Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Stop on Scotland Street

It rained this morning, and I made scones. So even though technically I read 44 Scotland Street and Espresso Tales last week, it seemed an appropriate time to blog about them. I would have blogged earlier, since I did enjoy them quite a lot, but the time just wasn't there. But my dear friend who is staying the week with me is sitting on the couch doing grad work and my husband is not yet home from work, so here I am.

Much like today jogged my memory about the 44 Scotland Street series, so did Alexander McCall Smith remind me of my own brief time in Scotland (eloquent, eh?). I spent four days in Scotland in the spring of 2007, two days for Edinburgh and two days for Glasgow, from which was stolen half a day for Loch Lomond. That's how I traveled back then. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and, well, mostly a little ridiculous. I hit the high points and moved on. Not that there weren't quiet moments to slow down and think, but it was about Doing and not Being. So I'm really enjoying reading McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series (I say "reading" as I'm planning to pick up the last of the series sometime next week).

Written originally as a serialized novel (one that can be printed a chapter per newspaper edition), the 44 Scotland Street series is pithy and full of flavour. Highly character driven, there's just the right amount of plot to make the reader wanting more at the end of each chapter, so its a quick read. I also just really enjoyed hearing McCall Smith's thoughts on art, relationships, modernity, parenting, and, yes, even globalization. Almost as much as I enjoyed imagining some of the more annoying male characters in kilts. There's just something satisfying about that. But mostly, it was just nice to Be in Scotland, to drink its tea, walk its cobbled streets, and, this time, feel no need to share in its haggis.

Marian made the mistake of leaving her blog, i proofed this for her, and now, I am posting this for her.  And she is glaring at me with a knife in her hand and she looks very very angry.  But, I still LOVE her :)


  1. The blog post is itself very satisfying :) And the postscript, equally so. Good teamwork :P

  2. I love this series. I laughed all summer long. :)