Tag Archives | scottish ambassador

Chariots of Fire, the Xylophone version, or Why I Love the State of Michigan

This wee bit follows on from this post… where, having been racing through Detroit Airport in the hopes of catching the day’s final flight to Tennessee, I have given up and am standing disconsolately on the moving walkway, my hopes of reaching Knoxville dashed. But, just at that moment, just when I’m ready to hang […]

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Seattle to Gatlinburg and An Alphabet of Knowledge

At the airport in Seattle, Courtney and her daughter Caitlin are in the check-in line in front of me. I ask Courtney if she has Irish heritage and she looks confused. “No.” She shifts the toddler to her other hip. “Why?” “I just thought that because of Caitlin’s name.” “Caitlin is an Irish name?” “Yes. […]

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“I love you kilt and thistle with your tartan bounty and rich heritage”

Notes from a morning in Portland, Oregon, during which I continue to be perplexed about the fact that people make sporrans — Scottish manbags/kilt accessories — out of animal heads, after a visit to the Kilt and Thistle Shoppe in Salem. The next day at the Fresh Pot coffeehouse in Portland, I scroll down the […]

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Additional “Additional Badgers”

Additional Badgers… part 2 Being a relatively new resident of North America, amusing beasties such as raccoons and skunks still have me pointing and exclaiming with delight. I am still not 100% sure of appropriate creature encounter behaviour. I think I’ve got the basics of bear etiquette down – it’s all in the claws, apparently […]

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Morag, Official Possum of Little Scotland

In honour of the fact that The Scottish Ambassador blog had an equal number stumbling upon it when searching for “possum” as “Scottish Ambassador” this week, I’m treating you all to a photo of the world’s cutest baby orphan ‘possum/opossum. I have no recollection of ever writing about possums in these posts, but I am […]

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Things I’ve Done While Working On This Book That I Would Not Otherwise Have Done

1. Realised too late that I had forgotten the most vital element of my Halloween costume — tequila — and had to walk into a crowded Savannah Scottish bar dressed as a Scottish terrier, sober. First Dogs, Savannah, Georgia   2. Tried to play upwind while golfing on a desert sand course where they harden the […]

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“You speak really good English for someone from Scotland”

“You speak really good English for someone from Scotland”

Sometimes people say this kind of stuff to me when I’m on the road. Sometimes I eavesdrop. 1. “You speak really good English for someone from Scotland.” Gas station attendant, Hoquiam, Washington, Chapter 6: Hellhole of the Pacific 2. “Well, when you find a woman who ain’t your cousin round these parts, you want to grab them […]

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Learning Gaelic on a Texan Cat Ranch

“Let me tell you all the things that might put you off first,” says the email. Texas summer heat is not for the faint-hearted. Or for the easily burned. It is mostly triple digit temperatures and usually no rain to break the heat. This year is an inferno and we are having a drought.” This […]

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Stewed Pears and Eggplant

(I just added most of this bit to the Oregon chapter… after rummaging in the freezer…) I’m prospecting in Portland’s Scottish Country Shop, confused by their array of imported chocolate bars, kippers, Irish black puddings and jars of Sharwood’s curry. Looking in the freezer is like peeking into the cupboards of an eccentric, elderly Scottish aunt […]

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The Only Kelpie on the Block

Dominic, a Filipino-American in Chicago for business, tells me at the buffet about how his people congregate in communities in the U.S. and asks me why don’t Scots do this. Why don’t we? Is it the Scottish Way to skulk off alone? To get absorbed into a new country? It seems we did congregate back […]

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