This past weekend, I had a wedding to attend up in Scotland. Ian's cousin got married in Aboyne, about 40 miles outside of Aberdeen.
(Hi, by the way. How are things? And your family? Good good.)
This wedding was well timed, since it taught me a few things ahead of my own wedding (feed people early and often, especially if you plan to give them free wine, take off your heels before the traditional dancing, everybody loves meat) but it also taught me one additional, invaluable lesson. A lesson which I feel I must pass on to you all.
Don't go to Scotland in the summer.
To be fair, don't go to the parts of Scotland that are slightly inland from the coast, but not too far North, where there is standing water. But just to be safe? I'd avoid Scotland all together.
You see, in Scotland they have these things called midges. Everyone from Scotland complains about the midges. Avon Skin So Soft sells like mad as a possible miracle repellent, which works some of the time but not always. Oddly enough, this was the same thing Skin So Soft was used for in Wisconsin when I was a kid. What is that stuff actually meant to do?
But when you ask a Scot to describe midges they'll often say "they're kind of like gnats." And...honestly? You need a bug repellent to get rid of...something that's kind of like gnats? I mean, they're annoying, yes. They swarm all around you and fly in your drink and make you feel itchy and generally suck. But gnats? Really?
The thing most Scots won't mention, because it doesn't even occur to them that you won't know, is that midges bite. "Come on now" you're thinking. "They're the size of gnats. How bad could the bites really be?"
So, yeah. Pretty bad. And this is 5 days on. I must also say, that this? Not the worst part of my body for bites. But the others are not for public consumption. Either that or they're too hard for me to photograph by myself. Have you ever tried to take a picture of your own right arm when you're right handed and ridiculously pale? Not so easy.
Honest to goodness, bug bites made me take a day off work on Tuesday. Ok, it was the fact that I took too many anti-histimines and couldn't stay concious (really should read those directions). But still! Missed day of work! Bugs the size of gnats! What the hell is wrong with you Scotland!
And don't even make me go into the fact that our B&B didn't include the second B because the owner was a jackass who didn't like the fact that we were, you know, young and having fun. Which meant insanely hung over in the middle of nowhere where nothing else is open on a Sunday, with 40 miles of winding hilly roads until food could be found. Which led to me throwing up all over the UK. On the 4th of July. Fitting really.