Having failed to make it back to the land of my birth in this, my 50th year, I am determined to make the pilgrimage during 2009.
I am emboldened by the fact that this year is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, which has spawned Homecoming Scotland, an initiative to encourage ex-pat Scots, or those of Scottish descent, to visit.
We're currently in the planning stages, alternately poring over maps, CalMac ferry timetables, campsite guides and travel books, planning a meandering route which will hopefully take in Argyll, the Southern Hebrides, and a chunk of the Highlands.
Small dog is extremely enthusiastic, especially as on the way back down south, we will be visiting her county of choice.........Yorkshire. I have pointed out to her that the original Yorkshire Terrier was known as the "Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier" whose intended purpose was the catching of rats and other vermin that lived in small spaces, so it wouldn't be stretching the point to suggest that she too is returning to the homeland of her ancestors.
In any event, in order to enter fully into the spirit of the trip, she is being allowed a brand new collar, which naturally, has to be tartan. The jury is out on which tartan would be most appropriate, but I'm leaning towards either Douglas (geddit?) or Barclay Hunting Tartan.
Apparently there is a real tartan called 'Spirit of Yorkshire' so maybe that would kill two birds with one stone. It claims to "celebrate the beauty of Yorkshire and recognise the hard work, determination and enterprise of its people." No mention of the dog but the implication is clearly there.
Not only are there an infinite number of invented tartans, it is possible to have just about anything made from them............
Alternative amusing and/or appropriate suggestions for suitable doggy tartans gratefully received.....on a virtual postcard please.