I'll be honest; I did not want to have a Scottish theme on the Shire Journal. I live with a Scot and frankly I did not want to give them the satisfaction of an Englishman celebrating Scottish heritage. However, my granddad is currently researching his family tree and it has recently transpired that you do not have to dig that far into the past to find Scottish roots in my family. Therefore it is perfectly acceptable for me to admit that a number of my favourite bands, authors and artists are Scottish and to ask you to join me in celebrating Scotland this month.

As well as articles on Scotland this month's competition asks you for your nomination for the greatest living Scotsman (or woman). If you have any opinions on this, or indeed anything else to do with Shire or Scotland then we would love to hear from you.