The Rampant Scotland Newsletter - your insight into what has been happening in Scotland, snipped from the Scottish media, for Scots in Scotland and abroad. Bringing you news and events, plus a Scottish magazine section. Published every second week, with 100% recycled electrons.
Previous editions of this Newsletter are available in the Archive> and the Index to the other pages of the Rampant Scotland site is available here>.
The Scottish Snippets Newsletter in its original format began in April 1997 and continued in an unbroken series for 591 issues. Although no longer produced in that format there is now a regular update on the new and updated pages on the Rampant Scotland site and also "Scottie's Diary" on an intermittent basis, To receive this, kust send an e-mail to Scottie with "Subscribe Newsletter" in the subject line.
Review of Devolved GovernmentLast August, Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, launched a 40-page document inviting the people of Scotland to join in a "national conversation" on the nation’s constitutional future. It concentrated on independence and how it could be achieved, listing the possible benefits of becoming independent or gaining more powers for the Scottish Parliament. Of course, it did not cover any of the arguments made by opponents of leaving the UK. Now the pro-union political parties (Labour, Conservative and Liberal-Democrats) have announced details of a commission to "re-examine devolved government in Scotland" now that more than ten years have elapsed since the country voted in favour of the creation of a devolved Scottish Parliament by a substantial majority. Just as the nationalist-led government paper focused on independence, the commission chaired by an academic, will review only devolution and recommend changes to "enable the Scottish Parliament to better serve the people" - and will not examine leaving the United Kingdom as an option. The commission aims to deliver an interim report in November. Currently, there are 50 Members of the Scottish Parliament (out of a total of 129) who would vote for withdrawal from the United Kingdom.
Prescription Charges ReducedWhen the National Health Service was introduced in 1948, all medical prescriptions were free of charge. As costs rocketed, successive governments had to introduce and then increase the charge for these - though with many exemptions such as for children and the elderly. Currently the cost per item is £6.85 (nearly US$14) but the Scottish Government is now fulfilling an election pledge to do away with what they describe as a "tax on illness". This week the cost was reduced to £5 and next year it will fall to £4 and it will be phased out totally by 2011. It seems that over 90% of all prescriptions are already dispensed free, so the cost will not be huge - £57 million by 2011.
Defence Ministry Blocks Wind FarmsThe UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has objected to 13 wind farm projects from the Scottish Borders to Caithness on the grounds that they will create radar "blind spots" which might allow hostile aircraft or hijacked passenger aircraft to creep in below the defensive screen. One of the sites giving concern for other reasons is at Eskdalemuir where there is a seismological reporting station, part of a global chain monitoring if there are shockwaves from nuclear explosions anywhere on the planet. The MoD is concerned that the vibrations from giant wind turbines could affect the monitoring station's delicate sensors. Spinning blades also create "clutter" on radar screens, similar to that produced by propellor-driven aircraft. There is also a "zone of invisibility" created up to three miles away and at 5,000 feet. There may be a solution on the horizon, however. BAe Systems, the UK's biggest defence contractor, has been awarded a contract to develop computer software capable of separating turbine blades from aircraft on a radar screen - similar to naval radar that can differentiate sea-skimming missiles from flocks of seabirds.
Scottish Air Services SufferLondon Heathrow airport's new £4.3 billion Terminal 5 opened to the public at the end of March and immediately degenerated into chaos with large numbers of flights being cancelled, long delays and mountains of baggage missing flights. The terminal is dedicated to British Airways (BA) flights and as the airline struggled to cope, it was internal flights to Scotland that suffered most as BA tried to keep as many international travellers as possible moving. The problems continued for most of the week, with an estimated 20,000 items of luggage in warehouses waiting to be sent on to passengers.
Picture of Terminal 5 via Wikipedia.
June Date for £1 Billion Golf Resort InquiryThe planning inquiry set up by the Scottish Government into the controversial plan by US entrepreneur Donald Trump to create a massive golf resort on the Aberdeenshire coast, will begin on 10 June. It is being suggested that evidence could be completed as early as 4 July - American Independence Day. 30 witnesses are expected to give evidence both for and against the £1 billion golf, leisure and housing development at the Menie Estate north of Aberdeen. The Trump organisation is expected to call ten witnesses on environmental issues and the economic case.
First Scotrail Win Franchise Extension
Promises of further investment in services, station improvements and more trains running between Edinburgh and Glasgow - and a payment of £70 million to the exchequer - have contributed to First Scotrail winning an extension to their franchise to operate rail services across Scotland. The Airdrie and Bathgate line will open up a fourth direct rail link between the Capital and Glasgow while extra trains will be added on other routes. In the last few years First Scotrail, after a shaky start, has reduced delays and increased passenger numbers by 19%.
Go-Ahead for Go ApeThere were 900 objections and a petition said to contain 4,000 signatures from protestors, including the National Trust for Scotland and the former owners of the estate, to plans to create a "Go Ape" aerial assault course and walkways in a secluded woodland area of Pollok Country Park. Despite the objections, Glasgow city Council planning committee has voted to approve the controversial proposal. The rope bridges, swings and zip slides would be created in a quiet area of the park - and the leisure operators would pay the city council a significant percentage of the £20/£25 entry fee. That must be an attraction as far as the council is concerned. However, because the city has this financial involvement in the proposal, it must also be approved by a Scottish government minister. Opponents include the Deputy First Minister and Glasgow Govan MSP Nicola Sturgeon, Tory MSP Bill Aitken, five community councils and the National Trust for Scotland. So there is still a chance that it will be turned down.
Tartan Week To Go Down Under?So far, the support of the Scottish Government to Tartan Week has been concentrated largely in the USA, particularly in New York with the parade along Sixth Avenue and other events. The tourism agency VisitScotland has also hosted the first Scotland in Toronto Week to tap into the Scottish ancestry of many Canadians. Now Scottish Culture Minister Linda Fabiani has suggested that she is keen to strengthen links in the Antipodes, with a Scotland Week in Australia. The Scottish Government is trying to change the name of the event to "Scotland Week" to focus on the modern aspects of Scotland - and also halved the budget this year for the event in the US to around £400,000. So there are some mixed messages coming across.
7,000 Bikers Roar into Children's HospitalAround 7,000 motor cyclists and their passengers roared into the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill, Glasgow - to hand deliver thousands of chocolate eggs to egg-cited young patients. This has become an annual event organised by the Motorcycle Action Group which raised £30,000 for the event last year.
£60 Fines for Inconsiderate DriversThe managers of Braehead Shopping Centre in Renfrewshire, on the outskirts of Glasgow, are imposing a £60 fine on drivers who park on special disabled and parent-and-child parking spaces. They are at last responding to complaints by many disabled drivers who find that they cannot park on the designated spaces near the centre because of lazy and inconsiderate drivers who park there without justification. A private member's bill is being introduced at the Scottish Parliament shortly that would make it illegal to use a disabled parking space without an approved authorisation on display.
Britain's Biggest MeteoriteScientists from Aberdeen and Oxford universities have uncovered evidence that the largest meteorite ever to hit the British Isles struck an area near Ullapool in the west coast of Scotland - 1.2 billion years ago. The unusual rock formations in the area were thought at one time to be caused by volcanic activity, but with no volcanic vents or sediments nearby, that theory had often been questioned. Now the researchers have found material that had been ejected by a meteorite impact, spread over an area of 30 square miles. They estimate that the object must have been more than half a mile wide and created a crater seven miles across. Craters on Earth tend to get eroded, so the scientists are pleased to have found the new evidence.
Top of the Pecking OrderThe Big Garden Bird Watch 2008, organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, shows that the chaffinch is the most commonly-sighted feathered friend in Scotland's gardens. Those taking part saw on average 5.43 chaffinches over an hour, when the survey was run in January. The second most common bird reported was the house sparrow, followed by the starling. Even though the total numbers were smaller, the blackbird was the most widely-seen bird, found in over 90% of gardens. But being territorial, blackies are rarely seen in any numbers in the one garden. For the first time the colourful siskin flew into the top ten - their numbers bolstered this year by Scandinavian immigrants. Overall, the survey suggested that fewer birds were seen compared with last year. Last summer's poor weather may have taken its toll of fledglings although milder winters also meant fewer birds came in this year from the countryside to feed in gardens as they had enough food in the wild.
Call for Earlier British Summer TimeThe clocks in the UK moved forward an hour last weekend, at the start of "British Summer Time" (BST) - so called to distinguish it from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The opportunity was taken by the convenor of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to call for the change in future years to be made at the end of February rather than March. He argued that this would provide an extra hour of useful daylight which would benefit all outdoor tourist attractions - something particularly highlighted this year when an early Easter occurred before the clocks changed at the end of the month. Police officers, tourism workers and arable farmers all backed the idea and it appeals to all who want to save electric power. The idea of operating under BST throughout the year has previously been blocked by dairy farmers and others in the north of Scotland. The national park boss pointed out that BST currently ends at the end of October - when morning daylight is broadly similar to the end of February. In the last week of March the sun rises in the park before 6am with daylight soon after 5am yet it is dark around 7pm.
Rowett Institute Tackles Global WarmingAcademics at the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen have been tackling a major cause of global warming - animal flatulence. It seems that the average cow's annual production of methane can contribute as much to global warming as a family car that travels 12,000 miles. The experts at the Rowett Institute, which is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for nutrition research, are trying to produce foodstuffs that will make livestock less gassy. They have produced an additive to animal's food which stops hydrogen produced by their digestive systems being turned into methane. Trials with lambs have been highly successful, cutting the volume of methane by 70%. But is seems that cows are more stubborn and more research is needed.
Germans Focus on "Exotic" HaggisWhen Alan Beattie from Northern Ireland took over a butcher's shop in Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway four years ago, he knew nothing about making haggis. But he set about perfecting his haggis recipe and he became the youngest ever haggis champion at the Scottish Meat Trade Fair in 2007. Now a German TV programme that focuses on the "most exotic foods worldwide" has filmed his secrets of haggis-making to feature on channel Pro7.
Last Month's WeatherThe Meteorological Office data on last month's weather has been published and it shows that rainfall was well above average making this March the wettest since 1994. Surprisingly, sunshine, at 109 hours, was 117% of the 1961-1990 average. The average temperature for the month was only slightly above the long-term average, with a fair number of days of snow-falls, particularly in the north and east of Scotland. Severe gales were also a frequent feature, with gusts of 60/70mph on a number of occasions.
Weather in Scotland This WeekThe Easter weekend, which was of course particularly early this year, turned out to be a disappointment from the point of view of weather. There were severe gales battering many parts of the country, with rain and snow to add to the misery. Travel plans were disrupted with several roads in the north and north-east closed by conditions that were described as a "white-out". 65mph winds hit the north-east coast of Aberdeenshire and ski centres inland had to close due to the high winds and ferry services were disrupted. This week has been a roller-coaster with Aberdeen and the north-esat seeing temperatures soaring to around 18C (64F) but then plunging back at the end of the week as stiff Arctic winds swept across Scotland, bringing snow and sleet.
The graphic here is of daffodils in Rodney Garden, Perth.
This Week's Colour SupplementThis week's large format photographs taken in Scotland to show the current season and its flora and fauna include a general view of Bell's Heather Garden, Perth (see thumbnail here), housing Europe's largest collection of heathers; one of the garden' 900 varieties of heather, named "White Perfection"; a striking Primula Denticulata (also known as the "drumstick primrose"); Primula Veris, more commonly known as "Cowslip"; cherry blossoms silhouetted against a blue sky in Rodney Garden, Perth; Highland cattle with their young calves - including a honey-brown youngster and its black mother. See This Week's Colour Supplement.
Historical Affairs - Topical Items from Scotland's Past
Plans for Kinloch Castle RejectedPlans by Prince Charles to restore Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum in the Inner Hebrides were dealt a blow this week when the Scottish Government declined to contribute £4.5 million of taxpayers' money to the project. Prince Charles has been "passionate" about saving Kinloch - which his great, great grandfather Edward VII used as a "pleasure palace". But the "green" scheme proposed by the Prince's Regeneration Trust to restore and develop the 111-year-old castle would have cost over £12 million - twice the original estimate, due to the inclusion of alternative energy systems such as photo-voltaic and solar panels in the roof and ground source heat pumps. Rum is inhabited by just 31 residents, but has 8,000 visitors a year. The island is owned by Scottish Natural Heritage, which is paying £70,000 a year just to maintain the castle.
Picture of Kinloch Castle via Wikipedia.
Rotting Timbers in Brechin CathedralTen years ago, roof timbers in Brechin Cathedral were replaced. So there was dismay in the town when dry rot was uncovered recently in the new wood. Scaffolding has had to be put in place and the cathedral, which was founded in the 12th century by King David I, faces a repair bill of £150,000. While some of that money may be provided by organisations such as Historic Scotland, it is feared that at least half the cost will have to be found by the congregation. In the last major restoration costing £250,000, the Society of Friends of the Cathedral raised a substantial percentage of the cost.
Cost of Caring for RelicsMany local areas are keen to see the return of historic items that are currently located in central locations such as Edinburgh or London. From time to time they appeal for treasures to be displayed locally, at least for a short spell. But when they see the cost of ensuring the safety of the priceless relics, they can sometimes have second thoughts. That seems to be the case with Angus Council, where they have been pushing for the return of the 8th century Monymusk Reliquary. It was said to have housed a relic of St Columba and was kept at one time in the care of Arbroath Abbey in Angus. It was carried ahead of the Scots at the victory at the Battle of Bannockburn - though if it was that potent, why did the English win other battles so often? It is currently displayed at the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, but officials there have hinted that it might be moved to Arbroath for a loan of several months - if security and environmental conditions for displaying the reliquary can be satisfactorily met. Councillors are now looking at the costs associated with this and, with local government budgets being tightly squeezed these days, may have to back off if the costs are too high.
Anniversaries of Scottish Historical Events
- April 6 1320 - Declaration of Arbroath - "For we fight not for glory nor for riches nor for honour, but only and alone for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life".
- April 7 1968 - Jim Clark, Duns farmer, twice World Motor Racing Champion, killed in crash, Hockenheim.
- April 9 1139 - Second Treaty of Durham in which David I is recognised as King of an independent Scotland by King Stephen of England.
- April 10 1512 - King James V born.
- April 10 1988 - Sandy Lyle becomes the first Scottish (and British) golfer to win the US Masters tournament.
- April 11 1700 - Scottish settlement in Darien, Panama, abandoned.
- April 12 1606 - Union flag adopted as the flag of England, Wales and Scotland.
- April 13 1951 - The Stone of Destiny, which had been removed from underneath the Coronation Chair by Scottish nationalists on 25 December 1950, was returned to Westminster Abbey after being found at Arbroath Abbey.
- April 13 2001 - Entertainer, actor and comedian Jimmy Logan died.
- April 14 1582 - University of Edinburgh founded.
- April 14 1903 - Aberdeen Football Club was founded.
- April 15 1799 - Prof Joseph Black chemist, researcher, teacher, first to identify carbon dioxide, died.
- April 15 1924 - Actor and comedian Rikki Fulton born in Glasgow. He was best known for his double act with Jack Milroy as "Francie and Josie" and as the Rev I M Jolly in "Scotch and Wry".
- April 16 1746 - Charles Edward Stewart defeated at Battle of Culloden.
- April 16 1953 - Royal yacht "Britannia" launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank.
- April 17 1937 - A British record attendance at a football match was set when 149,547 watched Scotland play England at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Until 1950, this was a world record.
- April 18 1874 - Remains of David Livingstone interred in Westminster Abbey.
- April 19 1390 - Robert II, grandson of Robert the Bruce, died at Dundonald Castle.
European Spotlight for Edinburgh International FestivalWhen the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) began back in 1947, in the aftermath of the Second World war, Europe was a very different place from what it is today. So this year's EIF programme, the 62nd, which was announced this week, explores the challenges and changes facing modern Europe. It will include a host of world, European and UK premieres and many new productions of well-known works. There will be the world premiere of Matthew Bourne's Dorian Gray, a world premiere of a full stage production of Smetana's "The Two Widows" by Scottish Opera and performances from outstanding orchestras, including the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. The festival will culminate in Europe's largest annual firework display to live music, against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Bagpipes to Encircle the WorldIn 1995, a 3,500-strong parade along Princes Street led to the Pipefest event being replicated and expanded not only in Edinburgh but also in other locations around the world, raising considerable sums for charity in the process. Now the organisers have unveiled plans for an ambitious 24-hour global celebration. The idea is to have concerts and parades held at 20-minute intervals in at least 70 towns and cities around the world on 31 July 2010. A worldwide TV audience of 100 million is targeted for this 2010 Pipefest, dubbed "Around the World in 24 Hours". Places likely to take part include New York, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dunedin, Perth, Osaka, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Islamabad, Cape Town, Reykjavik, Belfast and Dublin. The organisers hope that the concerts and parades will be staged at "iconic locations" in participating cities - and raise even more money for charity.
New Indoor Arena for EdinburghThe Royal Highland Agricultural Society for Scotland (RHASS), which is having to relocate to a new site due to the expansion of Edinburgh Airport, has unveiled images of its striking new 10,000-seat indoor arena which it is planning for the new national showground at Norton Park, across the A8 road from the present site at Ingliston. Construction is expected to begin in 2010 with the doors open for the first time in 2013. The aim is to attract international music artists, exhibitors, conferences and events and so provide a substantial economic benefit to the whole of Scotland. The annual Royal Highland show will also become even larger.
Drumming Up TuitionThe College of Piping and the Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School have joined forces to create a week-long course for pipers and drummers which took place last week at Carbisdale Castle in Sutherland. It is believed to be the biggest course of its kind and participants came from as far away as Hong Kong to participate. The tutors were some of the finest exponents of piping and drumming in the world. There were more than 70 young girls and boys on the course which combined a hard week of teaching and learning with the fun and pleasure of joint music making. During the course, participants had the chance to take piping and drumming qualification board certificates. They were presented at a concert on the last night of the course. Carbisdale Castle was originally built for the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland but donated to the Scottish Youth Hostels Association in 1945.
Scottish Culture Around the WorldThe main focus of the Scottish Snippets is news items, usually about Scotland. But the "Scots Abroad" section, invites folk to write in about Scottish-related events in their part of the world. It allows publicity for them and an appreciation by others of just how much Scottish culture is perpetuated in every corner of the globe.
Friends of Scotland Society - Czech RepublicOn April 19 there will be a traditional Scottish ceilidh held at Old Palace (Stare Purkrabstvi), National Historical Monument, Vysehrad, Prague. It will feature the Alastair Ceilidh Band (with fiddler Alastair Edwards from Shetlands), the sound of bagpipes and of course scottish whisky. Then on April 28 to May 1 there will be a tour of Battlefield Band in the Czech Republic. They will play in Prague (Lucerna Music Bar, Vodickova 36) from 9 p.m on April 28; Rakovnik (Kulturni centrum) from 7.30 p.m. on April 29 and in Jindrichuv Hradec (Castle) from midnight. The band will be followed by Czeltic - traditional Scottish Music playing with rock!
Picture of Jindrichuv Hradec town square via Wikipedia.
League TablesRangers consolidated their lead at the top of the SPL last weekend with a 1-0 win over their nearest rivals Celtic, the only goal of the match being scored by Kevin Thomson. Celtic then lost by a similar margin to Motherwell on the following Saturday, putting Rangers 6 points ahead and with two games (against Dundee United and against Celtic) in hand. Motherwell edged closer to that third place (and a place in the Uefa Cup next season) with that win against Celtic - they are now two points ahead of Hibernian but with two games in hand. The fight for a "top six" placing for the end of season games will go on into next week. Dundee United are safely in that section but Falkirk (42 points) play Aberdeen (41 points) on Monday.
In the First Division, Hamilton sit 4 points clear of Dundee after a convincing win over third-placed St Johnstone on Saturday.
In the Second Division, Ross County took the title on Saturday, 13 points ahead of Airdrie United.
In the Third Division, East Fife have had promotion wrapped up for some time and now lie 23 points ahead of second-placed Stranraer.
In the Scottish Rugby Premiership, Boroughmuir are well out in front, 26 points ahead of Watsonians.
Scotland Manager Passes First TestScotland's football manager George Burley faced his first game at Hampden ten days ago and, in front of a crowd of 29,000, Scotland achieved a creditable 1-1 draw against Croatia in a friendly match. Having qualified for this year's Euro 2008 competition, the Croatians might have hoped for a better result in their warm-up game. Croatia were in the lead after just eight minutes, but Scotland's Kenny Miller grabbed an equaliser on the half-hour mark and that's the way the match ended. Bearing in mind that many first-choice players from Rangers and Celtic had withdrawn due to injury (all of which cleared up for the crucial Rangers v Celtic game a few days later), there was some quiet satisfaction at the result.
Gretna Stumble OnDespite making 22 players redundant, the administrator of Gretna Football Club and the Scottish Premier League are still hoping that the club will survive to the end of the current season. Special dispensation was granted by Fifa, football's international governing body, to allow players to sign for other clubs outside of the normal transfer window, but only for a limited period. Only 3,500 fans turned up for Gretna's "home" match against Celtic - played at Livingston's Almondvale Stadium, because of drainage problems at Motherwell's ground.
The "Magazine" section includes songs/poems of Scotland, Scottish humour and brief descriptions of Scottish Culture items added recently to the Rampant Scotland Website - with a link to the page where you can find the full feature, if you find the subject of interest to you.
Great Places to Eat in Scotland
Montpeliers Bar & Brasserie, Edinburgh
This is a chic cafe during the day transforming into a cool cocktail bar and smart restaurant at night. It seems to cater for every age and taste - local residents, mums with toddlers, students, business lunches, couples and groups of friends. You can easily see why people would return time and time again. The contemporary European (with a taste of Asian spice) menu offers exceptional quality and good value for all appetites from healthy salads and smoothies to battered haddock and chips. 15 years on from its first day and Montpeliers at Bruntsfield is a sure-fire business success. Most impressive are the opening hours from 9am to 1am - seven days a week to cater for a hungry and thirsty clientele. As you will realise, it's extremely popular at all times of day and night. For a full, illustrated review, see Montpeliers Bar & Brasserie, Edinburgh.
Scottish Place Names Around the World
New Zealand Quintet
Ian Kendall, who has been writing articles on how Scottish place names can be found in major towns and cities around the world, has been concentrating recently on New Zealand and has covered two new towns there, plus revising two more. And there is a fifth town holding its own! See:
Christchurch - Of the names of the 110 suburbs in the Christchurch area that have been identified to date, 29 (26.4%) can be found in Scotland or are based on Scottish family names. Of course, some of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well, but at least 14 of them (12.7%) appear to have a definite Scottish connection. See Scottish Place Names - Christchurch
Hamilton - Of the names of the 56 suburbs in the Hamilton area that have been identified to date, 17 (30.4%) can be found in Scotland or are based on Scottish family or personal names. Some of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well, but at least 10 of them (17.9%), including Hamilton itself, appear to have a definite Scottish connection. See Scottish Place Names - Hamilton, NZ.
Auckland - The updated article shows that of the names of the 317 suburbs in the Greater Auckland area that have been identified to date, 63 (19.9%) can be found in Scotland, or are based on Scottish family names or noble titles. Of course, many of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well, but at least 25 of them (7.9%) appear to have a unique connection with Scotland, whether directly or indirectly. See Scottish Place Names - Wellington.
Wellington - 175 suburbs in the Greater Wellington area have been identified to date and 39 (22.3%) can be found in Scotland or are based on Scottish family names. Some of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well, but at least 21 of them (12.0%) appear to be unique to Scotland or are readily identifiable with places in Scotland that are based on the same names. See Scottish Place Names - Wellington.
And don't overlook Dunedin, highly likely to be the only city in the world outside of Scotland where around 50% of the suburbs have names that can also be found in Scotland. This is an enduring legacy of the pivotal role that Scots settlers played in the establishment of Dunedin in 1848 and in its subsequent development to become New Zealand's fourth largest city. See Scottish Place Names - Dunedin.
Scottish Poetry and Song
John Hamilton (1761-1814) was a music-seller in Edinburgh who also gave music lessons to private families and wrote a number of beautiful songs. He married one of his pupils - a young lady of financial means - much to the displeasure of her relatives. There seems to be an element of that love affair in this song!
Last midsummer's morning, as going to the fair,
I met with young Jamie, wh'as taking the air;
He ask'd me to stay with him, and indeed he did prevail,
Beneath the pretty hawthorn that blooms in the vale —
That blooms in the valley, that blooms in the vale,
Beneath the pretty hawthorn that blooms in the vale.
He said he had loved me both long and sincere,
That none on the green was so gentle and fair;
I listen'd with pleasure to Jamie's tender tale,
Beneath the pretty hawthorn that blooms in the vale—
"Oh, haste," says he, "to hear the birds in the grove,
How charming their song, and enticing to love!
The briers that with roses perfume the passing gale,
And meet the pretty hawthorn that blooms in the vale"—
His words were so moving, and looks soft and kind,
Convinced me the youth had nae guile in his mind;
My heart, too, confess'd him the flower of the dale,
Beneath the pretty hawthorn that blooms in the vale—
Yet I oft bade him go, for I could no longer stay,
But leave me he would not, nor let me away;
Still pressing his suit, and at last did prevail,
Beneath the pretty hawthorn that blooms in the vale—
Now tell me, ye maidens, how could I refuse?
His words were so sweet, and so binding his vows!
We went and were married, and Jamie loves me still,
And we live beside the hawthorn that blooms in the vale—
That blooms in the valley, that blooms in the vale,
We live beside the hawthorn that blooms in the vale.
Duncan was newly married and one morning asked his wife, "Would you have married me if my father hadn't left me a fortune?" His wife replied sweetly (and truthfully) "Dear Duncan, I'd have married you no matter who left you a fortune..."
Lachlan's Laws - # 62
That great Highland philosopher, Lachlan McLachlan, propounded a number of irrefutable laws of life, the universe and everything, usually after a "bevvy" in the Auchenshuggle Arms on a Saturday night. Here is another example: "If you like home cooking - stay at home..."
For the first 50 laws, see Scottish Humour - Lachlan's Laws.
Recipe for a Healthy Life
Dugald was getting on in years and went in for his annual physical exam. The doctor said, "You're in incredible shape. How old are you again?" Dugald replied, "I'm 78." The doctor exclaimed, "Wow, 78. How do you stay so healthy? You look like a 60 year old." Dugald explained, "Well, my wife and I made a pact when we got married that whenever she got mad she would go into the kitchen and cool off and I would go outside to calm down." The doctor was puzzled by this explanation and asked "What does that have to do with being so fit and healthy?" Duncan sighed, "I've pretty much lived an outdoor life..."
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