Made in Scotland, Billy Connolly
There's something about Billy Connolly that's always made him a leading light in how to cope with the highs and lows of life. Whether it's pointed instruction on learning how to swear at those awful people who knock on your door flogging their brand of religion, through to assurances that nobody, anywhere needs to wear beige, Billy is older than us, he's lived a hell of a life and he's learnt a few things along the way.
Thanks to Billy's advice, ever since hitting my 50's I've never let a loo stop go by, I've always been a fan of the correct clothes when it's cold (the truism sort of holds when it's stinking hot), and I've laughed over the years at his live shows, his TV appearances and any chance I can get. MADE IN SCOTLAND is a typical ramble around through his life, warts and all. From young boy in the tenaments of Glasgow to welder to folk musician and ultimately comedian. His wisdom and life experience shines through, his approach to life in the face of Parkinson's Disease - the whole kit and caboodle is, once again, packed full of lessons on the opportunities we all have to live a good life. And laughs, as you'd expect, many laughs.
After finishing MADE IN SCOTLAND, I'm now obsessed with pockets, I'm in 100% agreement about the importance of libraries, and I'm well aware that as we get older, things get dafter. Sure there's a bit of the same territory here that was covered in the books already written by his wife, although he admits he might have fibbed a bit on a few things in those, but doesn't matter, more from Billy is never too much. I love his take on life even more and luckily the narrator of the audio version of this book, Gordon Kennedy, had just the right accent as the icing on the cake. (By the way - make sure you read the blurb of this one.)
All roads lead home.
‘After my knighthood was announced, a woman from the BBC came to Glasgow to interview me. We sat down in a lovely hotel in a nice part of town, and she hit me with her first question: “This must mean a lot to you, with you coming from nothing?” I looked at her, and I laughed.
“I did’nae come from nothing,” I told her. “I come from something.”
I grew up in the tenements of post-war Glasgow. I am very proud to be working class, and especially a working-class Glaswegian who has worked in the shipyards. I come from the working class. And, most of all, I come from Scotland.
Scotland is a unique and wonderful place. Its national motto says a lot about it: Nemo me impune lacessit. A decent translation might be: ‘By all means punch me in the nose but prepare yourself for a kick in the arse.’
I did’nae come from nothing: I come from Scotland. And this book is about why I will always be happy and proud that I do.’