Thanks, all of you, for your kind wishes on the loss of our cat. As all pet owners know, she may only have been a cat but she was part of the family nonetheless. We now have to decide whether to get another one, in the fullness of time. I suspect we will: Husband and I have always had at least one cat since 1988 and can't really imagine going for very long without a small furry person getting under our feet.
On a lighter note, Husband was mooching around on the internet recently and noticed that the website for the Scottish Parliament (or "Numptorium" as it is often called around here) has versions in different languages. No surprises there - you can read the site in inter alia English, Gaelic, Polish, French, German, Italian and, rather impressively, BSL. The interesting bit is that the website has also been translated into Scots.
Now, I know that there is a small but vocal community trying to preserve Scots, and I kind of like the fact that there are some brilliant Scots words which definitely deserve to be kept alive. But really, is there anyone nowadays for whom Scots is a first......language?.......dialect? I always thought the point of making translations of official documents was to ensure that critical information was made available to you in a language you understood fully, in your first language. In fact, the website itself makes that point: "We want tae mak siccar that as mony folk as possible can finn oot aboot the Scottish Pairlament. Information anent whit we can dae tae help ye engaige wi the Pairlament gin ye arenae fluent in English can be haen at Langage assistance providit by the Scottish Pairlament (28.5KB pdf)."
Now, I am as patriotic as the next person (unless the next person happens to be Robbie the Pict, but are they seriously suggesting that there is anyone in Scotland today for whom Scots is their first language? To the extent that communication in English or, at a pinch, Gaelic, would be ineffectual? Really? Or is it, as I suspect, that they are making a quasi-political point and some poor soul has had to sit and translate the Parliament's "wabsite" (I mean "WABSITE" for Pete's sake! The World Wide Wab!) into Scots just so they can say they have done it. In other words they have created a fun curiosity rather than an essential service.
That said, it is a laugh and I thoroughly recommend a wee wander round it. (Did you know that the UK Parliament is based in Lunnon, for example?)