Today is election day here in Scotland and, while I know I should be providing insightful political commentary, I am feeling the urge to resist. Rather, let's talk about skin colour. Dangerous territory for a white South African, I hear you say. But I'll live on the edge this once.
The vast majority of Scots start off white. I have seen the babies, I have visited the maternity wards, I know this to be true. Then, as I mentioned in a previous post, they start to walk, are taken to a loch in winter in the buff, and they turn pale blue. For the rest of their natural lives they fluctuate between this hue and a particularly fetching shade of puce I like to call 'Scottish salmon', obtained by their insistence on removing all clothing the second the sun shines.
But in recent years some new colours have been welcomed into the summer spectrum. The first comes to you straight from a bottle. Self tan sales rocket in Scotland in early Spring, painting the town orange in preparation for the summer clothing removal session. I suppose you have to forgive the poor wee souls. They don't get to see too much sun and, therefore, can't reasonably be expected to know that nobody turns that colour naturally.
Then there are those who have visited Spain on holiday and have learnt that while burnt orange is a colour, it's not one that the human body assumes. So they frequent one of the thousands of tanning salons around the country. No high street is without one. They go in pale blue and emerge looking like members of the Jackson family. In the '80s.
And to think they call South Africa the Rainbow Nation!