how to confuse a glaswegian

So if he were successful, the person you voted in is oot. And as he didn’t get voted in, he’s still oot. Did his supporters chant “Oot! Oot! Oot! In! In! In!”, or did they make do with “In Oot, In Oot, Shake It All Aboot!”?

aagh! brainscrub required!!

So I was idly picking away on the mandolin sort of playing scales when this song from my childhood starts playing itself. It’s the Uist Tramping Song, and has ultra-cheesy lyrics:

Come along, come along, let us foot it out together,
Come along, come along, be it fair or stormy weather,
With the hills of home before us and the purple of the heather,
Let us sing in happy chorus, come along, come along.

No, really. I always thought that footing it out would involve a lot of squelching, this being Scotland. Must’ve learnt it when I was 8 or so; our headmaster was a teuchter, so my head is filled with Gaelic-ish things still. One of the pieces I recently heard Rhiannon Giddens perform with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, so they’re not all bad.

Anyway, to share the brainmelt, here it is in all its awfulness:

Plus the score, if you care to: Uist Tramping Song [pdf].

… and I can’t wait

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Shipped via Royal Mail (estimated arrival date: 13-May-2008).


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.

the nats

I’m not quite sure what to make of the Scottish National Party forming a minority government in the Scottish parliament.

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.