does this mean we’re normally allowed to set fire to people’s clothes?

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Teenager given clothes fire Asbo
“The Asbo bans the teenager from attempting to set fire to people’s clothes …”

… and I can’t wait

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Ordered  Title                          Price  Dispatched  Subtotal
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Shipped via Royal Mail (estimated arrival date: 13-May-2008).


(almost) one third of the world away

I’m in Fort St John, BC – which appears to be exactly 116° due west of the hills around Arrochar where I used to stomp around. It’s also the furthest north I’ve ever been in Canada.

is this the same report?

A recent BBC news story from Scotland leads with:

Wind farms could hit tourist jobs

Wind farms could cost Scotland’s tourism industry millions of pounds and hundreds of jobs, a report has warned.

But the findings of the report are much milder:

This research has shown that even using a worst case scenario the impact of current applications would be very small  …

… Our  overall conclusion is that the effects are so small that, provided planning and  marketing are carried out effectively, there is no reason why the two are  incompatible.

So it looks, as usual, as if the BBC is trying to make wind turbines look far worse than they really are.

gotta say yes to MMP

I saw my first anti-MMP flyer today (a postcard from, which appears to be run by a trainspotter from Guelph) and it surprised me that there could be such virulent opposition to what is basically a good idea. MMP, or its local variant, has worked very well in Scotland. So I’m going to vote for MMP.
When the Scottish Parliament got going late last century, it had a proportional representation system from the start. It did allow some minority parties in – like the Scottish Greens and the Socialists – but in doing so more fairly represented the wishes of the Scottish people.

True, there were some unusual antics in the house at first from some of the Socialist members, but I notice that they are no longer represented. Act like a jerk, nobody votes for you again – that’s democracy.

I’m not sure about the rise of the Nats, and the Greens are hanging on by one member, but it seems to work, and ends the “3 years of doing the opposite + 1 year of campaigning” to which majority rule seems to devolve.

caring, sharing – and Scottish

Strike Rochdale from the record books. The Co-op began in Scotland.
… the cooperative movement was born nearly 240 years ago in a barely-furnished cottage in Fenwick, East Ayrshire. (And it’s pronounced ‘fennick’, before you ask.)


Conclusive proof (if any were needed) that Scotland invented Unicode:




If you try to display a UTF-8 apostrophe on an ISO 8859-15 system, you get a reasonable representation of didnae, isnae and wasnae.

probably doesn’t sell well in Glasgow

I’m guessing that “Hummer” brand cologne doesn’t sell too well in Glasgow, where a hummer isn’t an obscenely-proportioned vehicle, but merely someone who smells bad.

In which we prove that we invented everything after all

Wikipædia, the first encyclopædia in the Scots leid.

(and although I’m Scottish, and Scotland’s about the size of a Wal*Mart parking lot, I don’t know anyone who uses the word leid for language. Everyone knows the right word is langwidge …)

audible minority

Everyone says I don’t have a very strong accent, but I’m sick of being misunderstood. I have been offered Wild Turkey when I asked for water, and my house number – 36 – is a constant source of confusion. Bell got it wrong for a couple of hours when we first got our phone in 2002, and so the poor folks at 56 have been getting our junk mail ever since.

Last straw came during the last power outage. Toronto Hydro has an automated voice recognition system which first asks your postal code, then your street name, then the house number. It got the code and the street right, then assumed I was saying big ol’ 56 again. It took me right back to the postal code question, even after confirming it and the street name before.

Rather than going postal, I ended up having to slur out my mooshiest “thihrdheesihx” before it took it. C’mon people, consonants, consonants!

Hate to think what it’d have made of the Glaswegian ‘thehrty’, which my Gran always decried as “common” …

ladies and gentlemen, I give you … the hula hoop sandwich!

You will need one bag of plain KP Hula Hoops, some plain bread (aka a square loaf), and some kind of butter-like substance. I used olive spread, as I’m watching my cholesterol (in this case, watching it shoot through the roof).

hula hoop sandwich makin's

Arrange the Hula Hoops on the bread carefully.

hula hoop sandwich makin's

Apply the top slice.

hula hoop sandwich makin's

This is the important bit: squodge it down so the potato snacks can’t escape.

hula hoop sandwich makin's

Eat, and enjoy.