Thursday, May 7, 2009

Scotland: Movie Review "Local Hero" and Why I have Caledonia on my mind . . .

A couple of weeks ago, I set my sights on Scotland for Trip 2009 and even blogged about it HERE. Once I made up my mind and shared it with my blogging friends . . .

I learned a little about the food in Scotland starting with a veggie option for the well known Scottish dish called Haggis! A tip I learned from Sandra. But wait there's also scones, shortbread and Scottish whiskey! I'm not a big drinker but while in Scotland I must have a wee taste!

Although an English speaking Country I will still be excited to learn some of the interesting terms used. Flygirl mentioned the wonderful Brogue accent!

I have also discovered the beautiful music offered by Scotland and why the famous folk song Caledonia is so popular! I browsed through videos and have been discovering the beauty that awaits me in Scotland!

Several years ago there was a "Special Edition" in the Bon Appetit Magazine with some great information on the "Taste of Scotland". Marta was so kind to find her copy and mail it to me so I could take some notes for my trips. After reading through it I am finding out that there are many flavors to Scotland's cuisine and I think that I will have a fabulous eating experience there. Thanks so much Marta for taking the time to share this wonderful resource with me.

When hearing about my decision, AnnieNC highly recommended that I watch a 1983 Scottish movie called "Local Hero" and Marta seconded her recommendation. I loved it! Without giving too much away, I found this movie to somehow mirror the joys of Slow Travel. It is about this hot shot corporate executive who values everything that money can buy (fast cars, nice apartment, etc). He travels to this small Scottish fishing village to negotiate a business deal and is forced to spend several days there where he slowly gets into the flow of life. He soon discovers that all the things he once valued aren't as important to him as the things that went unnoticed by him and what he now sees for the first time as more beautiful and exciting. It's fun to watch the transformation. It is a wonderful movie with interesting and quirky characters, beautiful and inspiring scenery and with a cool soundtrack. I am especially fond of the movie's theme song, "Going Home" by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. Beautiful! Thanks Annie and Marta, I'm definitely downloading the soundtrack!

Thank you everyone so much for the recommendations, ideas, support, resources and inspiration. I am definitely off to a great start for my trip!


  1. Hi Kathy, how exciting to be off to such a great start in your Scotland trip planning. And I am so glad you liked the movie. I hadn't thought about it but you are so right, "Local Hero" does mirror the magic of slow travel in many ways. I love that scene where he takes his fancy wristwatch off and leaves it on the rocks and the sea comes in.

    And isn't the scenery just breath-taking?!?

    And I bet you will meet many quirky characters just like in the movie! Can't you imagine Susan Boyle living in that village?!

    Great post and I look forward to reading more about your plans. Happy Friday too!

  2. Hi Annie, thanks so much for your comments and for making the recommendation to see it. I totally loved how he removed his watch and how the sea comes in and then takes it away! He didn't even miss it either. So many different quirky scenes that somehow all come together very nicely. :) Thanks for reminding me of Susan Boyle! I can totally see her in this village mixed in with all these characters. Even the out of place punk rocker, so funny! I loved it so much that I want to watch it again before I send it back to Netflix!

    I think my experience in Scotland will be so different and very exciting and I can't wait! :)

    Thanks again for your comments and your recommendation Annie! Beautiful scenery and being the visual person that I am, it will be so wonderful to see everything in person.

    Have an awesome Friday and weekend!

  3. I forgot about that poor punk rocker! That was funny. And I loved the old guy Ben who ended up "owning" the beach.

    The same Scottish director who made Local Hero made another movie called "Gregory's Girl" also set in Scotland. It's good too and pretty funny. It's a "coming of age" story about some quirky Scottish teenagers. I liked it too but not as much as Local Hero.

    Actually I might go home and watch Local Hero tonight too - it's been a while since I've seen it!


    Hi Annie, yes punk girl was so out of place in this village that it was just so funny and quirky to me! Old Ben was a fascinating character and actually so was the company's owner, Burt Lancaster! And without giving it out, what about the girl...and I thought of you and your love for animals when the scene about "trudy". Oh no, I thought. Okay, I might be givng out too much let me add a Movie Spoiler warning at the top. :) And I had no idea that the Northern Lights could be seen from Scotland, I thought it was just in Alaska?

    Thanks for the additional Movie recommendation. I'll add Gregory's Girl to Netflix, right after Ocean. That's in Ireland and who knows how I'll get influenced after watching that one. Maybe the Ireland/Scotland thing could be back on...LOL!

    Enjoy watching Local Hero Again Annie! I will watch it again over the weekend, myself.

  5. Now I need to see the movie again. You both have brought back memories of the great scenes. I've found it gets better and better. You see things you didn't the first time. Or things that are a bit 'tough' the first time get a little more funny the second time.

    I'm also glad you found the magazine useful. Scotland's love of fresh local food reminds me a lot of Seattle. We have similar climates and similar local foods (seafood, fresh cheese, northern vegetables). Fortunately, we don't have haggis. :)

  6. Kathy,

    You are definitely off to a great start for your trip.
    The movie sounds very interesting, I'll have to see it.
    And I can't wait to hear all about your plans.

  7. Kathy, I'm intrigued by your review of Local Hero. I've added it to my Zip (Canada's answer to Netflix) list -- it sounds great.

    It seems your trip planning is going really well, how exciting!

  8. Oh my gosh, I forgot all about "trudy"! I thought that scene was funny but it's one of those things that if it had happened to me, well...I don't know what would be worse, haggis or trudy (!).

    I am so bummed because I came home all psyched to watch this movie again and I can't find my video anywhere. I must have loaned it to someone. Oh well, it was a old VHS tape so I'm going to order a DVD of it. It's one of my all time faves so I'd really like to own a copy.

    I've been remembering scenes all day...I liked the pastor of the church and the way they all snuck out of the church behind MacIntyre's back.

    And yes, I do think you can see the Aurora Borealis in Scotland, not sure what times of year, but I loved that scene where he was in the village phone booth trying to describe it.

    Oh, and I just remembered this. Years ago (back in the 80's) I worked with a woman and her brother-in-law was the guy who played Burt Lancaster's crazy psychiatrist! Those were some funny scenes too.

    Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend. Marta's right, it's the kind of movie that does get better each time you see it so I hope you enjoy your second viewing!

  9. Kathy, you sound SO excited about your Scotland trip. I don't blame you - the planning is half of the fun.

    I will look forward to hearing about the plans and the trip itself.

  10. Hi Kathy! WHEN are you going to Scotland? Will we be there at the same time?!?!?! We are there from June 20 - July 17.

  11. Hi Everyone, thanks so much for your comments!

    Marta, you are so right. I bet that I will find more things on my second time watching Local Hero. There are a few subtle scenes throughout the movie that I may find even more interesting when I see it again.

    I'm so glad to hear that I will find some great seafood in Scotland. And it does seem like the weather there is quite similar to Seattle. I could even tell from watching Local Hero. Thanks again so much for letting me borrow your magazine. I'm going to do a pocket Mod with the information. It has great articles and very useful information and I have been really enjoying reading through it.

    Candi, thanks so much for your comments. I loved watching Local Hero and I think you would enjoy it too! I'm very excited that I have officially started my trip planning. :)

    Sandra, thanks so much for your comments. I loved the movie and I think you will enjoy it too. Plus it came highly recommended by Annie and Marta.

    Annie! :) bummer that you couldn't find your video. The trudy scene was so subtle and I didn't realize what happened until the other guy had a fit and left. That's a tough call. Haggis or Trudy? I'd go for the Vegatarian Haggis! :)

    The pastor scene was hilarious! And I have to say that psychiatrist was a nut! So your former co-worker's BIL did a great acting job! LOL

    I loved that phone booth scene too. I'd probably get that way myself if I saw something like that. I found this website on the Aurora Borealis viewing in Scotland. Really interesting.

    Apparently "late October" is a possible time... :)

    I am definitely going to enjoy watching Local Hero again. And then I'll add Gregory's Girl to my list so I can watch that also. Thanks again Annie and you have a wonderful weekend too!

    Nancy, thanks so much for your comments. Yes, I am very excited and I agree that learning and planning is definitely half the fun and I'm enjoying myself. :)

    Deborah, I wish!!! I won't be leaving until late fall (mainly because of work commitments). Being that you'll be there for summer you're going to have fantastic weather and I'm really looking forward to reading all about your trip. I have been drawing great inspiration from what you have been writing on the thread you started on ST and thanks to you I have gotten several great tips and ideas. I'm going to stay maybe 5 days in Edingburh and not sure about the rest of the itinerary yet or other logistics. Thanks for stopping by Deborah. From what I've been reading on your threads and blog, it sounds like you're going to have a wonderful trip! Can't wait to get there myself.

    Thanks again everyone! And have a great Mother's Day weekend!

  12. I love this movie! Hubby and I watched it last week after seeing it mentioned by Annie. It’s a sweet quirky movie. Gorgeous scenery! Beautifully filmed and with such great performances. My husband was surprised to see that the scenes with the aurora borealis were as real as they can get when you see them with your own eyes (he’s seen them a few times on his travels over the great artic circle).

  13. Hi Maria, cool that you & your husband saw Local Hero. I watched it again over the weekend and enjoyed just as much the second time around. And how wonderful that your husband has seen the aurora borealis several times. I wouldn't mind seeing it too! And maybe I would be just as excited to see it.

    Thanks for your comments Maria!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.