In the Saturday Saunter post yesterday, I wrote that if I didn’t get the Intercity Aberdeen post written in time, something else would appear here instead. Well, this is it. I managed to do the Aberdeen post but also wrote this just in case. In a departure from routine, I thought I would post this anyway, some musings about being an east coast exile living in the west of Scotland.
I am writing this on International Mother Languages Day, 21st February, and the Scottish Book Trust have been sharing various examples of Scots and Gaelic on their social media pages. The SBT do these things very well and hopefully as the day goes on, their pages will be awash with contributions of the diversity and wonder of our nation’s languages. I love delving into the vernacular whenever possible. There are times when I can’t help it and mostly it is still east coast, East Lothian or Edinburgh type words that I use. Occasionally, only very occasionally the odd Glaswegian word will sneak out but generally I am a product of my upbringing on the right side of the country. That was further shown by a Dialect Quiz which appeared the other week on, of all things, the website of the mighty New York Times. The words I use put me as either being from Edinburgh, Dundee or Ayr, apparently, suggesting the geographic spread of where I’ve lived fairly accurately.
Another indicator of my east coast-ness comes from my choice of condiments. I should explain to any non-Scottish readers that in central Scotland there is a dividing line between those who take salt and vinegar on their fish and chips and those sensible folk who choose salt and sauce. The salt and sauce part is generally east of Falkirk while vinegar prevails in the west, where I live. Ironically, as the Edinburgh Evening News pointed out the other day, chippy sauce (essentially watered down HP Sauce) is actually made here in Glasgow, even though it isn’t widely available here. One of my local chippies here in the Weeg sells bottles of it so usually I have a supply though I always mean to pop into a chippy in the east and buy a big bottle of madeup stuff and smuggle it back home. Nothing beats salt and sauce on a sausage supper, or a king rib or a chip steak. A fish supper deluged in the good stuff is what dreams are made of.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend.