Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'll awa hame tae ma tatties

I have recently become hooked on the tv crime series Rebus, taken from Ian Rankin's books (one of which I have also just started reading). Me being me, I didn't just accept this new found interest but began to think instead...why am I interested in watching this show, and, to a lesser degree, the similar Taggart? Why are we interested in watching crime shows at all, or reading true crime books? There is the classic whodunnit element of course, but is it also that characters like Rebus are living lives we would never want to actually lead - investigating horrible crimes, never seeming to sit down to a good, square meal or sleep peacefully in their beds - but which we are happy to vicariously lead through tv shows? Is it perhaps even the location? I have never been to Scotland - I would love to go - but the mean streets of Edinburgh that Rebus paces are not streets we actually have to (or want to) walk down. We can rest back on our sofas and watch him do it. Is there an essential 'Scottishness' to the show, just as I imagine there are certain unique aspects of Scandinavia in Denmark's The Eagle, which I mentioned a little while ago, and which I believe you can definitely see in Austria's Inspector Rex and Stockinger. Parts of the landscape that write themselves into the story.

Further to this I have also been enjoying A History of Scotland, hosted by one of those charismatic tv historians, Neil Oliver (and I mean no disrespect here - I spent 10 years trying to make history sound interesting to university students - anyone who can do it gets my vote!) Such a beautiful, beautiful place! Yet another one to add to my holiday wish-list. Has anyone been there? Are there any Scots out there reading this blog? My husband's surname suggests that long, long ago his forebears were from Scotland, but he has no real interest in it. My suggestion that he wear a kilt in his clan tartan to our wedding fell on deaf ears :)

So, as a stereotyped homage to all this, now that the weather here has cooled down here, I am going to bake some Christmas goodies from Ena Baxter's Scottish Cookbook this is the land of shortbread afterall. But, as with all cultural bower-birds, I pick and choose. There will be no haggis.


Wurst Semmel said...

I have been to Scotland. It's absolutely beautiful, as are the people. Definitely put it on your to do list - Wales also though.

I'm Scottish descent, although born in England, with a little bit of Irish thrown in to mix it up.

Feronia said...

When I go 'North' next year, I am thinking of heading to the UK as well, actually. I am of Irish and English descent but there's no Scots that I know's the accent that gets me!

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Hey Mummy loves History!!! Really she duzz! She haz so menny histry books. Sheez allways reedin an re-reedin them. She just finisht wun abowt "disease in the Stuart court" OH GOOD GREEF!!! Reed sumthing mor cheerful, Mummy!

So she duzz- she reeds Rebus novels!!! Altho she prefers Inspector Dalgliesh novels (PD James) as they ar set in Norfolk an Suffolk, neer us.

Taggart is weird cos Mr Taggart dies yeers ago but they still call it Taggart. We do impreshuns ov them- "Thar'z bin a mud'dah"

I've ownly been to Edinburgh an Fife, but Mummy haz been all up the left hand side, an went gliding arownd Arglyle an over the Isle ov Mull wen she stayd in Oban. Kwite cool, that. That waz wen she waz yung.

(Wy dident she adopt me wen she was yung?)

Feronia said...

It is funny, isn't it Bob, how there is no Taggart but the show is still called Taggart... Sounds like your Mummy reads some good books - has she read Neil Oliver's A History of Scotland? I saw it in the shops today. And gliding? Wow -how cool is that!