Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Europe Trivia : Scotland

(Or Everything you ever wanted to know about Scotland but were afraid to ask.)

We, here at the European Artfire Guild, are almost as proud of the fact that we are European as we are of being crafty. We know a lot about our own countries, but thought we'd dig up some interesting facts about our homes that, perhaps, are not so well known. Today is the turn of my home, Scotland.

We all know, of course, that the Scots invented whisky, kilts and bagpipes...except we didn't! Sad to say, it looks like the Irish, our Celtic cousins, got there before us and invented whiskey and the kilt, and bagpipes are thought to originate from Central Asia.

Did you know, however, that Scotland has about 5 million inhabitants, about 8.5% of the U.K. population, and has about the same land mass as the Czech Republic, the U.S. State of Maine, or the Japanese island of Hokkaido? Scotland also has around 790 islands, only 130 of which are inhabited.

Scots are famous explorers, soldiers and inventors. Did you know that around 5 million folks in the United States claim Scottish ancestry...and that Scots invented penicillin, tarmac, waterproof raincoats (go figure with our weather), pneumatic tyres and, yes, the world's first cloned sheep, Dolly, to name but a few?

Edinburgh, the county's capital, was the first city in the world with its own Fire Brigade.

Scotland has produced many great artists, writers and performers, and still does today - Robert Burns, Charles Rennie Macintosh, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron (mad, bad and dangerous to know), Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes), Billy Connelly, Sean Connery, Lulu, David Tennant (the best Dr. Who ever), Gerard Butler, James McAvoy, Ewan McGregor !

Whew! (O.K. these pictures weren't strictly speaking necessary, but I enjoyed the research!)

Why don't you come on over and explore for yourselves?


Mary V said...

Beautiful atmospheric photos! Most enjoyable read. I didn't know we Irish had invented the kilt! And I LOVE the fruits of your research; are all male Scots handsome with triangular face, designer beard and short hair?!!
Mary V.

jinx1764 said...

Someday I'll get to visit Europe and Scotland is definitely on my list!

The Sheriff's Daughter said...

Mary...the comely Scotsmen were all hand-picked, especially for the readers' delectation. They are, as Miss Jean Brodie would say, the "Creme de la creme". You'll have to come here to see what the rest are like!

Cat said...

I have a week of Edinburgh planned for this summer :-D I hope the tall guy indeed will be able to go. Hold your thumbs for me!
So interesting facts!

Mary V said...

Well, I did have a friend many years ago from Macduff who fitted the profile...!

LeelaBijou said...

What a fantastic post!

Moonstone said...

great post !! I wonder if here is still hope to own an island one day ...??? so many available ...or are the nature reserves perhaps?

ali bali jewellery said...

Well done on the post about our great country Alison!!!

Silver Soul Design said...

I love Scotland! Just been there once and it rained...a lot! ;)
But I've wanted to go back ever since then..and I will, one day!

David said...

A very interesting post, but totally inaccurate, for the facts on the history of the Scottish kilt please visit

Kind Regards,


The Sheriff's Daughter said...


I am sorry that I may have got my facts wrong about the kilt. No offence intended - I am very proud of being a Scot and just love a man in a kilt!

I stand corected - thanks for the link!


The Sheriff's Daughter said...

..."corrected", even !