The Suitcase Lady


September 23, 2014, 9:34 pm

The vote is in, and the Scots have decided to keep the United Kingdom united. Whichever way the vote had gone, my husband (Clan MacGregor) and I (Bohemian) remain committed to seeing Scotland someday. An impediment has prevented travel there thus far.  More on that later.

Since I have no first hand knowledge of the country, my impressions are all gleaned from second hand sources,  mainly books.

My mother read Robert Burns’ poems to me as a child. These lines and others are a permanent part of my poetic memory:

O, wad some Power the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as others see us!

Gorgeous, picture-filled books on the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret MacDonald, have fueled my desire to see Edinburgh and Glasgow. These leaders of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland created buildings, furniture and textiles of unsurpassed elegance. I want to see what remains.


And then there is Alexander McCall Smith, one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all his Isabel Dalhousie books which are set in Edinburgh, so I’ve  seen the city through her (his) eyes. The entire Scottish Travel Bureau could not have done a better sales job than Mr. Smith.

My husband and I are ardent travelers who love to rent a small car and simply explore new places. We have no timetables or fixed agendas. But we both  know that a rambling, carefree road trip in Scotland would completely lack the carefree part. Driving on the left side of the road takes full concentration for us lifetime right hand side drivers. We proved this point on a two by seven mile island in the Turks and Caicos, a left side driving place. We were there for a wedding and had some spare time to wander. Fortunately, the car we rented was already a wreck. We were headed out of the rental car lot and noticed the attendant frantically waving at us……we were headed for the wrong lane. Things did not get easier. I always knew when my husband was about to make a turn; the windshield wipers would turn on.

Scotland is still in our future, but it will be on foot, train or bus.


Our cat, MacGregor

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