I like Scotland me, it's a grand place, actually, I might go as far as to say that I love Scotland.
I've had many happy times there, the people are, for the most part, friendly, the food's different but not so different that you're not sure what you're eating, and if you get far enough away from the obviously touristy shortbread trail, up into the crinkly bits then it's truly amazing.
For myself and Mrs Dandy's Honeymoon, we went to a little place called Largiemore, near Otter Ferry on the banks of Loch Fyne - Very crinkley around there, almost corrugated you might say. We took the scenic route there 'o'er the tap' as it seems the locals call it, as in.
'Yah say ye came o'er tha tap?'
'Aye, seemed like the quickest way from Dunoon.'
'Quickest? Aye... Boot also the must dangerous, nea-yin goes o'er the tap if then dinnae have-tae'
It seemed that that was our 'in' with the locals, every time we went to the local pub, The Oystercatcher, the landlord would say to someone 'Hay, (Insert frightfully stereotypical Scottish name), they's the yin ah whuz tellin' y'aboot! Came o'er tha tap!'
Then there'd be backslapping and big grins all round, much clinking of glasses, and many, many opportunities to pretend we liked haggis.
But the funniest thing was, I got to practice my Scottish accent on the other tourists (Yes I realise that I said that where we were was off the tourist track, but some accidentally found their way there, it's not like there were coach parties or anything). Being on the West coast, about forty miles from Glasgow, you can (kinda) get away with thinking 'Now, how would Billy Connolly say that?' and then softening it a bit - I got a few tips from the locals, along the lines of'
'Nawwww... It's Awe Ayyyeeee', a chap looking exactly like John Laurie would say.
'Oh Eye?' I'd reply, sounding (I thought) exactly the same.
'Nawwww, nawww, naw... ye'd ownly say it lake thaat if'n ye didnea buleeve whut someyins sayin. Yea'd say, Oh Eye? an' raise an eyebrew.'
'OK, so, when would you say Awe Ayyyeeee?' (round of applause)
'Whun ye whuz tryin' to convince peepl' ye whuz Scots.'
I passed my exam in pretend Scottish one afternoon sat outside the pub. Mrs Dandy was talking to the wife of a family that had just arrived in the carpark, whose husband was labouriously emptying out the back of their car to try and find a football for the kids to play with on the beach. Now, Mrs Dandy, for those who haven't met her, was born in a Derbyshire village called Belper, but her Father thought that she would do better in life if she adopted a 'posh' accent, so her accent is an aggregation of Belper, Derby and received pronunciation and it's sometimes quite difficult to tell where she's from (Up until the point where alcohol takes over her vocal cords, them you can hear her accent quite clearly as she belts out the Metallica tunes).
'Have you been here before?' Asked Mrs Dandy,
'No, but we come to Scotland a lot, we love it up here. Is this your husband?'
'Aw-rayt,' I said, looking up from my book and touching the brim of my devastatingly stylish hat.
'Oh!' she exclaimed, 'Are you local?'
'Not... Exactly... ' Replied Mrs Dandy, 'We're from down the road a bit.'
'I love the Scottish accent, I wish my husband was Scottish!'
'Yeah, me too,' Whispered Mrs Dandy under her breath.
I don't think Mrs Dandy would have any problem with me disappearing overnight and being replaced by Chibs from Sons of Anarchy (or maybe Opie with Chibs' voice)