Friday, 16 November 2018

It Looks Like Scotland

"She wound me up something chronic," I said to friends as we drove through Iceland,

"my mother. We'd be somewhere abroad - like South Africa - and we'd be driving past some fields or whatnot with a hill in the background, and every time she'd say,"

"It looks like Scotland."

"It's the veldt, mum, it's Africa! It looks nothing like Scotland!"

"Well, I don't know..."

My friends hooted and looked out the car windows. We drove past a lava field.

"Looks like Scotland, Craig."

"Aye, we could be on Paisley High Street."

Fuck off.

It's a trope as false but persistent as deep fried Mars bars or the Loch Ness Monster that the rest of the world actually *does* look like Scotland. Why, listen to McGlashan:



They stole our idea for a countryside...

And when we visited a cousin's farm on New Zealand's South Island... in lowering cloud and heavy rain, green hills to the horizon and bleating sheep...

It really did look like Scotland. Maybe it's true. Maybe there's nothing to see out there that you can't find a version of back home.

And with that unsettling thought, we went on a tour. And arrived at the base of Mount Cook, a vast gleaming glacier-girt mountain. It was magnificent. It blew me away. And I thought...



Thank God, there's nothing like this in Scotland.

1 comment:

blueskyscotland said...

Very true about Mount Cook and The Alps. I've been a lot of places that do look like Scotland though but maybe because the UK has such a rich patchwork quilt of landscapes and.../or Brits went everywhere abroad and changed it to remind them of where they came from, partly through homesickness. Other cultures probably do that as well as I know the Scottish Tibetan Centre in the borders picked that area as it reminded them of home.