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.
Trump Tees Up His PitchDonald Trump made much play of his mother's Scottish birth as he breezed into Scotland to present his case to the inquiry into his plans for a £1 billion world-class golf resort on the shore north of Aberdeen. Trump called in at Lewis to see his mother's home - spending all of two minutes inside and only slightly longer outside for the photographers. There were also mutters about possible financial assistance to restore local Lews castle. But Trump's main business was to persuade the Scottish Government's inquiry reporter that his 1,400 acre resort with two championship courses, a five-star luxury hotel, 500 residential homes and 238 apartments should be hit down the fairway. Objectors point to the 13 endangered or vulnerable species at the site and a commercial development on an unspoilt part of the coast.
Financial Sector Slump Hits EconomyFor many years, as Scotland's manufacturing sector declined, it was the services sector, particularly finance, that was a major source of economic growth in the country. But the credit crunch and the associated, self-inflicted problems experienced by the business and banking sector has had a detrimental impact. The recent economic report from the Royal Bank of Scotland shows that we are the third worst-performing economic area of the UK, with only East Midlands and Northern Ireland below Scotland in the league table. The cumbersomely named but highly regarded "Purchasing Manager's Index" shows Scotland's output index (an indicator of economic growth) was 46.8 for May, down from 48.3 for April and well below the UK average of 49.8. In May, Service sector output in Scotland declined for the second month running and at a faster rate of contraction. Firms widely blamed the fall-out from the credit crunch and property market weakness as being the main factors driving activity lower. It was the first broadly based decline of business activity in the Scottish service sector in over ten years. Business services registered the steepest contraction, followed closely by financial services.
Royal Bank Gets Its £12 Billion
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group management breathed a sigh of relief when its rights share issue of £12 billion of discounted shares was taken up by 95% of its shareholders. Of course, the bulk of the shares are held by institutions, rather than private individuals, and they wouldn't want to see their stake in the business eroded. The RBS group is trying to strengthen its balance sheet after the writing down of £8 billion as a result of their involvement in the credit crunch. In addition, Royal Bank's balance sheet was weakened by the acquisition of a major portion of the Dutch bank ABN Amro. The Royal Bank Group is the second largest in the UK and Europe and the fifth largest in the world by market capitalisation. All banking shares have been under pressure on the stock market recently. That includes Halifax Bank of Scotland, with its HQ also in Edinburgh, which is next up with the collection box with their rights issue, seeking a mere £4 billion from shareholders.
First Female Police ChiefScotland's first female Chief Constable has been appointed to head the police force in Fife. Norma Graham has been deputy Chief Constable in Fife since 2005, having joined the police force in 1981. Mrs Graham was congratulated by the Scottish Government's Justice Secretary who commented on her outstanding contribution to policing in Scotland and her "effectiveness in operational leadership."
Truckers Protest Against Rising Fuel CostsEarlier this week, around 80 trucks drove along the M8 motorway from Glasgow to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh at 15mph to protest about the rising cost of fuel. They were accompanied by police escorts and passing motorists sounded their horns - though it was not clear whether this was in support of the action or protesting at the traffic congestion being caused. The road hauliers point to the additional revenue being enjoyed by the UK government from higher oil prices - around 70% of the cost of fuel in the UK is due to taxation. As prices rise at refineries, the taxman adds his percentage on the higher amount. Whether the UK government in London will respond is debatable. More serious is a four day strike by Shell drivers (not for anything altruistic, just a bigger pay award) which will disrupt deliveries to the petrol pumps. Shell drivers picketed distribution depots and drivers of delivery vehicles belonging to other companies turned back. As on other occasions, the reassurances from government ministers that this will not cause a shortage has created the usual stampede and long queues at the pumps, some of which have run dry already.
Scottish Unemployment Reaches Record LowThe number of people unemployed in Scotland keeps falling steadily and the latest figures show that yet another record low has been recorded for the quarter February to April this year. The total of 116,000 is 20,000 lower than the same quarter last year and represents 4.4% under the International labour Organisation (ILO) method of counting. The Jobseekers' Allowance method of counting unemployment showed a small rise, but is still close to the historic low. Total employment in Scotland stood at 2,547,000, according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), in the quarter from February to April. This was 8,000 higher than the same period last year.
Gas Guzzler Sales Run Out of SteamSales of new cars in May were down by 3.5% compared with last year, with large gas-guzzling cars particularly badly hit. Quite apart from the high cost of petrol/gas, recent tax changes have significantly increased the annual road tax paid on vehicles. Instead of a flat rate, the tax is now graded - with high-emission cars hit hardest. Sales of four-wheel-drive cars, such as Land Rover Discovery (pictured here) and Toyota Land Cruisers, fell by 18% last month. The biggest-selling car in May in Scotland was the Ford Focus, with Ford's Fiesta and Vauxhall's Astra and Corsa and the Volkswagen Golf making the top five.
Picture of Land Rover Discovery via Wikimedia.
Shock Resignation of Music HeadJames Gourley, who is head of music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow has suddenly left his post, with his job being taken over of by the academy's principal. A spokeswoman for the RSAMD said the new arrangement was "permanent" but declined to explain the reasons for the sudden departure of such a high profile member of staff. RSAMD is currently working through a controversial staff reorganisation, but there is media speculation that Mr Gourlay's departure is not thought to be part of that. The college is currently trying to make annual savings of £600,000 by means of redundancies and changes to staff contracts. When he joined the RSAMD two years ago, Mr Gourlay was described as one of the best tuba players in the world, having previously held the post of principal tuba at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Flagship Concert Hall Remaining ClosedEdinburgh's Usher Hall applied for planning permission in June 2003 for a major refurbishment, including additional public space, a glass-fronted extension at the front, a new bar, new lifts, box office and offices above, and disabled access. It has been out of action since last year's Edinburgh Festival in August and will remain closed for six months longer than expected because of problems uncovered as the £20 million project developed. It will now not reopen until spring 2009 - apart from a brief spell during this summer's arts festival. As a result, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra will have to use the Edinburgh Festival Theatre for the 2008/09 season and will only perform 10 concerts instead of 20. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is also having to relocate, this time to the Queen's Hall. The orchestras are negotiating financial compensation for loss of revenue and that is though to be around £350,000 - placing another strain on the total cost of the project.
Flying Doctor Service Takes OffA new Emergency Medical Retrieval Service has been launched which will provide over a dozen experts ready to take off at a moment's notice from Glasgow. They will help critically injured or sick patients along the west coast of Scotland, from Stranraer to Stornoway. The mobile intensive care unit includes a consultant who can carry out a range of procedures which are beyond the training of a normal paramedic. The scheme was promoted after a consultant in emergency medicine at Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital saw Australia's flying doctors at first hand while he was working in the southern hemisphere. A trial run has been in place for four years in Scotland, relying on volunteers. Mow a formal pilot scheme has been launched to enhance the existing paramedic service for those patients who would benefit from the early intervention of a consultant.
Highland Division RememberedVeterans of the Army’s 51st Highland Division paraded in Perth last Sunday to see a tapestry portraying the division’s efforts in World War II unveiled at a special service in St John’s Kirk. Serving soldiers from the 51st Highland, 7th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and other units joined veterans in parading through the Fair City. Members of the Glasgow University Air Squadron did a flypast. This was the 51st Highland Division Veterans’ Association final major reunion, now that it has been absorbed into the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Oban Airport Takes to the AirSoon after the Civil Aviation Authority granted a license for the new airport at Oban and two airstrips on the islands of Colonsay and Coll, Highland Airways announced that they would operate the services between the mainland and the Inner Hebridean islands. Tiree is currently also served by Loganair to Glasgow. The creation of Oban airport has been bogged down in controversy, with the Argyll and Bute Council pushing the project along, despite cost escalations and doubts about the commercial viability. Costs thought to be now over £9 million and timescales have slipped by years. The reliability of the new service is also in doubt as the airports only have permission to operate under "visible flying rules" which means pilots have to see where they are going - not always easy in winter days in the west of Scotland.
Backing for Tartan RegisterThe proposal to take over and maintain a Scottish register of tartan moved a step closer this week when the proposed legislation was endorsed by the Scottish Parliament’s economy, energy and tourism committee. The new centralised records will incorporate the 3,000 tartans held in the Scottish Tartans World Register and the 6,000 tartans held in the Scottish Tartans Authority. The aim is to also protect and preserve the existing historical records relating to tartan and make information on tartan accessible to the general public.
Wheelchairs Conquer Ben NevisEarlier this month eight teams, each led by a wheel-chair user, reached the top of Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain. They negotiated five miles of treacherous terrain, full of sheer drops, narrow paths, large boulders, fences and stiles. The first team to reach the 4,400 feet summit took five hours and 45 minutes.The aim of the climb was to challenge prejudice and overturn stereotypes about disabled people - and it also raised nearly £100,000.
Google Remembers Charles Rennie MackintoshOn the 140th anniversary of the birth of Glasgow artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh on 7 June, the Google search engine replaced its normal logo on its UK search engine with one inspired by his Art Nouveau designs. The logo was placed on-line for 24 hours and is estimated to have been seen by over 20 million people. Previously, in May 2006, Edinburgh-born Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday was remembered by Google with a Sherlock Holmes design. Google has introduced other UK-specific logo changes for Guy Fawkes Day, a special daffodil version for Wales' St David's Day and a dragon and knight for St George's Day. There has never been one for St Andrew's Day, but Edinburgh Castle was featured in a "Five Wonders of Britain" Google logo in 2006.
Town Bans WhistlingLast year, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy in Banffshire was badly hit by poor weather. This year, so that fortune favours the event, the organisers have revived an ancient maritime tradition that whistling brings ill winds. So they have "imposed" a month-long ban on whistling in an effort to ensure good weather this year. The tongue in cheek "demand" also gains the event lots of free publicity, which may be more to the point. Everyone in the town has been asked to co-operate, from folk walking their dogs to building site workers admiring any young ladies walking past. About 20,000 people turn up for the festival which features music, dance and food, as well as boating demonstrations. It takes place this year from 20 to 22 June. The organisers say that in view of their ban on whistling, Roger Whittaker is definitely not on the list of artists performing...
Picture of Portsoy via Wikipedia.
Scotland's Weather Last MonthThe figures for the weather in Scotland in May have been published by the Meteorological Office. The report shows that, overall, it was dry, warm and sunny. The mean temperature for May was 2.2C (3.96F) above the 1961-1990 average and the warmest May in the series, slightly above the previous warmest in May 1919 and 1992. Rainfall was just 34% of the long term average, making this May the fourth driest in the series and the driest since 1994, which recorded just under a millimetre of rain less. Sunshine was also above average, with 212.4 hours, the best since 2000.
Recent Weather in ScotlandJune began with cloud and the odd shower, though once again the Western Isles enjoyed some sunshine. After a coolish start in early June (Aberdeen recorded just 13C (55F) on 1st June), warmer weather gradually came in with temperatures rising to 18/21C (64/68F) in most places. By Tuesday of this week, however, more cloud and a northerly air flow brought the temperatures down - Edinburgh and Glasgow had maximum temperatures of 15/16C (59/61F) while Aberdeen and the Western Isles only got to 13C (55F) and Lossiemouth on the Moray coast shivered at under 12C (53F). The outlook over the next few days is for brighter weather with a modest rise in temperature.
The illustration is of a rose in the walled garden at Cambo Estate, Fife.
This Week's Colour SupplementThis week's large format photographs taken in Scotland to show the current season and its flora and fauna include:
~ Abbotsford in the Scottish Borders, built by Sir Walter Scott and described as "his greatest historical novel";
~ Melrose Abbey, originally established around 650AD and destroyed in 1296 by King Edward I of England (see thumbnail);
~ The Eildon Hills, encircled by yellow gorse, from the viewing platform at the top of Melrose Abbey;
~ Jedburgh Abbey, founded by King David I to demonstrate he could create a magnificent building in the southernmost part of his kingdom;
~ A model of Jedburgh Abbey showing the scale of the original building;
~ A quartet of rambling roses that all came into flower at the same time.
Historical Affairs - Topical Items from Scotland's Past
Nuclear Sub Hunts for Paul Jones ShipThe nuclear submarine NR 1 is joining the hunt for the 18th century "Bonhomme Richard" which was captained by Scottish-born sailor John Paul Jones. The Scots captain - regarded as the founder of the US navy - was raiding the coast of Britain as part of the American War of Independence. In 1779, sailing as part of an American fleet (but advised by the French), he sailed up the coast of Scotland and on the return journey, threatened to open fire on the port of Leith. He was then met by a group of British ships off Flamborough Head. During the engagement (described as "one of the most desperate and sanguinary in naval history) he shouted his celebrated battle-cry: "I have not yet begun to fight!". The "Bonhomme Richard" and the British "Seraphis" both sank - but only after the latter had surrendered to Jones. Attempts are being made to find the wreck of his ship and the nuclear sub is well suited to such a task. It was used to recover parts of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 and also played a part in studying the wreckage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, off the coast of Greece. The US team hopes to find evidence which can conclusively prove that it has discovered the elusive vessel which formed part of the fledgling US Navy.
Picture of NR 1 via Wikipedia.
£12 Million Makeover for Stirling CastleWork is continuing on the refurbishment of the Royal Palace at Stirling Castle, a project which Historic Scotland claims will return the building which provide the residence for kings and queens of Scotland to their "Renaissance magnificence". Although the main castle will remain open, the Royal Palace is to close to the public in August to allow the next phase of the work to be progressed. This will include the restoration of a collection of medieval carved oak heads - claimed to be "Scotland's other crown jewels" - to adorn the ceilings. The metre-wide roundels were carved around 1540 for King James V and his Queen, Mary of Guise. They depict kings, queens, courtiers, imps and other mythological creatures as well as classical gods.
Bruce and Edward Face Each Other AgainA year ago, a statue to King Edward I of England was erected in Burgh-by-Sands in Cumbria, looking north over the Solway Firth towards Scotland. It commemorated the 700th anniversary of his death.The warlike statue of the English monarch (whose tomb carries the epitaph "Hammer of the Scots") provoked an immediate reaction in the town of Annan on the Scottish side of the river. After an extraordinary fund-raising effort, three-quarters of the £40,000 needed to create a statue of his arch enemy, King Robert the Bruce, has been raised in the town. Annan was on the front-line during the War of Independence against the English and was repeatedly ransacked. Even so, the response to the belligerent-looking statue of Edward from the fund-raisers in Annan is to create a statue showing Bruce as a nation builder, rather than someone out to destroy. The Bruce family, before seizing the Scottish throne, were Lords of Annandale and its Town Hall holds the Brus Stane, an engraved sandstone tablet which records the Bruce family's position in Annandale. Next door is the site of the 12th century castle established by them. Every year 100 horse-riders patrol the perimeter of the town in the Annan Riding of the Marches.
Willow Tearoom for MuseumScotland Street School in Glasgow was designed in 1906 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh who's creative architecture and design made a great impact on the city and beyond. The school is now a museum, which focuses on education in the early 20th century and is popular with school trips for that reason. Now it is to have a Willow Tearoom - a design made popular by Mackintosh when he was commissioned by Kate Cranston (1850-1934), an entrepreneur who encouraged his artistic talents. His original tea rooms in Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street reopened 25 years ago and this will be the third such outlet. The Willow Tearoom in Sauchiehall Street was recently voted as one of the top ten places in the UK for "afternoon tea".
Anniversaries of Scottish Historical Events
- June 15 1567 - Mary Queen of Scots' last night in Edinburgh, at the house of Sir Simon Preston, the Lord Provost, on the Royal Mile, prior to her imprisonment at Loch Leven castle two days later.
- June 16 1971 - Lord Reith, "father" of the BBC, died.
- June 17 1390 - Wolf of Badenoch burns Elgin Cathedral.
- June 17 1823 - Charles Macintosh patented the waterproof cloth he was using to make raincoats.
- June 18 1746 - Flora MacDonald met Prince Charles Edward Stuart and persuaded him to wear women's clothes as part of the escape plan from the Outer Hebrides to Skye.
- June 19 1566 - Mary Queen of Scots gives birth to the future King James VI of Scotland and I of England.
- June 20 1969 - First announcement of the discovery of high-grade crude oil in the North Sea.
- June 21 1796 - Scottish explorer Mungo Park reached the source of the river Niger in Africa.
- June 22 1725 - Malt Riots, Glasgow - against higher taxes imposed on Scottish malt.
- June 23 1650 - Charles II sailed into the estuary of the river Spey and signed the Covenant before going ashore.
- June 24 1314 - Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II at Battle of Bannockburn.
- June 25 1876 - Seven Scots, including John Stuart Forbes, were in the US 7th Cavalry with General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
- June 26 1488 - James IV crowned king at the age of 15 at Scone. He reigned until 1513 when he fell with the flower of Scotland's nobility at the Battle of Flodden Field.
- June 27 1583 - James VI (aged 17) escaped from Castle Ruthven.
- June 28 1838 - Queen Victoria crowned at Westminster Abbey.
Edinburgh Fringe Programme LaunchedThe organisers of this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival have launched the programme for the August event and it lists over 2,000 shows - claimed to be the world's largest arts festival. In addition, four of the festival's largest venues - including the Gilded Balloon and the Pleasance - have set up their own Edinburgh Comedy Festival and launched their own programme. It is now 61 years since eight theatre groups turned up uninvited to the first Edinburgh International Festival. Their performances were staged at smaller venues away from the big public stages of the main festival. The Fringe now has an estimated 75% market share of all attendance at Edinburgh's year-round festivals and annually generates about £75m for the Edinburgh and Scottish economy. The programme includes the usual mix of controversial drama, comedy, dance, music and new theatre. Last year the event sold 1.7 million tickets.
Scotland: A Changing NationThe National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh has created a new gallery - Scotland: A Changing Nation - which presents a look at Scotland over the last century. Of course, it can only show a snapshot of selected items, and focuses on five themes - war, emigration, industry, politics and entertainment. Items include adverts for Irn-Bru (a sweet, orange fizzy drink that rivals Coca- Cola in the local market) with artwork in Russian and Arabic (to show the global reach of Scottish brands. Also on show is a Victoria Cross won by Daniel Laidlaw, whose bravery was commended in piping his comrades "over the top" in the Battle of Loos. There is also the first coalition agreement between the Scottish Labour Party and Scottish Liberal Democrats to form the first devolved Scottish government - now a part of history. The gallery also shows Scotland's achievements in culture, medicine, sport, business and innovation, and look ahead to the future.
Moira Kerr's Online Radio ShowPopular singer/sonwriter Moira Kerr is hosting 4 one-hour radio programmes for a cable radio station Radio Six International playing music by Scottish artistes (and playing some of her own recordings, of course). The programmes are also broadcast over the Internet - see www.radiosix.com. The first one goes out on Sunday 29th June at 5pm GMT and is repeated on Saturday 5th July at 1am GMT, which will be prime time in North America. The further programmes are scheduled for Sunday 6 July (5pm GMT) repeated on Saturday 12 July at 1am GMT; Sunday 13 July (5pm GMT) repeated on Saturday 19 July at 1am GMT; Sunday 20 July (5pm GMT) repeated on Saturday 26 July at 1am GMT.
Rock NessThe third rock festival at the village of Dores on the shores of Loch Ness was held last weekend. The first event attracted 20,000 fans and this year the numbers reached 35,000. DJ Fatboy Slim, who hosted the initial concert, made a return to the event which also featured bands such as the View, Razorlight and the Editors.
Battle Cries at Game FairThe Scottish Game Fair held in the grounds of Scone Palace from July 4 to 6 is set to hear the sounds of battle as the 1st Battalion 42nd Highland Regiment of Foot 1815 (The Black Watch) re-enactment group gives demonstrations of musketry and drill, as well as living authentically on site for the duration of the event. The group recreates The Black Watch regiment as it would have looked at the time of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Other attractions at the fair feature live game birds, fishing, clay shooting, gundogs and terriers. It is anticipated that a record number of visitors will be attracted by these displays and over 300 trade stands.
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.
USA v Scotland Polo MatchFor the fifth year in a row, a Scottish team is participating in a polo match against the USA in Newport, Rhode Island. The Scots lead the series 3-1 and the event is taking place at Gardiner Seveney Sports Complex, 715 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI, six miles north of downtown Newport on Saturday June 21st, 5:00pm. The Mystic Highland Pipe Band will perform before the match, playing the Scots National anthem. At half time they will give a display of sword dancing - after practicing earlier in the week using polo mallets instead of claymores! The local Citizens Bank is carrying flyers and posters in all its Rhode Island branches. Not so surprising, really, as Citizens Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Scots get everywhere!
22nd Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games, IllinoisIllinois Saint Andrew Society (ISAS) presents the 22nd Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games, June 20-21, 2008 at the Oak Brook Polo Grounds in Oak Brook, Illinois. There is a dazzling array of events for the whole family, including: a Champion Supreme Pipe Band competition; Highland Dance competition; Heavy Athletics U.S. Championship; Youth five-a-side Soccer Tournament; British Car Show; cultural exhibits; Scotch whisky tastings and seminars; live Celtic musical performances (both traditional and Celtic rock); Parade of Tartans; Kilted Mile Run/Walk; Raffle; Children’s crafts and activities; and a variety of attendee contests such as the Shortbread, Knobbly Knees, Haggis Hurling and Haggis Eating. Attendees can also enjoy traditional Scottish cuisine and drink, including a Tea Tent and the Celtic Marketplace, where a variety of unique Scottish and Celtic merchandise will be available for purchase. For more information, event schedules, competition registration forms or to purchase tickets, visit the Illinois Saint Andrew Society website at www.chicago-scots.org
Scotland Ready to Host Euro 2012 or Euro 2016?Scotland and the Republic of Ireland failed in their bid to stage Euro 2008 football tournament, which launched last weekend in Switzerland and Austria. Scotland did not bid for Euro 2012 and that is to be staged in Ukraine and Poland. But Uefa, the game's governing body in Europe, has expressed concern about the lack of progress in their preparations and the suitability of stadia and infrastructure. They have suggested that if the current 2012 hosts do not meet the required standard, moving the competition to Scotland would be a possibility. After 2012, the event is to be enlarged and Scotland would not be capable of staging it on its own. However, the Scottish Government is reported to support a joint bid by Scotland and Wales to host the Euro championships, perhaps in 2016. Eight stadiums would be required in Scotland and four in Wales. That would need Aberdeen and both grounds of the Edinburgh clubs being upgraded. The two Dundee clubs would need to move to a new joint stadium - an idea that has been considered and rejected in the past. But times change and representatives of both clubs have voiced support.
Scotland in ArgentinaScotland's rugby team was within seven minutes of defeating Argentina (who came third in this season's Rugby World Cup) last weekend, after impeccable kicking by Chris Paterson who scored all 15 of Scotland's points. But a momentary lapse which give Argentina a penalty turned the tide and an injury-time touch down a few minutes later meant that Scotland went down 21-15. Howvever, in the second match in Buenis Aires, impeccable kicking again by Chris Paterson steered Scotland to a comfortable 26-14 win, squaring the Test series. At half-time, Scotland were in the lead bu 16-0 but this time did not allow the game to slip away from them. Scotland and Argentina both scored tries, but it was Paterson's two conversions and four penalties that made the difference.
Gretna ResignGretna Football Club have lost their battle for survival and have resigned from the Scottish Football League. The club entered the SFL in 2002 and rose through the three lower divisions to reach the Scottish Premier League in 2007. But when benefactor Miles Malesson withdrew hi support, the club ran into financial difficulties and went into administration with debts of around £4 million. Five clubs have applied to replace them by moving into the Third Division. Four of the teams - Annan Athletic, Edinburgh City, Preston Athletic and Spartans - currently play in the East of Scotland League. Highland League champions Cove Rangers are the fifth club to apply. There were no formal applications from East of Scotland side Gala Fairydean and former senior team Third Lanark, who had both expressed an interest at an earlier stage. Now the five clubs will present their business and football plans to all 29 members of the SFL at a Special General Meeting to be held at Hampden Park on 3 July. The clubs will vote that day on which club to invite to join the SFL as a Third Division club, with effect from the 2008-09 season.
Monty Falls from Top 100For the first time since 1990, Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie has dropped out of the top 100 world rankings. There is now a prospect that there may be no Scottish representation in the Ryder Cup at Valhalla in Louisville this September - the first time there has been no Scot in the team since 1937. Currently, Alastair Forsyth is the only Scot rated in the world's top 100 (at 95th). Forsyth is 19th in the European standings. Of course, Monty could still bounce back. But in his mid 40s, it will be hard for even the most prolific British winner in European Tour history - and a runner-up in the 2006 US Open - to produce consistently good golf.
Race for LifeOver 13,000 women took to the streets of Glasgow last weekend to walk, jog or run five kilometres in the annual "Race for Life". The organisers, Cancer Research UK, hope it will raise around £950,000. Since it began in 1994, Race for Life has become the biggest women-only fundraising event in the UK The race in Glasgow is one of 280 around the country.
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 Stay in Scotland
Scottish Apartment.com, Edinburgh When visiting Edinburgh for leisure, pleasure or business, why not rent a self catering apartment? Just as you might rent a villa in Crete or the Algarve, opt out of formal hotel living and enjoy a casual home-from-home experience: eat in, dine out, chill out in your own private city pièd à terre. It makes such economic sense especially if you wish to stay for a week or two. Scottish Apartment.com is an innovative travel company providing an exciting choice of luxury, standard and budget graded serviced flats around Edinburgh, from historic Old Town properties near the Castle to contemporary 5 star Penthouses at Newhaven Harbour with sea views over the Firth of Forth. The Apartments list covers couples, groups of friends, families and corporate travellers for short and long term visits, with studios and spacious apartments to accommodate one to six guests. Every apartment is individually designed and furnished so you can find a location and facilities to suit you and your fellow guests. For a full, illustrated review, see Great Places to Stay - Scottish Apartment.com.
Best of the Recent Additions
Battle of Prestonpans 1745
This resource provides news, interactivity and information on the Battle of Prestonpans and the charitable association Battle of Prestonpans  Heritage Trust. The site commemorates the Battle and seeks to promote the campaign to better commemorate the battle. In addition to details of the historical background and the battle itself, the site includes a variety of multimedia files about the conflict taken from plays and documentaries, as well as ain image gallery and articles and poetry. Battle of Prestonpans.
Scottish Poetry and Song
Andrew Scott (1757-1839), the author of this song, was born in a small parish in Roxburghshire (now part of the Scottish Borders). He was motivated by the works of Allan Ramsay to begin composing verses when he was twelve years old and working as a cowherd. He later became a soldier and fought with the British Army in the American War of Independence, where he continued to write, merely for the entertainment of his comrades. On his return, he worked as a labourer to support his family and wrote little for the next seventeen years. A friend then encouraged him to publish some of his output and a number of books of his verses sold well.
The song below was no doubt prompted by his experiences of being sent abroad with the British Army. It still has a resonance today.
The Young Maid's Wish for Peace
Fain wad I, fain wad I hae the bloody wars to cease,
An' the nations restored again to unity an' peace;
Then mony a bonnie laddie, that's now far owre the sea,
Wad return to his lassie, an' his ain countrie.
My lad was call'd awa for to cross the stormy main,
An' to face the battle's bray in the cause of injured Spain;
But in my love's departure hard fate has injured me,
That has reft him frae my arms, an' his ain countrie.
When he bade me adieu, oh! my heart was like to break,
An' the parting tear dropp'd down for my dear laddie's sake;
Kind Heavens protect my Willie, wherever he be,
An' restore him to my arms, an' his ain countrie.
Yes, may the fates defend him upon that hostile shore,
Amid the rage of battle, where thund'ring cannons roar;
In the sad hour of danger, when deadly bullets flee,
Far frae the peacefu' plains of his ain countrie.
Wae's me, that vice had proven the source of blood an' war,
An' sawn amang the nations the seeds of feud an' jar:
But it was cruel Cain, an' his grim posterity,
First began the bloody wark in their ain countrie.
An' oh! what widows weep, an' helpless orphans cry!
On a far foreign shore now, the dear, dear ashes lie,
Whose life-blood stain'd the gowans of some far foreign lea,
Far frae their kith an' kin, an' their ain countrie.
Hail the day, speed the day, then, when a' the wars are done!
An' may ilk British laddie return wi' laurels won;
On my dear Willie's brows may they flourish bonnily,
An' be wi' the myrtle twined in his ain countrie.
But I hope the time is near, when sweet peace her olive wand
To lay the fiend of war shall soon stretch o'er every land,
When swords turn'd into ploughshares and pruning-hooks shall be,
An' the nations a' live happy in their ain countrie.
Meaning of unusual words:
Fain wad I = Lovingly would I
bray = advance
jar = conflict
gowans = daisy
ilk = every
Finishing What We Start
The Rev Jamie McWhachle was, to put it mildly, "humour challenged" and attended a conference designed to better equip preachers for their ministry. One dynamic speaker boldly approached the lectern and began: "The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who wasn't my wife!" The audience was shocked, but after a momentary pause, he followed this up by saying, "And that woman was my mother!" The audience burst into laughter and he delivered the rest of his talk, which went down very well. The next week, Rev McWhachle decided he'd give this humour thing a try and use that joke in his sermon. As he approached the pulpit that sunny Sunday, he tried to rehearse the joke in his head. It suddenly seemed a bit foggy to him. Getting to the pulpit, he said loudly, "The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of another woman who was not my wife!" His congregation inhaled half the air in the church! After standing there for almost 10 seconds in the stunned silence, trying to recall the second half of the joke, Rev McWachle finally blurted out, "...and I can't remember who she was!"
Lachlan's Laws - # 67
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: "Live every day as if it is your last. One day you will be right."
Practise Makes Perfect
Dr McLurch was doing his rounds of the hospital wards and commented to one patient that his coughing seemed to be bit easier. The man looked up dolefully and said: "It should be. I've been perfecting it all night..."
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