Just found medium.com and posted my first few articles. This is a link to the first one:


And the text is below, but I thoroughly recommend joining medium.com!!

What Have They Done to Scotland?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Scotland and always have. I am half Scottish and half Zimbabwean, but that is another story for another day.

I’ve lived on the west coast and I’ve lived on the east coast. My family – I’m really into history – were Vikings and settled in the Orkneys. When the Orkneys passed to Scotland in the 15th Century, one of my ancestors decided to take the leap to the mainland. They settled in Wick in Caithness, then various sons went to Glasgow to make their fortunes. There are many Oswalds in the southwest of Scotland today. But my grandfather half returned to his roots, marrying someone from near Invergordon with a lovely home looking onto the Black Isle where we went for long visits throughout my childhood.

I returned to Scotland as an adult with a young family, spending five glorious years on the north bank of the Clyde at Helensburgh. Our play area encompassed the beaches of Loch Lomond with its mist and sun in equal proportions, hiding and illuminating, in turn, the steep slopes that seem determined to slide into the water below.

Then we moved to America again and put our memories of sun and shade on hold for a while. This summer we went back, stayed in Ayrshire, an old family base, and re-visited the places we had loved before.

Nothing had changed, except there were many more tourists – a world phenomenon of course – and we were technically part of the tourist mob, although we walked with the air of ownership.

The friendliness was as we remembered it – generous and magnificent. The midgies were not as bad as we feared. The weather was glorious, sun and rain mixing like ingredients for a feast.


So, what is wrong with Scotland? Why this grim question of such a beloved place?


The answer, my friends, is the architecture. We had sort of noticed it before, but now it sank in.


Someone drew a line at one time. Was it 1950, 1970, or somewhere in between? It does not matter much when it was exactly. What matters is that someone drew that line and imposed a rule that all new buildings after that date should be as ugly as possible. Perhaps they wanted the contrast with the beautiful stone-built houses, mansions and cottages alike, of the old Scotland? Maybe they are saying “look at the new Scotland we have created. Isn’t it beautiful in its drabness and dreariness? Is it not wonderful to the eye to see grey concrete wherever you turn? Soon we will go back and tear down each and every one of the old monstrosities and then we will have a new grey Scotland for the sun to try and bounce its fearful rays off.”


That is what they have done with Scotland.




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