What is it about summer that makes Scottish folk go so mental?
If you’ve ever been to Scotland, you will definitely have experienced the strange phenomenon that is a Scottish person in the summertime. Ordinary sour-faced couch potatoes are transformed into happy-go-lucky live-for-the-moment beach bums.
In a country largely devoid of UV rays, the turn of the seasons seems to have an unparalleled effect on residents not documented in more ambient climates. But why do Scottish people react so violently to the arrival of summer?
- Summer comes but once a year. Yes, as it does around the world. BUT, in Scotland the arrival and departure of summertime may be contained in a single day or, in a good year, a week or two during the Easter holidays. This uncertainty gives rise to the necessity for immediate action. Should temperatures rise above 10 degrees at any point during the year, Scottish people are duty bound to remove their clothing and venture outside, spurred on by the real danger that winter could befall them at any time.
- Gingers (hunners ae them). It is well documented that the Scottish population houses a disproportionate number of strawberry blondes. Dubiously-informed sources suggest that this may account for a portion of the irrational behaviour exhibited by Scottish people in the summer months. Also known in some warmer hemispheres as ‘rangers’ or ‘los pelirrojos’ anecdotal evidence suggests that people of auburn pigmentation are inherently prone to sun drastic changes in skin tone and facial changes beyond recognition caused by extreme freckling. Leading anthropologists have suggested that the country’s famous 24-hour summers could be responsible for the historic migration of red-headed tribes to Scotland. Conversely, it could also explain some of the less positive reactions to warmer weather.
- Calories don’t count. Although generally high all year round, consumption of calories in Scotland has been shown to peak in correlation with rising temperatures. It is culturally understood in Scotland that if and when summer arrives there is a temporary embargo on all calories consumed via both food and drink. This intriguing physiological phenomenon is celebrated with the increased consumption primarily of alcoholic beverages, processed meats and wheat based products. It is customary – although by no means necessary – to consume these foods outside where ever possible, in the company of one’s friends and neighbours, whilst also enjoying an ice-pole. Research has shown, however, that when similar behaviours were emulated in other countries, participants experienced significant weight gain as well as social and economic challenges.
It is customary to follow such frivolities with vibrant displays of male dominance, sometimes involving young bucks from the same family or including opposing tribes. Serving both as light entertainment for flushed-skinned party-goers and a right of passage for young laddies, these interactions are often used to mark what is known as ‘home-time’ as the gathering descends into chaos.
If you’re ever in Scotland during the summertime, or know someone who will be, be aware of these colloquial phrases which are a sure fire way of detecting the elusive Scottish summertime.
“Sun’s oot, guns oot!”
“The weather outside is temperate which is ideal for exposing one’s upper body to the sunlight.”
“If you wish not to clothe your torso, the weather today will surely allow it.”
“The inch is pure hoachin’.”
“The entire community has congregated at the local park or green belt area to enjoy the sunshine.”
“Swear doon, I am fuckin’ meltin’.”
“I can honestly say, I am blooming well warm!”
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Suzanne Al-Gayaar is a freelance copywriter, specialising in creating original and readable blog content and digital copy for businesses in a range of sectors.
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