Sunday, February 17, 2013

'Braveheart of the buffet' finds kilt in family's closet

Image from fellow blogger The Bagpiper.

THE adage refers to "skeletons" in the family closet but a sibling's research found a kilt in ours. Scottish genes must be strong. Noted through history for austerity, the Scots seem to have had quite some influence over me. Thank goodness I found out before I cut open another toothpaste tube. A mate has recalled a dispute or two or three over shared restaurant bills and disparaged my mental notes on those who hogged expensive dishes (and they weren't haggis).
PLAIN packaging on supermarket shelves has been like the call of the bagpipes. And now I understand my childhood fascination with Scrooge McDuck in the Disney cartoons and why I have such deep respect for an elderly mate who buys new tyres one year before he puts them on his car.
WITHOUT actually trying the tyre method I can understand his rationale: the rubber hardens during the interim, making the tyre more durable. A tyre expert has debunked the theory, saying harder rubber would in fact wear quicker, but my mate swears by the practice. After all, he is a Scot. A recent television documentary about the highland warrior known as Braveheart topped the ratings in my household, and some predictable links are now in my web browser. It takes some courage to write that much information about the Scots is available – free – on the internet.
A US site,, lists profound Scottish proverbs: A fool may earn money, but it takes a wise man to keep it; a full purse never lacks friends; never marry for money – ye'll borrow it cheaper; a penny saved is a penny gained; and money is flat and meant to be piled up. Such sentiments must explain why the change pocket on my jeans is never big enough for a coin-grabbing clinch of thumb and forefinger.
ALL this ticked over in my mind during my storm season clean-up as I waterblasted everything except the family dog and oiled every board of unpainted timber. No.1 on my conscience was the indignity over a certain retail outlet seeming to 'hide' the linseed oil that is cheaper than the specialist decking-oil products. One would think that all such products would be displayed together but I always have to hunt for the linseed oil, which is so far away I need a McGregory's directory to get back to the checkout. How does all this relate to classified advertising? Well, the Classifieds are a great place to make and save money, and today I simply acknowledge many Scots in the readership.

 This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

FOOTNOTE: A critic has commented at

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