Published on 9 Nov 2009

Searching my veins for Scottish blood

I was in Glasgow on Sunday night attending the Scottish BAFTAs.

A very vibrant event it was, adorned by the entire Scots media royal family. I have searched my veins in vain for a single drop of Scots blood, but have found none. But I feel an affinity with the ease, optimism, dynamism even.

Besides my editor is the greatest living Scotsman. Well, he was until last night when I told Jeremy Isaacs, the founding father of Channel 4, that he was.

I described Isaacs as somewhat like the shoe in ‘the Life of Brian’. We are all following it, following the ethos and ideal he established in 1982.

The very fact that we are still doing so twenty years after he left is why I found myself giving him a BAFTA life time achievement award.

In some ways the high spot to this very delightful evening was my return to the Malmaison Hotel for the night.

Stepping out of my taxi at midnight I was accosted by several spirited Scots and induced down to the bar to join a celebration.

I was unsure what awaited me, but upon arrival I was swept up in a vortex of merriment and celebration presided over by none other that the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy – whose poetry I genuinely appreciate.

I had been lured into a celebration of a performance of her work. The voice of my welcoming neighbour on the sofa was hauntingly familiar and turned out to be that of the extraordinary poet Jackie Kay, often to be heard on Radio 4.

I have rarely, if ever felt so spontaneously welcomed into a warmer collective bosom than I was last night by the twenty or so performers and poets collected there.

I almost felt like one of the family.

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8 reader comments

  1. Debra Lake says:

    Dear Jon
    If you do not have any links to Scotland, do be too disappointed because you may have links to the beautiful Isle of Wight.
    I have recently bought a cottage in Bonchurch which was owned by the Snow family for well over a century. Under the floor boards was a letter. It was written by the grandson of (I think) the original owner who dates his ancestry back to the anglo saxons. The letter is amazing and had laid undisturbed for many years.
    Earlier this year in May I walked past you in Shanklin. Given this and and your family name I just wondered if you are connected to this cottage and the Isle of Wight?
    If you are interested I could perhaps copy you the letter.
    Best wishes
    Debra

  2. Ron Broxted says:

    There were Snowdens in Lauderdale in the C17th. Be imaginative, an ancestor lost the “den” suffix and headed south.

  3. Anthony Martin says:

    Wow! The Scots really are hospitable. Seems you’ve had a great time Jon.
    It gets a bit chilly on the ‘ol Haggis’s up there in wee bonny Scotland though!

  4. adz says:

    I know Scotland is a great place to visit but is still on my mundo list. All the Scots i’ve met in my life so far were great fun and full of life.
    Speaking of lives, The Life of Brian is one of my top ten films of all time.
    Glad you enjoyed yourself Jon, you deserved it and you were one of the family because that is how the Scots i’ve met, make you feel.
    I’m off to do some voluntary work in Sri Lanka but will keep a close eye on you blog and Shooting History by the side of my bed.
    adzmundo CND

  5. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    Oh I have been on that trail , my father being an illegitimate son of my grandmother ,who was in service to another class and she then died at an early age.. No traces of the, then scandal revealed itself..Thrown out of Wales a disgraced family.

  6. Saltaire Sam says:

    No one deserves a lifetime achievement award than Jeremy Isaacs. It would be interesting to know what he thinks of TV today. Can’t imagine he’s big on ‘reality’, endless cookery-housebuying-auctions, x-factor and anything else that doesn’t require actual talent

  7. Ewan McIntosh says:

    Good to have you up with us last night, Jon, and only sorry I wasn’t able to join the throngs wishing you well. Another excuse, perhaps, to visit us in Glasgow again!

  8. zenjock says:

    Mmm nothing like a deep fried mars bar and a can of irn bru to cure the hangover.

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