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Doing Anything Interesting This Summer, Scotland?

17/06/2016 10:41 | Updated 17 June 2016

There's a misconception going round that Scots will be sitting at home quietly fuming right now. After all, they're the ones with the empty calendar this summer. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Many Scots will be glued to their televisions, giving shouty support to anyone playing England. For some, there is no greater joy. Only the birth of a new Scot is better than England getting thumped.

It would be hard to exaggerate the Scots' feeling for English failure. Many Scots live in England, around 750,000 - more than in any Scottish city. Lots of Scots have English friends and while they may not want the English to accidentally slip into the sea (we think), they love to see England humbled, live on TV. It's not hate. It would just make them LOL.

Some may find that bitter, but they are not a bitter people. Scots have one of the world's great senses of humour. Just look at their diet.

haggis

While haggis, neeps and tatties are rightly respected as a north of the border treat, Buckie, Irn Bru and deep-fried Mars bars aren't revered in the same way. Indeed, a Scottish sugar tax could rake in more revenue than North Sea oil.

The Italians may have invented the pizza, but they didn't have the foresight to dip it in batter and deep-fry it, did they? It took a special kind of approach to cuisine to invent the 'pizza crunch'.

But nobody needs to tell the Scots they have plenty to be proud of. They have a noble history and breath-taking landscapes, even if they have to peer through drizzle to see them half the time. Scots have no illusions about the beauty of the Highlands, nor their weather. Winter is coming. In June. In May. And at any point in between.

When the sun shines, there's nowhere better, except somewhere beautiful that doesn't have those pesky midges in your face all day and night. There are 30 species of midges in Scotland and they are the country's little secret.

old telephone

The list of Scottish inventions and discoveries is nuts. For a start there's the telephone and TV. We use them everyday. We can't imagine life without them. Man, we'd like to sometimes though.

Scotland's given the world loads, not least, whisky. It's probably the only country in the world that is a drink. Yes, Ireland and Japan make amazing whiskies, but you try going into a pub, saying: "I'll have a Japanese on the rocks."

The single malts are ace because the water and the grain here are so special. You can taste the peat, which, okay, maybe doesn't sound that fab. To its many fans though, it is amazing. And the next thing you know you've got your shirt off, you've married a stranger and you're dancing on the table.

Their football team has suffered in recent years from the days when Scotland produced greats like Kenny Dalglish and Denis Law, but they're having a wee revival under Gordon Strachan.

Outside of football, they can give props to Andy Murray, Ricky Burns and Chris Hoy, all kings of their fields.

curling

And don't get them started on the curling. The sport is a rare marriage of stones and brushes, baffling to anyone living in a country where thick ice means: don't leave the house. Both their men and their women have been curling world champions in the last decade. Top brushes, guys.

So let's not feel sorry for the Scots this summer. They'll be having the time of their lives. Unless, the unthinkable happens...

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