I have something a little different and, dare I say, rather exciting for you today.
Regular readers will know how important I believe fostering a sense of community in blogging is: I love interacting with fellow writers and building up friendships; mentors and critics on local and international levels.
I firmly believe that this is the best way to develop and refine one’s writing.
Well, I’m sure you can imagine my delight then when Mara floated into my comments inbox.
We met by chance in the wordpress community pool a few months ago when I was in the first flushes of blogging and looking for feedback.
I was struck by Mara’s helpful, friendly nature and her constructive comments and wit, and from that day on, we have stayed in regular contact.
What I hadn’t appreciated at the time was that Mara has a huge passion for Scotland and in her “real life” is studying towards a doctorate in Scottish Literature in her native Czech Republic.
Suitably intrigued as to what on earth brought Mara to have such huge love for Scotland (warts and all), I was delighted when she agreed to submit a guest post to the Glasgowdragonfly blog.
Her response to my invitation has made me smile and, in my view, definitely merits “honorary Scot” status.
See Mara’s guest post below :
This is a list of my top five (plus one) reasons why I’d choose to be Scottish rather than anything else (including my actual nationality).
I mean it.
1. The Weather
The Scottish are weatherproof.
Their weather makes them so.
Anything less than a torrential flood lasting for forty days and forty nights is not even worth carrying an umbrella for; anything less than a hurricane causing the Walter Scott Monument to bend and spill tourists is not even worth mentioning in conversation.
The national footwear are flip-flops, worn throughout the year (except in severe winters, when they may be replaced by converse).
The Scottish are immune to all natural elements, and I duly envy them.
2. The Country
Scotland is my promised land.
Sorry that I can’t say why (as that’s what I’m wondering too), but I knew it the moment I got off the plane in Embra for the first time. (OK, so the moment I got out of the airport building, you sceptics!)
The first step on a Scottish pavement got me so overwhelmed that I literally froze on the spot. Actually that was because I feared that the fresh ocean air would kill me instantly. (But I lit up a cigarette and got over it).
Speaking of killing, Scotland is the perfect place to hide when you kill someone.
No one would find you in the Highlands or the Islands.
And when you aren’t killing anyone, you can still choose to stay in cities of culture and civilisation.
3. The Myths
Scotland is a living myth.
Not only is there Nessie aka a giant snake living at the bottom of a lake… (are you scared?), there are also vaults under Edinburgh that are notoriously haunted by ghosts of the poor plague victims who were allegedly buried there alive (are you scared now?).
Also, Scotland has the best criminals in the history of crime.
It was with the utmost respect, however perverted, that I touched a cabinet in The Writer’s Museum made by Deacon Brodie, who was otherwise more into burglary than carpentry. (If the staff of the Museum are reading this, I deny everything!)
I shall not expand on the Sawney Bean cannibal clan out of respect for possible non-Scottish tender-hearted readers (the Scottish are obviously immune);
Suffice to say that Scottish myths fully satisfy my slightly morbid nature.
4. The People
The Scottish love it when you love them.
I always travel to Scotland with each of my nails decorated with the design of the Scottish flag.
When people noticed, they wanted to adopt me on the spot.
It’s not that I’d protest.
Except, in the middle of one gloomy night during the Edinburgh Festival, I was approached under a dark bridge by what looked like a character from Trainspotting.
He was offering either drugs or sex, but he spoke incomprehensibly, either Gaelic or Drunk (Scots I can deal with, ye ken), so I refused out of fear he was suggesting the latter.
5. The Men
Speaking of sex…
Justin Bieber is not really my type and so I appreciate that Scotland is one of the few countries (the only country?) where the remains of masculinity can still be found.
I mean – do you know another nation whose men wear kilts rather than dress trousers for special occasions and don’t look like girls while doing so?
Well, I don’t.
I could go on to point out that the kilt provides a highly pleasurable aesthetic experience for female watchers of action events like the Highland Games, but I shall refrain.
People could mistakenly think that log tossing is an innuendo.
6. The Bloggers
Scotland has one of the finest bloggers (if not the very finest!).
Who else than a Scottish blogger would willingly offer you her blog to kidnap?
So, dear Dragonfly, thanks for hosting me as an honorary Scotswoman, I owe you a dram!
About Mara: author biography
I’m a Czech Republic native who feels like an honorary Scot. It happened at college: I was minding my own business studying English Literature, when I was recommended to read Alasdair Gray’s Lanark. I fell in love immediately (not with Alasdair per se, but with Scotland) and went on to specialise in Scottish Literature.
Thanks to my tolerant husband and the fact that I have kitties instead of kiddies, I can afford to be still studying at the age of thirty(ish). I’m trying to get a doctorate in ScotLit, while (modestly) profiting from my inner urge to correct people by editing and proofreading the department’s publications. That is, when I’m not blogging here or twittering here.
I’m happy to chat with you if there’s anything else you’re wondering about!
Aww, thanks for writing this guest post Mara, I shall look forward to raising a glass with you soon (I hope!)
I highly recommend you check out Mara’s blog HERE
As well as being an avid reader and blogger, Mara is also a fantastic photographer.
You can also follow Mara on twitter: @maraeastern or via her twitter link https://twitter.com/MaraEastern
Right – I’m off to find all the hunky men over in Edinburgh Mara speaks of. For alas, there are surely none to be seen on this side of the country (husband excepted of course )!