Happy Holidays

First up, this from Scottish Banter:

Santa and the Duke

Recent scene in Glasgow, Santa climbing up on the Duke of Wellington statue. The cone looks to be in Santa colors at the moment, as well.


I’ve had a weird two years and was never good with the executive functioning to start with, and then lately been extra-depressed and dealing with money issues as well so my attention’s been scattered all over the place and I haven’t been keeping up here. I’m sort of okay at the moment and checking in — just be aware I haven’t abandoned the project and intend to continue with it, though likely in fits and starts.

Some projects on the back burner which will likely get a stir every now and again:

1. Rearranging the links to be organized by town/region/island, haven’t decided exactly what yet. It may go something like towns on the mainland and then island categories. (Hebrides, Shetland… you know.) Then a few extra categories for more universal things like the Scottish government sites, national park service, etc. We’ll see.

2. Some kind of swag shop. I won’t be doing the usual Redbubble thing because Redbubble is a pain in the bahookie, but it’d be something fun.

3. Some kind of library or store section utilizing Amazon affiliate links. Given that this site’s run by an American my first choice would be Amazon USA, but if I run into weird obstacles with that, I’ll look into starting an affiliate account with Amazon UK. Bear in mind that if I do that, there will be sellers who won’t ship to the States. So that’s a last resort. Anyone stateside selling British stuff will have already gone through all the rigmarole with import duties and so on — the price will reflect that, but there will be less hassle on your end.


Of course, I’m announcing this to maybe five people who visit regularly, and I realize that. But thought I might as well say something, for the record.

Administrivia: 11 September 2023

You have probably noticed that one of the things I post here is Scottish music. Yep. Expect more. Sometimes it will be bagpipes and Highland music. More often it won’t be, because that’s only one facet of Scottish musical heritage. And I’m no expert yet. I’ve only started exploring and have barely scratched the surface.

I am still thinking about how to arrange links. I’m evolving around to the idea of arranging everything by location instead of by topical category. Like, have one big menu for Scotland, then submenus for different towns with a whole list of different things for each town, and then maybe a nationwide category if I can’t seem to fit it any other way. But we’ll see. I suppose I had better make up my mind before I add so much stuff it takes me five years to rearrange it.

(Not that… ah… I’ve ever done that before. Heh.)

For the record, I know it still looks bare-bones here insofar as website art and such. I have a logo in mind, I just have not gotten around to figuring out making it. Yeah, I could hire someone, if I weren’t broke. Anyway, I have artistic tendencies myself, such as they are. Whatever I come up with here will need to be usable on social media too. I’ll sort it out.

There will likely be affiliate links here at some point. I’ll add a notice about that on an About page or in an About section when I get it going. I’m thinking possibly a book list, possibly a product list (did you know you can find Irn Bru on Amazon???), possibly one or two other things. I don’t know yet. We’ll see.

And, I’ll be slightly less boring here in the blog. We need more variety here, like profiles of famous Scots and that kind of thing. I gotcha. Watch out for that.

Administrivia: 08 September 2023

May as well just go ahead and admit this site’s getting a slow start but that’s okay, most of it’s been adding links to the links pages. With a few standout exceptions (you will pry my followage* of Gary Meikle’s Facebook page from my cold, dead fingers — dude’s a laugh and a half, and kinda cute too), I’m trying to move the Scottish stuff I’m following on Facebook over to this website and then will probably go into the Facebook page I have for this website and re-follow a lot of it there. Lot of nonsense, really, but there’s the outside chance that it’ll get me some followers that way. I’m more interested in American followers than Scottish ones in the main, but I’m not that picky. Scottish followers are just fine too.

Whatever arrangement I’ve got right now for pages and links here should not be considered permanent. This is beginning stages and like as not I’ll figure out a different arrangement at some point. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with this thing, really. I had a thought about educating Americans away from the stereotypes we’ve had about Scotland since I was a kid and before but really, I think everyone’s catching up now and getting savvy thanks to social media. So I guess I will just wing it and we’ll see where we end up.

But! On the off-chance there are still a lot of Americans out there ignorant of Scottish culture, we’ll go ahead and do the 101 approach too. You never know. It might help, entertain, or amuse somebody. That’s just fine with me.

*Followage? “That’s not a word!” Well I just invented it then. Cope and seethe.

Administrivia: 27 August 2023

I did indeed add a widget for my social media accounts and you can see it in the sidebar. If you’re on a phone, the sidebar may become a bottom bar, so scroll down as far as you can go if you can’t see what I’m talking about.

I have also been going through a whole process of transferring things from my Facebook follows to this site. I am following far too many things on Facebook under my personal account and it’s clogged up my feed something fierce. At least this way I don’t lose anything. Like as not I will start following the social media particulars from my Albaphile page on Facebook at some point, but one step at a time.

This website’s not in its final form, either. I’m still trying to sort out what this theme can do; I may not even keep it long term. Depends on what I want to do and on whether the theme will let me, with or without paying for the premium version — and I’m not sure I want to do that. As ever, It Depends. My life’s worse than a retirement home’s supply closet at the moment.

I want to be clear that this is NOT going to be a website done from the perspective of a tourist who has actually been IN Scotland. Until I go. If I ever go.

It depends.


[take deep breath]

Rather, this is just going to be me geeking out about Scotland. I’ve learned a lot about it in the past four years. It’s been fun. I’d like to pass that fun on to all of you.

Stay tuned.

Social media

I mentioned in the previous post (see previous post) that I thought I might have coined the term albaphile. Well, maybe not. Or, maybe I did and it just so happened the wrong person heard me, so someone else snagged the word for their Instagram account.

I’m a little irritated, because she hasn’t done squat with the account. But I’m not going to be lame and go pester her for it.

So! Here is my Instagram account. If you do not put the word “blog” at the end of it, you will not find me. You’ll end up at that other lady’s account instead. And I dunno, you might like that better because she’s got real photos of Scotland, but she doesn’t have very many so it’ll get boring after a while.

I will have a little section on the site with social media stuff on it soon. Promise.

P.S. Here’s my Facebook. What the hell.

Hello, world!

And in Scotland, you might well hear that second word spoken with two syllables. 😉

I’m just playing, y’all. It really is cute.

Anyway! Hi! I’ve dabbled about with the idea for this site for a few months and now, it looks like I am actually making it happen.

You probably guessed already, but I’m American. Some of you are now rolling your eyes. Oh, aye, you’re thinking, she’ll be one of those hopeless Outlander romantics. Nope. Never read a word of it. I’ll wait ’til you’ve picked yourselves up off the floor.

Actually, it’s this man’s fault.

Rory McCann as the Scott's Porage Oats Man

Right — so, because I must be late to everything, I first became aware of this man back at the tail end of 2018. Earlyish the following year, I started this fan site for him, which among other things involves me collecting articles about him and interviews with him. I actually paid a good deal of attention to what he had to say, so I began to be curious about the places he’d talk about: Glen Coe, Isle of Skye, Glasgow, and so on. So I wound up down that rabbit hole. Haven’t come back up since.

I even — I’m pretty sure — coined the word albaphile somewhere along the way. Alba of course being an old name for Scotland and, I hope, you can guess the rest.

Not too often I get to invent something.

So! Along the way my explorations have resulted in my social-media accounts becoming top-heavy with Scotland stuff, and my friends are tired of hearing me gab on about it. So I thought I would make up my very own place to put everything. Thus, this site.

If you’re American like me, I hope you enjoy going down this rabbit hole as much as I have. Onward!

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