“Clouds and doubts” more than “Tunes of Glory”: that’s what Scotland feels like today. The quarrels enlivened by the actors of Ronald Neame’s movie, splendidly shot in the stormy Highlands, have become the peculiar way of life of the Scottish people, now of interest even for the most recent geopsychological studies.
Is there really a connection between the fickleness of the weather and the bizarre results of the last two national referendums? Is there something about landform behind the defeat of the Scottish independent movement, whose goal to separate Scotland from the United Kingdom was mortified on September 2014 by a 55% of votes for the Union? And how the architectural diversities between Scotland and England influenced June 2016’s referendum, finally sanctioning Brexit with 51.9% of the votes?
These are some of the questions posed by a Berliner contributor of the Guardian, noting something that makes any European feeling more at home in Edinburgh than in London: in Scotland people prefer to live in flats on different floors, as it’s used in Europe, while in England single houses built one near the other still prevail. It’s a “visibly conspicuous facet of Scotland’s distinctiveness, which gives it a stronger affinity with continental Europe” confirms Robert Hodgart, an urban geographer and retired lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.
To leave behind the political impasse they’re in, Scottish people maybe should go walking in their country again, trying to observe it through more empathic eyes. Misty, damp valleys, infinite fields; millenary woods and cliffs on the stormy sea: the key to understand the soul and the future of Scotland is there.
The fighting, and torn, nature of the Scots is the result of Scotland’s typical tough weather, of its evocative landscapes nurturing a unique collective imagination, of the shivers that spending a night at the ruins of the isle of Skye gives, of the emotions of a day spent among the alleys made of grey stones in Aberdeen. All true, clear feelings fleeing away like a dim light in the storm.
( 2014 )