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