of Buchanan, Buchanan Smithy, Milton of Buchanan, Buchanan Castle etc.  It was all beautiful and we had a lovely time. I felt proud to be a little bit Scots.

Loch Lomond

Then, I started to do the family tree, like you do, and found that actually, the family came from Liverpool, and before that Fazackerley, near Liverpool.  And I am going back to around 1580.  Before that is a fog, but I concede they probably did come from Scotland once - it's in the genes, hence mine and my son's red hair.  But I was a little disappointed that the Scottish part must be so far back and so watered down that red hair and freckles are the only markers of a Scottish ancestry.

But perhaps all this is just romance. Is the English idea of the Scots as a nation ie copper-headed and fiery, rugged,  keen on engineering and travel, etc just made up, or, at least romanticised by the likes of Queen Victoria and the Scottish Tourist Office?  Perhaps the Scots aren't really like that at all, just ordinary people wanting their independence as any other nation would and surely have the right to demand it. They are a diverse multi-nation nation, if you get my drift, and all the other bits about currency, defence, etc is mere detail.  They've just got a lot of independent catching up to do that's all.  It's what is in the heart that counts.

I will be very sad if Scotland does break away from the Union, but maybe it is just nostalgia on my part - rather like a dear old friend emigrating.

One thing for sure - I'm glad I'm not voting - I just couldn't make up my mind.  I am torn between waving them all bon voyage, and wanting to hug them and say please don't go...

Buchanan tartan


  1. my feelings exactly! I simple couldn't make up my mind. I spent my childhood holidays in Scotland and will feel sad not to be as connected if the yes vote goes through. Jane xx

  2. I am planning to stay up to watch the count on
    TV - I think it will be a close-run thing, as we all do.



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