It began with an accidental birth ... My paternal grandmother, Alfreda, was "accidentally" born in Scotland. Her parents, Florence and Alfred, had ventured from their home in Cornwall, England to Edinburgh in 1917 so Alfred could look for work in the docklands there. Florence went into labour early.
Being born in Scotland (at least at that time) did not automatically make you a Scottish citizen. Babies were given their mother's nationality, so on her birth certificate, Alfreda was officially listed as "Welsh".
But Alfreda spent her entire lifetime telling everyone she was a proud Scot, that she was born in Scotland, and loved everything Scottish, including the bagpipes and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
And so almost 100 years later, on the eve of what would have been my grandmother's 99th birthday, (she had passed away a few years earlier), I finally made it to Scotland and stood on the doorstep of the place where she was born, in the country that she called "home".
I could never have imagined how hard I would fall in love with Scotland.
There is something absolutely magical there ... from its stunning landscapes, strong and proud people, architecture and history, glorious sunsets ... it was spectacular ... and I can't wait to go back someday.