One of the first jokes that Grandpa told us was this
There is a Scotsman , a Welshman and an Englishman looking at a cow in a field.
"That's a Welsh cow" says the Welshman
"No it's not, it's an English cow" says the Englishman
"Nay it's a wee Scottish cow" says the Scotsman "Yae can tell by the bagpipes".
How we laughed, and such was the beginning of our awareness of the United Kingdom.
At school we were taught that there was Great Britain, which is not called Great because we are megalomaniacs but because Brittany in France is little . Britain is English for Brittany.
The United Kingdom instead was made up of Scotland, England,Wales and Northern Ireland- each country had their own symbol. Scotland-thistle, England-rose, Wales-daffodil, Ireland-shamrock. These lovely symbols are sewn on Rugby shirts. Each country had it's own flag which gloriously merged together to make the Union Jack (or flag).
It all seemed very cosy and happy to me. I had a Scottish uncle, a Welsh friend and Irish neighbours.
There is a lot of talk in the papers about the vote on Scottish Independence which will take place next September .Important decisions will have to be made about defence, borders, currency, welfare, education. Whatever Scotland decides I wish them luck and hope that we will still be "United" .
"United we stand divided we fall"
"One for all and all for one"_ The Three Musketeers.
Land mae your lum reek- this means "Long may smoke come out of your chimney"
"Here s tae us, them like us, damn few, and they re all dead",
A favourite Scottish poem
Pleasures are like poppies spread
The bloom is cast, the petals shed,
Like a snowflake on the river,
There a moment, then gone forever