"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

15 March 2008

The Rampant Scotland Newsletter includes a number of photographs which illustrate the weather and the seasons, plus the flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. This separate "colour supplement" displays some more pictures, in a larger format. Here is this week's crop of Scottish views!

The Scottish Parliament has been controversial since the outset - and that's just the building, not the politicians! It has won architectural awards - and been compared to a Spanish airport terminal (no insult intended to Spanish air terminals). The grass which sweeps round from the building links it with Holyrood Park and the majestic escarpment of Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat. Judging by the unkempt nature of the grass, the wilderness is advancing on the building rather than the other way round...

A series of massive granite sculptures by Ronald Rae have been on display in Holyrood Park since last year - retained for longer than planned because they have been so popular with the public. Eventually they will be moved to parks and private collections around the country, with twelve of them destined for display at the Falkirk Wheel. But campaigners are trying to persuade the Members of the Scottish to keep the "Lion of Scotland" permanently on the grassland opposite the parliament building. The 20-tonne pink granite sculpture is worth about 100,000. In characteristic fashion, the politicians have delayed a decision...

The statue of Greyfriars Bobby must be one of the most photographed in Edinburgh, a city which is full of sculptures (mainly dignitaries and famous sons of Scotland's capital). Bobby was immortalised in an American children's book by Eleanor Atkinson which portrays the Sky terrier's master as a farmer from the Pentland Hills. Bobby remained by his master's grave for 14 years after he was buried in the churchyard. He survived by being fed by locals who were impressed by his devotion. Recent research suggests the animal was owned by a local Edinburgh policeman - which is why he may have been called Bobby, one of the nicknames given to British policemen. The life-size statue of Bobby (who died on 14 January 1872) was erected on top of a drinking fountain outside Greyfriars Churchyard shortly after the dog's death

Back in the summer of 2006, 60 life-size, decorated, fibre-glass cows brightened Edinburgh's streets and visitor attractions as part of "CowParade". In a "livestock" auction at a glittering event attended by a host of celebrities, they were sold to the highest bidder. By the end of the evening, 250,000 had been raised for charity, as the great and the good competed for their own part of the herd. This one now stands beside the "Hub" - a cafe, restaurant and ticket office for the Edinburgh Festival. That looks like the traditional fireworks at the end of the annual Festival painted on the side of the cow.

There are often complaints about the "Tartan tat" souvenir shops that have proliferated along the Royal Mile, selling low-priced souvenirs to passing tourists. "The Scottish Experience" is just one of many along this historic street selling tartan "kilts" (actually tea towels) for 10... Round the corner is "Thistle Do Nicely".

Another kind of experience on the Royal Mile, a few yards from Edinburgh Castle is the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre visitor attraction. This provides an insight into Scotland's national drink via an interactive tour, a barrel ride through whisky history - and a tutored tasting of Scotch Whisky. Just the thing for a wet afternoon - these Polyanthus were in window boxes outside, soaking up the rain.

If you want to look back at earlier editions of this Colour Supplement, there is an Index Page

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line