Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Tales From Caledonia Part 2 - The Scottish Regulatory Guide To Life

I like places and people where directness is prevalent. Of course, Scotland is just such a place. There is rarely any 'beating around the bush' and most people tell you exactly how they feel. It is refreshing. It makes me realise how tiring it is when so often in your life 'south of the border', I tend to spend so much time figuring out what people are actually saying or thinking when they are talking to me.

It seems to have become a way of life in England. Perhaps it has always been there, you know, stiff upper lip and all that. Now it seems to be ingrained in every aspect of life, regardless of circumstances, class, region or any other matter. Perhaps, also, it is out of fear. Fear that if you open your mouth, you will incriminate yourself or be subjected to some legal action.

So to read a sign which announces that the gates will be closed without notice, gives me a childish warm glow. It is honest, direct and reasonable. You have been warned. There is no argument.


 Do not swim or jump? I have no intention of jumping off the jetty and swimming in the North Sea in March but no doubt there will be someone who just may be tempted. So that is standard.

But it was the sign inside a cafe, which was the most interesting.  Bolted onto the side of the main eating area was a room with a sign which in large letters warned children to keep out. It was a quiet room for any adult who wished it.

Of course this originates from England and the 15th Century Olde English proverb, as written by the Augustine monk, John Mirk's Festial around 1450:-

Hyt ys old Englysch sawe: A mayde shuld be seen, but not herd

which became translated later as 'children should be seen but not heard'. The difference nowadays, is that few people are prepared to say it ...... unless you head northwards to the land where hearts are worn on the sleeves and a nod's as guid as a wink tae a blind horse.

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