Last month, in Scotland, people were waving at friends across the way by extending their arms up and forming a hand-puppet shape with their hand. (With the 4 fingers parallel to the ground, at a right angle from the arm, thumb under the fingers. Then the thumb and fingers move apart and back together, to simulate talking, like you'd see the Muppet Kermit talk.) Is this a wide-spread phenomenon in Scotland, or the UK in general? Is it from a TV show, or other cultural segment that hasn't made the jump to the US yet? Or was this a bizarre coincidence to see a few times over the course of a week? (More detail below.) [more inside]
What are some non-party organisations working to unite the progressive left behind an exit process and subsequent deal that will be of greatest benefit to humanity and the environment? [more inside]
Sometime ago I read an argument for European nations - and by extension all nations - to devolve down to more manageble regional sizes, arguing that nations had grown too large and unweidly, and that regions were better suited for self-government in transational frameworks - think of an EU with Occitania, Liguria, and Bavaria etc., instead of France, Italy and Germany. The autor was I think Brit, maybe Scottish, possibly a MeFite. Ring any bells? [more inside]
Can you help me understand the citizenship application process for a US citizen with a parent who was a UK citizen at the time of my birth? (With some extra questions about Scotland and the EU...) [more inside]
The UK voting for Brexit has turned my 'I'd like to live in Scotland someday' to 'if there's even a whiff of independence I'm am definitely moving up there - back up plan = Canada'. So where are recommended places to move to? [more inside]
We have 9-10 hours to spend in Scotland around Inverness (arriving in Invergordon). We are interested in seeing some beautiful Scottish highland scenery. We are interested in suggestions for routes to take to see the most dramatic scenery, and what would be some worthwhile local sights/castles/picturesque villages to see. We have heard about the road from Durness to Ullapool, but are not sure if there is time for that. We do not have a car but might be able to hire a driver. Thank you for any help!
Campervanning family holiday in Scotland in early May. Yay! I've googled like mad and bought a guide book, but what's really worth seeing? And what aren't they telling me? In other words: what less obvious things, places, foods, sweets, experiences, etc. would you recommend? This is free form, anything goes. [more inside]
I'm doing a solo UK trip in mid-May and plan to spend a week in Scotland. One of my Scot friends suggested I do a guided bus/coach tour with other tourists to catch the highlights. Please recommend some good companies providing such tours. [more inside]
Lots of things are damp in Edinburgh, but I'm being quoted £6K to fix a damp problem in a flat I'm looking to buy. Standard advice seems to be to get a survey done by an independent surveyor who won't then try to sell a remedy, but I can't find one. [more inside]
Help me come up with gift ideas for two lovely Scottish lasses that I can order online. They are 14 and 8, and I've not seen them in years and have no idea what they are interested in (I know...) or what's cool for girls their ages or what's cool in Scotland! [more inside]
We want to travel by car around Northern England and Scotland just after the new year (Jan 8-16) for a vacation/holiday. Where should we go given the Xmas/NY/Hogmanay holidays are just finished and weather might be…changable? One Brit, One American, mid 40s, likes culture, nature, art, off-the-wall stuff. [more inside]
How can I get an entry-level position as a data scientist? Or at least an interview? How do I get in front of prospective employers? I’m in the West of Scotland. [more inside]
Next week it'll be ten years since Mr Bookish and I started dating. Somehow it feels like my go-to gift ideas are not an option for this momentous event - and I am notoriously bad at thinking of gifts anyway. Help me out here. [more inside]
Looking for tips and advice for attending the final day of the Open Championship at St Andrews in July. [more inside]
After years of scrimping and saving, we are contemplating a trip abroad in the fall. However, small budget means we have to figure out what to visit and how. Please help us figure out the last potential vacation overseas for the next decade or so! [more inside]
I'm seeking pretty much what it says on the tin: books that are about medieval and early modern British history, especially anything about Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Non-fiction preferred, well sourced fiction okay. [more inside]
I have obtained a birth record from Inverness, Inverness-shire Scotland from April 1824. I can read it all except the following word at the beginning: "Donald Chisholm (Farmer, "XXXX") It could be a farm, burg, town, street or something else. Any ideas? Thanks!
Is there an equivalent to NPR's Election Party that I could keep an eye on while the UK returns cone in tonight? [more inside]
In preparation for our upcoming trip, I want to immerse myself in delicious fiction set in Scotland. [more inside]
My wife and I are planning a two-week trip to Scotland in early July. Our base will be Edinburgh but we plan a couple of nights in the Lake District (a family link) and then have 10 or so days in Scotland. Interested in hearing from people who have been there recently, what you have done (and avoided). Any advice would be welcome. [more inside]
If all goes well, we'll be in the Glasgow area around May 16th finishing off a week long Scottish vacation. I'd like to watch a live football game and (outside of a LFC vs Palace ticket appearing via genie wish) it seems the Scottish Premiership is my best bet. However, there are complications. [more inside]
Taking the chirren (3 and 10 months at the time) for 19 days in Scotland, and wondering how to handle the logistics. Is a campervan a good idea? [more inside]
Planning another trip, which means it’s time for another AskMe. This time: Glasgow (with a side trip to Edinburgh)… [more inside]
Where can I get a PSU unit for a ResMed CPAP in a hurry in Edinburgh? The sole UKsupplier is in London and now shut until the New Year, and there's no post anyway. Nobody seems to be answering the phones at my London clinic or the Edinburgh equivalents. PSU is custom and has non-srandard connectors: hacking an alternative seems a non-srarter. [more inside]
Next summer, I have 4 free travel days, between St Andrews, Scotland and Liverpool, England. What should I do with those days? [more inside]
My wife lives in a rented apartment in Edinburgh. For several weeks, she's heard dripping in her bedroom intermittently, but didn't really think much of it, until last night, when she woke up to a soaked carpet. [more inside]
A few weeks ago I came across a series of online photos of the Scottish countryside. It was a borrowed laptop so I can't search the history. I'm hoping the Mefi detectives can help me. [more inside]
I'm hoping to follow the Scottish Independence Referendum returns live as we do here in America for our big elections. Does anyone know where someone in the USA could watch as the counts come in? (Does this even happen over there, making a night of it?)
Hello, could someone please point me to any recent thinking/speculation on what would happen to the UK parliament in the event of a win for the Yes campaign next week? [more inside]
I recently found out that I'm not the only red sheep in my otherwise right-wing family. Apparently my great-grandmother was good pals with James Maxton and some of the other Scottish socialists of the day. I'm looking for book recommendations about Maxton and Red Clydeside in general.
We've got until 1:45pm tomorrow in Edinburgh. I feel like we've hit most of the obvious sights. What else should we do? [more inside]
My wife and I are visiting Scotland in late June, and would love to see working sheepdogs. I've read a lot about Leault Farms, of course, but are there any others where the public can watch the dog(s) as they herd sheep (or ducks, or whatever)?
We'd like to have a small, lovely wedding on the grounds or in the gardens of a Scottish castle. The internet leads me down a sweaty, confusing little rabbit hole. [more inside]
We'd like to spend a week each in Orkney and Shetland this (late August/early September). We love bikes, photography, historical monuments/museums. What are we not thinking of/what would you recommend? [more inside]
My spouse and I are interested in living in the UK next summer. We'd like to stay for three months, and we're looking for ideas on where to live and how to approach organizing this visit. [more inside]
My mother and I have planned a somewhat last-minute trip to Scotland and we just discovered the Carols at the Castle event at Stirling Castle on the 15th. It is, of course, wildly popular and already sold out. Where might an enterprising couple of ladies manage to find tickets from those who have purchased them but no longer want/can use them? In the US I'd look on Craigslist for something like this, but that doesn't seem to be a popular option here in the UK. Gumtree hasn't given me anything either. Any way for us to track them down, or is it a sadly lost cause?
So last time I was in the UK I asked about day hikes outside of London. This time, I'm looking for day hikes in the Scottish Highlands... and I'm even more overwhelmed. [more inside]
Is there a recording online or perhaps on CD of Ticonderoga, Robert Louis Stevenson's ballad about a curse on a Scottish highlander that is realized years later during a battle of the French and Indian War? [more inside]
I'm visiting Scotland in a month, and my cheapo Tracfone US cell phone will not work in the UK. I understand there are various inexpensive pay-as-you-go options for mobile phones -- tell me about the best balance between cheap, good coverage, and not totally garbage. I don't need or want a smart phone, and I don't want to unlock my Tracfone and put in a UK sim (I mention these two things because countless travel forums I have Googled derail uselessly into discussions of those two areas). I just want something super-basic and really cheap that will work in the Highlands, Skye, and Islay to call ahead to B&Bs and make restaurant reservations with. Thanks!
Asking for a friend: Older American couple is visiting London for the first time. They're having a hard time figuring out travel agencies / DIY internet bookings. Can you make some recommendations? [more inside]
Because we're probably going to be in Scotland long enough to not only see Islay and Isle of Skye but also return via eastern Scotland (Inverary, Loch Ness, St Andrews maybe, and Edinbugh), I'm looking for similar great tips to those people offered in my earlier AskMe. Thanks, all.
This fall we're hoping to visit Scotland for a couple weeks, possibly either the last two weeks of September or last week of September / first week of October. We'd like to rent a car and drive from Glasgow, ideally visiting both Islay and the Isle of Skye. Looking for tips about weather / clothing / other preparations that would be appropriate, as well as tips for an experienced American driver (licensing, insurance, etc.) who's never driven abroad before but wants to drive in Scotland. Also, since I assume we'll need to make ferry reservations to get to Islay, I'd appreciate insider info on that. Specific tips about must-see or must-visit locales and sights in western Scotland would of course also be greatly appreciated.
A friend of mine has expressed an interest in spending 10 days in Scotland and Wales toward the end of August. However, she has no idea what she wants to see in either! I lived briefly in London and have traveled around England, but have never been to Wales and haven't been to Scotland beyond a long weekend in Edinburgh and Glasgow. What should we do? What can't we miss? What's the best way to organize the trip? [more inside]
I am an American moving to Edinburgh soon from the Netherlands, and I want to begin speaking with a solicitor about what steps I need to take to prepare to purchase a home within the next year (or even sooner if possible). I need someone who has experience working with foreigners. I want to work with someone who is knowledgeable and a straightforward communicator. A personal recommendation from someone with prior experience buying or selling in Scotland would be helpful. Any agencies or individuals that you had a good experience with?
We’re moving to Edinburgh in the fall. We’re terribly excited, and have dozens of questions, so please answer as many or few as you feel like. Our special snowflake details are inside. [more inside]
My daughter is interested in studying abroad in Edinburgh for the equivalent of her 10th grade year (fourth year in Scotland). She has an open invitation to live with family friends in Edinburgh. However, there is zero information on how we can do this without help from an official exchange student program. The internets is no help. What are the steps we need to go through to make this happen? [more inside]
For some reason I really like contemporary music (indie rock, pop, alternatives etc.) featuring vocalists with very heavy Scottish accents (I like Scottish traditional folk too) and I am looking for more to listen to. Some of my current favorites are Arab Strap (and the solo Malcolm Middleton), The Twilight Sad, Frightened Rabbit, King Creosote, and Admiral Fallow. [more inside]
I'm helping a friend start up a small guided tour company and am looking for ideas to market it. [more inside]
My family will be spending 10 days road tripping through Scotland in May. There will be four adults (myself, my husband, and my retired parents), and one 18 month old toddler. What towns will work best as bases for exploring surrounding areas? [more inside]
We are headed to the UK in late July and plan to go to Scotland for about 9 days in early August. I just realized that Edinburgh will be in the midst of its festival season in August and my partner is now thinking maybe it will be unbearably crowded and expensive, and we should avoid it on this trip. Is Edinburgh doable in August if you don't particularly like crowds? Are there ways to lessen the pain? [more inside]