I Love You, Scotland (Update)

aye scotland

Dear Cath

As wee, impressionable ladies in our teenage years you would have been hard-pressed to convince us that we would love this blustery, hilly land of sheep and castles. The closest our teenage love got for the green isles was for Michael Flatly (shouldn’t admit that out loud, huh?) and he’s from that other very green and very damp place.

We were never particularly keen on celtic things or ancestry — our ancestors are from pretty much everywhere else in the world but Scotland. Our naive heads were turned by the idea Paris, London and Madrid. And then we grew up a bit and actually got to travel to those lofty cosmopolitan hubs and we liked them very much indeed, but we didn’t truly fall in love with a place until we met Scotland.

And what an arbitrary meeting too! We knew we were Anglophiles and decided to give Edinburgh a try for studying abroad — almost on a whim. I know there must have been hard days during those two semesters in Edinburgh, but I don’t remember one moment. I remember the train journeys to far-flung castles and warming our hands around mugs of tea. Majestic stone cities and crisp, fresh air. And I remember how completely and utterly heart-broken we were to leave and go back to the States.

It’s been so hard to be here without you, Cath, but I’m glad that the place I’ve spent the longest living apart from you has been this country we both love so very, very much.

As a non-EU member and non-Commonwealther, I don’t get a say in the way things go Thursday, but I really do believe that Scotland will thrive no matter what. It’s a beautiful country full of talented people and I feel so lucky we got to meet and fall in love with her.

Love you like Scotland,


yes scotland


Update 20 September:

Dear All,

Waking up to a No vote yesterday morning was sad and disappointing, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t have been worried about a Yes vote and all the unknowns that would have come with it.

In Edinburgh the mood has been subdued, but it was a decisive No in our neck-of-the-woods. Things pretty much are carrying on as usual. Glasgow and Dundee were decided Yeses and I imagine there must be even greater disappointment, sadness and more than a few sore heads this weekend.

I hope that moving forward Scotland gets the powers it wants (and was pledged) while remaining part of the Union and that Westminster gives more credence to those fighting for a more equal and socialist approach to governing.

I also hope that our neighbors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland don’t feel hurt by Scotland’s desire for independence. I really strongly feel it was never a desire to be separate from such wonderful people and cultures, but a frustration at feeling unrepresented and ignored by the powers that be.

Hope you all are having a wonderful (reconciliation) weekend!



9 thoughts on “I Love You, Scotland (Update)”

  1. So many things I love about this post!

    1.) That photo of you = priceless. I hope you bought that hat and I hope it was from the most touristy shop on the Royal Mile. Plus, the outfit of the girl in the back is perfectly post-exercise chic with a hint of the 80s.

    2.) Thinking of our months studying abroad in Edinburgh and our love for all things Scottish makes me giddy! Falling in love with a place is like falling in love with a person – totally unpredictable and incredibly hard to explain, but there it is.

    3.) I too am grateful that you moved to such a wonderful country – even though I’d prefer you to move right next door to me! I’d probably be even more bitter about the distance between us if you moved to, say, southern Spain 😉

    4.) I’m so torn over the vote this Thursday. Not being a Scot, I’m worried what will happen economically if it does become independent. But being a lover of all things Scottish, I love the passion behind the Yes campaign.

    Either way, Thursday will be an incredibly historic day and I wish I was there to experience it with you!

    xoxo, Cath

    1. Hi Cath!

      1) Katherine took this piccie of me and we were indeed on the Royal Mile but sadly the hat was too small for my massive head. I love how you spotted the trendy sporty wearer behind me — I didn’t even notice her!

      2) It is exactly like that!

      3) Oh good gawd. I don’t think I would have seen you in three years if I moved to Murcia. I would be too depressed to leave the “huerta” of Spain.

      4) I can totally understand why Scots feel completely disconnected from Westminster and those guys didn’t give a hoot about them until the race pulled closer. I would feel so patronized. Feeling like you have no control and no voice is not how a democracy should work. I also completely understand the economic worries too, if we do go independent. Such a hard decision.

      I wish you could be here too, Kitcath! I’ll give you an hour by hour play by play on What’s App!


  2. Just a week for me in the land of my great-grandparents was all it took. One trip to Edi and Glasgow and I was done. I’ll be head over heels for Scotland for the rest of my life! I’m scheming on how to get back there next. The fresh, crisp air! The stone castles! The tea! THE KILTS!! GAH!

    I’m awaiting Thursday with bated breath. and trying not to bank too hard on the fact that perhaps Scottish visa requirements will be easier if “Yes” goes through :X

    1. Hi Maggie!

      Yes! You know exactly that feeling too! I’m so glad you’ve gotten to experience it. I hope you can make it back here soon. It will tug on my heart strings always, when we move away.

      Fingers crossed xoxox,

  3. Hello ladies! LOVE this love letter to Scotland– The writing was so sweet. 🙂

    (I honestly think my deep love of a long lost, certainly not-nice person was overwhelmingly based on the romantic notion of moving to Edinburgh for a bit.)

    In any case, I am curious as to what you think as a current resident — is it as angst-y and as much of a close call as everyone is reporting?

    1. Hi CL!

      So good to hear from you! Ohhh and that totally makes sense to me. When I was writing the post I was thinking how if I had met someone while I was studying abroad, I would have thought he was so much more than he was because I’d conflate him with the city and the country.

      That’s why when you find true love in the ATL you will know it’s real because as awesome as Atlanta can be, it isn’t a place that wraps you up in romanticism, is it ;D

      And yes, the whole situation is incredibly angsty. It’s hard not to want to YESes to go through because they seem so happy and enthusiastic and the Nos (by the nature of the beast) have had to be a lot more negative. The optimism the YESes have reminds me of how Atlanta felt during the 2008 election. People seemed soooo happy and feel like they were finally being represented with Obama — given a chance.

      All that said, I feel I get the easy way out not really having to vote. I would lean YES but flip flop until I got to the voting booth. It’s amazing though that 97% of the population is registered to vote this election. That in it of itself is so exciting.

      At the moment the NOs have pulled ahead again, but it’s still hard to call because about 17% of voters are undecided and likely not to make up their minds until tomorrow, so it could swing either way. It also depends who does actually show up at the voting booths. I think it will probably go NO. Friday (and for a long while after) will be hard for half the country.

      I’ll keep you posted by updating the blog!


  4. This post was so beautiful it really warmed my heart even though I too was very sad about the “no” vote in Scotland. You’re so lucky to have a sister which you can share great stories with of Scotland. I lived in London for 1.5 years and during my time BOTH of my sisters came to visit me and we still laugh so much about some of the amazing stupidity which went down during those visits. Anyway from one Anglophile to another, keep a stiff upper lip. xo

    1. Hi Aja!

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I love, love London and am so glad you got to spend more than a year there — and have your sisters visit! I hope you guys live close by each other now. That is the best, isn’t it?

      Stiff upper lip firmly in place (though at time it gives it all away and quivers).


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