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In The Blood

This was actually a post I wrote a few months ago and lost.  Finally found it…so here we go!

Part of my workout routine involves a brief stint on my mini stair stepper (it lives under my desk at work), during which I watch instant stream movies and TV on Netflix.  Because I’m only going for 8-10 minutes at a stretch, it often takes me almost a week to get through an episode of something.  Which is fine.  If the story’s good, then I actually almost look forward to exercising to earn the next installment.  What I’ve recently started watching is Monarch of the Glen, a Scottish TV drama I used to catch episodes of when I was living in Edinburgh.  Netflix has it from the beginning, so I’m going back to get the actual story.  The basic premise, according to the Netflix summary is:

This popular BBC series, inspired by the novels of Compton Mackenzie, traces the adventures of Archie MacDonald, a London hipster-restaurateur summoned back to his Highland home, Glenbogle, to care for his sick father. Faced with an estate riddled with mounting losses, the city boy stays on — at least until the muddled mess can be sorted out.

I’ve only just finished the first episode–enough to be introduced to the main characters and the set up, none of which were strangely outstanding, but which leave me intrigued enough to keep watching.  But what I was left with after the viewing was a bone-deep homesickness for Scotland.

I’m not Scottish (though my forebears somewhere back on the family tree were), and I only lived there for a few months while studying at the University of Edinburgh.  But I swear that place is in my blood.  The moment I touched down I felt a strange sense of homecoming I’d never had for Mississippi.  As silly as it may sound to say it, Scotland called to me.  Not just the history and the rich possibility of stories rooted in local myth and legend.  Not just the mouth watering sexiness of a burly Highlander in a kilt and full regalia (if you think it’s a skirt, you’ve never seen it properly).  Something in me recognized that country and its people as somehow mine.

It took me years to get over it when I came home.  I never really adopted the accent when I was there, but I picked up the cadence and the slang–which took me at least a year to lose when I came back stateside.  People kept looking at me funny knowing that I was somehow talking funny, but they couldn’t put a finger on how.  And they kept wondering why I said “Cheers!” when I meant “Thanks.”

The homesickeness hits every year about this time because it’s when I moved over there.  And watching all the gorgeous hill country and rivers and forests of Glen Bogle (the estate in the show, which is set in the Highlands), it strikes me with a longing so fierce that it hurts my heart.

Unless I somehow miraculously become the next Stephanie Meyer, it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to move back (we’d have to be able to afford to fly back and forth to the States to visit family and right now we can’t even afford to fly over for a vacation).  So I’m relegated to visiting in books and movies and TV and basking in my husband’s perfectly feigned Scottish accent.

Do you have a home of the heart that’s not where you’re from or live?

8 thoughts on “In The Blood

  1. I am so going to have to check that show out. I spent a month in Scotland, traveling the entire length of it, and absolutely fell in love with it.

    Left you a Sunshine Award on my blog!

  2. Anywhere in the UK 🙂 I had a Scottish teacher in first grade and, since I can’t remember when my love affair/obsession/calling with/for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales started, it’s convenient to blame her. I don’t know what it is. My dad used to say ‘if the s*** was British, you’d love it.’ And he was right – I’d give anything a chance, books, music, movies, tv shows, etc. if I found out it was from the isles.
    I’ve even got a riddle!
    England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales;
    monkeys, rats and wiggletails.
    Spell that with only four letters.

  3. I, too, attended the University of Edinburgh (not for long enough), and I too miss the city. I’d go back in an instant if it were at all economically feasible. I miss the smell, among many, many other things.

  4. My home of the heart is my home of the body, too. Unlike all you fine (but unlucky) people, I’m Scottish. And still live here.

    I tell people on-line all the time that Scotland is the best country in the world. They think I’m being racist or patriotic or something. I’m not. It’s true. And anyone who visits realizes that.

    Cheers.

  5. Just outside Falkirk, which isn’t the best place but is within spitting distance of everywhere good. I go to college in Edinburgh.

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