I know I should – and I know lots of you will be writing in to take it off my hands – but I still can’t take Scottish money seriously. There was a £20 note sitting around on our table for about three days the other week because even though I knew intellectually that it was money, it just didn’t look real enough to bother picking up*. And I had to stare long and hard at the funny looking pieces of paper I found in my jeans pocket the other day before I remembered that I’d taken twenty quid out of a Glasgow cash machine a couple of nights before, on an evening when I was reliving my student days and substituing beer (well, Guinness, a meal in itself) for food.
The problem is, it’s not just that there are Scottish notes to get used to, it’s more complicated than that: every bank in Scotland issues its own. So while I’ve more or less got used to the Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland ones, these were Clydesdale bank ones, and boy do they look strange. I’d take a photo and post it, but it’s probably illegal.
Everyone up here has a story of ignorant English shops refusing to take their fine Caledonian banknotes. But when you’ve got a note like the Clydesdale tenner, with no sign of Brenda and what appears to be a map of somewhere in Africa on the back (part of Scotland’s extensive empire, no doubt) you can hardly blame them for looking askance at it. Zimbabwe has produced more convincing looking banknotes
My top tip: if the Scots really want to tick the English off – and I’m sure they do – they should stop messing around printing their own, and adopt the Euro. Because that would really put the cat among the pigeons.
*Fortunately, the other half is made of sterner stuff, being a recovering accountant.