“I haven’t felt that good since Archie Gemmill scored against Holland in 1978″

To be Scottish is to know disappointment well. It is to understand that expectations must remain low: that we will always lose the football match, the summer will be a washout, and we will continue to be “colonised by wankers.

But there seems to have been a murmuring over the past year, as if things are starting to look better for us — a hint of a breeze of hope that I haven’t detected since the mid-to-late nineties when we had the devolution referendum, a goal against Brazil in the ’98 World Cup (technically two goals, if you count Tommy Boyd’s own goal in the 73rd minute), Braveheart and, well, Trainspotting.

This year Pixar made their first female hero Scottish, we look like becoming the first part of the U.K. to legalise same-sex marriage, the Scottish government announced their intention to hold a referendum on independence in 2014, Shirley Manson is back, Cloud Atlas and The Dark Knight Rises were both partly filmed in Glasgow and (tears of joy) Andy Murray just won a gold medal, as well as being a very respectable runner-up at Wimbledon.

Most likely the breeze will soon blow right on by again but, even if Renton is right that “all the fresh air in the world doesn’t make a fucking difference,” it’s still a place I am proud to call home.

Eilean Donan Castle. Photo by author.

Edinburgh Castle. Photo by author.

Glasgow School of Art. Photo by author.

Trumpan, Isle of Skye. Photo by author.

Trumpan. Photo by author.

Victoria Street, Edinburgh. Photo by author.

Skye. Photo by author.

Coo in Heather. Photo by author.

Falkland Palace. Photo by author.