Oh Scotland. I wish I had landed on your rustic and craggy ground. I meant to, back in the day when I traveled to England to sink myself into the British world. It was on my to-do list, heading up by train to walk your ancient streets and taste your meaty haggis… To drink your gin and dwell in your stormy wind…
Okay, now it’s getting a little steamy in here as I wax poetic about the country that wants to detach itself from the UK. Becoming a separate nation makes it seem like it will be the Canada of Great Britain, taking with it the history of great writers and artists..
Scotland has its poetry and writers such as Robert Burns, J.M. Barrie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to name a few. With all the talk of Scotland’s hope for independence from the UK, it brought me back to my days of old. It reminds me of my obsession with Sherlock Holmes portrayed by the ITV/Granada incarnation that Jeremy Brett brought to life. His manic depressive energy worked wonders, with his trusty Watson, played by two actors – David Burke and Edward Hardwicke – by his side.
Brett’s version famously pre-dates the equally fantastic Cumberbatch version of the grand master sleuth on Sherlock. Yet, I was besotted with Brett and his living, breathing enactment of Holmes. So much so, that back in the 90’s, my passion for this curious literary creature (touched by Brett) drove me to train it up to Manchester to visit the Granada Studios where they filmed the Brett version years before.
I walked within the fake Baker Street set, which was sadly made into a tourist sight. Then, strangely enough (to an American), I toured the Coronation Street set where they filmed their legendary soap opera at the time. (I presume they are still filming there). Apparently, there’s a famous childrens show called ‘Sooty’ that made a big splash for the British sightseers. It suppose Sooty was equivalent to our Cookie Monster, so I went along with stories about the local kids telly sweetheart. Besides, it was just also nice to hang out in the northern town’s grey rain, and soak in the atmosphere of melancholy that had so inspired Morrissey and The Smiths.
Manchester is the closest I ever got to Scotland. I’m fascinated by the changes a possible break away will do for Great Britain and its’ people. I have visions of Mel Gibson in facial warpaint on the brain, metaphorically fighting the fight of the Scots to remain singular.
As an American with Anglo comedy and music interests as an avocation (Beatles, Fry & Laurie, French & Saunders, Graham Norton…), comments about Scotland’s hope for independence is way beyond my purview. But it’s damn interesting to see what will happen if it becomes real.
Just a thought for the day.