Since June 1, 2009 we have published 890 articles about Scotland and the talented people who give us reasons to be proud of our country and ourselves. But a lot has changed in two years.
I have made many new friends and I have been fortunate enough to meet and spend time with some of my heroes because of Dear Scotland. It has been a fantastic experience and if you have 30-60 minutes a day to spare, then I highly recommend ‘blogging’ about your passions.
I will be forever indebted to our contributors around the World, many of whom I have never actually met, who do what they do simply because they love it. Special thanks to Vic Galloway, Alec Downie, Billy Williamson and Alistair Braidwood who have produced dozens of original articles on music, football, films and books that deserve to reach a bigger audience than Dear Scotland could ever provide.
To Matthew Young, Peenko, Saba, Colin Campbell and Swatpaz, who have allowed me to pilfer their own websites for articles on a regular basis, I promise that one day I will repay your passion and generosity with something more than an embedded link. I could not have done this without you. To Kenny, Len and the Wee Man – likewise.
I rarely write from a personal perspective, but the thing is that two years ago, when I started Dear Scotland, I was living in New York City, and my wife and I were finalizing plans to relocate back to Scotland. I had a romantic notion that Dear Scotland could act as a bridge that would help expat Scots connect with contemporary Scotland. At the same time it could be a bridge that would help to bring me home.
As 2009 slid along, and certain doors in Scotland that were once open began to close, it became apparent to me that my personal Scottish homecoming would be impossible, and so in early 2010 we decided to return to Austin, Texas. One day we might well return to Scotland, but for now I have accepted that my home is abroad. Working on Dear Scotland has helped make that realization easier.
It has been said that blogs need to post regular articles for up to two years before they will become established. Well, as of today, we’ve achieved that. But now I’m going to have a wee break. Until the last few weeks, Dear Scotland had never gone a day without publishing an article. Indeed, a lot has changed in two years.
As I said, two years ago we were looking into finding jobs and houses in Scotland. Two years ago, I hadn’t just started my own business here in Austin. Two years ago, my wife and I were not expecting our first wean.
And now, I don’t honestly think that I’ll have that 30-60 minutes a day.
I’ve been working with the people at Songkick to develop a better listing of all the Scottish international gigs, and one that is more manageable for me. We now have that and I’ll continue to update it regularly.
Vic will continue to highlight a Scottish international gig, but he will do it monthly rather than weekly. Alastair will continue his brilliant reviews of Scottish literature once a month and there will also be regular articles from Billy on Scottish football and on Scotland in the Gloaming. They probably just wont be every day.
Alistair, Peenko and Matthew will also continue to set the standard for passionate writing on their respective blogs and Swatpaz will one day win an Academy Award for animation. Alec Downie has also returned ‘home’ to Austin. I encourage everyone to seek them out and say hello.
Finally, to everyone that has taken the time to read one of our articles, to make a comment, retweet a link, give me abuse, or even just send me a spam email, thank you for two very entertaining years.