Andrew McDiarmid

Andrew McDiarmid is a writer and media specialist in Seattle. His writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, The Herald (Scotland), Scotland Magazine, Relevant Magazine, and others. He is also host of Simply Scottish, a podcast of Scottish culture and music, available wherever podcasts are enjoyed.
Andrew McDiarmid has written 19 posts for The Simply Scottish Blog

Women of Courage in Scottish Movies

This piece originally appears as a sidebar with my article “Scotland on the Silver Screen” in the May 2014 issue of Scottish Memories. Here, I highlight three films from three eras that feature courageous women as central characters. The Pride of the Clan (1917) When was the last time you sat down and watched a … Continue reading

The Scottish Roots of Curling

Like a number of sports, the origins of curling are up for some debate. After all, who can say which person or people group were the first to enjoy skimming stones across frozen water? Because of the conditions needed, it seems a sure bet that it originated in a northern European country. Wherever it began, … Continue reading

Robert Burns: The Bard in the Park

A guest post by Caroline King If there is one Scot who has achieved immortal, global fame, capturing the hearts of current Caledonia dwellers, descendants and admirers alike, it’s Robert Burns, of course. The Bard has had such an influence on the international community that every New Years Eve (or Hogmanay), people all over the … Continue reading

What “Simply Scottish” Means

Could there be anything more simply Scottish than a dry stane dyke? Found all over Scotland and elsewhere in the British Isles, these walls are made of large stones held together without the use of mortar by the compressional force of each interlocking stone. You’ll find them lining driveways, forming boundary walls between fields, and … Continue reading

Where Did All the Highlanders Go?

The more you study the history of the Scottish highlands during the 18th and 19th centuries, the more upset you become. It’s impossible not to be deeply moved by the violence, betrayal, upheaval, and general difficulty experienced by the Highland clans during this time in their history. On two recent episodes of Simply Scottish, we … Continue reading

Scottish Associations in North America

Scots, a nineteenth-century observer from London, England, was keen to point out, ‘herd together … not touched, except by each other.’ These words resonate loudly with many a Scot abroad: their propensity to come together with fellow Scots is, in fact, a defining characteristic of the Scottish diaspora. Nowhere is this more evident than in … Continue reading

Scotland’s Birds and Other Wildlife

2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, with a host of programs and events designed to celebrate Scotland’s natural beauty and resources. Scotland boasts a diverse range of wildlife, and it’s an amazing place to come and discover a number of rare and even endangered species. A particular haven for birdwatchers, Scotland holds many gems … Continue reading

Why Explorer Alexander Mackenzie Didn’t Need a Smartphone

Life was so different 200 years ago! The personal computer, the internet, and advances in music, television, and film technology have completely changed the way we live our life. We are spoiled with smart phones that remember personal data for us. We are impatient, used to anytime, anywhere access to information and entertainment. We no … Continue reading

Contest: A Moment in Scottish History

Scotland has a vast history spanning thousands of years, from the Neolithic village of Skara Brae to the return of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The story of Scotland is a grand one, with countless pivotal moments marked by bravery, cunning, foresight, desperation, determination, and a deep value for freedom. Simply Scottish celebrates this colorful … Continue reading

Touring Scotland: 5 Sights to Add to Your Next Visit

1. The Royal Yacht Britannia Spend a few hours or a full day touring Her Majesty’s Royal Britannia in Edinburgh. Built in 1953, this opulent vessel was the official touring ship of Queen Elizabeth II and her family. Guests may explore the grand quarters on the ship, take time out for refreshments in the Royal … Continue reading