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Issue 95 - We've got mail

Scotland Magazine Issue 95
October 2017


This article is 15 months old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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We've got mail

A selection of messages from our readers across the globe

SIR — In the fall of 2003, I began exchanging emails and phone calls with a Glesca gal which led to me visiting Glasgow for two weeks in June 2004 and again for two weeks at Christmas 2004. After that I visited once a year for 29 or 30 days each year for 2005, 2006 and 2007. During that time, I subscribed to Scotland Magazine. I treasured my visits each time for the experiences I had and the people I met.

As I always stayed at my lady friend’s house, I met her friends, relatives and neighbors. I still look back on those times as some of the best I had. I would even get a haircut locally on the main street in Ballieston. My intent was to move there, but alas things fell apart there and here at home. I dropped my magazine subscription and went through hard times with a job loss and selling my home for less than it was worth. Both my mother and father died and I dealt with their inheritances and estate. But now I have a very nice small house (very similar in size to what I have seen in Glasgow), which is paid for and I have retired. I am living on a very modest Social Security income, which means I will never be able to visit Scotland (or anywhere else), which is why I re-subscribed to Scotland Magazine. One should have something to give oneself pleasure in retirement.

When I rst started with the magazine, I wasn’t sure I cared for Roddy Martine but now I always look forward to reading his column. It is more than apparent how much he loves Scotland. I think I share that love.

When I was planning to move to Scotland, I had conversations with family members and they asked many questions. When I mentioned that Scotland’s ower was a thistle, they were appalled. I related the story about Norsemen sneaking up on the Scots at night and crying out in pain as they stepped on the thistles. They didn’t think that was reason enough to make the thistle the national ower. I walked away very defensive. That night was sleepless as I tried to justify the thistle’s position. I thought about everyone I knew in Scotland. They were all good people who had ensured much pain and suffering, but they kept on until they had thrived. Then it hit me: thistles not only grow where other plants to do not, but they thrive! I think the thistle is the perfect ower to represent what I know of the Scots. I’ve always thought that Roddy Martine would agree with me on this. I still await every new issue of the magazine. Sometimes I wish they came monthly — or weekly!

Mr Steven M. Krause, Indiana, USA

Thank you for sharing your story. I certainly agree with you. The Thistle, like the Scots, thrives in spite of adversity and can survive under the most dif cult of circumstances. There is a simple dignity about the ower in its shades of dark pink to purple, yet the prickles caution the stranger to show respect. Thistles have stubborn roots making them dif cult to displace. One thistle, it is said, is capable of producing up to 1,200 seeds — not dissimilar to the astonishing spread and integration of the Scots all over the world. — Roddy


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