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.
Economic Doom and GloomScotland is not immune to the recent economic turmoils - as the £37 billion pound government investment in the Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland last month showed. The latest estimate of Scotland's GDP did show a modest 0.1% growth - but that was because such figures are inevitably produced very much in arrears and related to the second quarter of 2008. In the first quarter, the economy grew by just 0.3% and on an annualised basis, the Scottish economy grew by 1.8% in the second quarter. It was little consolation that the Scottish figures were slightly better than for the UK economy as a whole, which declined for the first time for 16 years. The gloomy picture was reinforced by the retail sales figures for September when high street shops in Scotland recorded their weakest sales performance for two-and-a-half years, with like-for-like sales showing no increase at all. Of course, the picture is better when new retail outlets are taken into account - the overall figure was 4.6% higher than September last year. But the growth came from food sales and reflected merely the increase in prices which have taken place in the last twelve months. Again, however, the UK-wide picture was even gloomier, with sales 1.5% below last September.
Support for Scottish BusinessThe first ever Scottish national portal for public contracting opportunities was officially launched this week as part of the Scottish Government's Economic Recovery Plan. "Public Contracts Scotland" is a free on-line service for suppliers to have easy access to all essential information on public sector business opportunities, estimated to be worth around £8 billion a year in Scotland. It will provide one single source of information for suppliers who can then bid for these public service contracts. In the past, one of the major barriers for small and medium sized businesses was obtaining information on central and local government contracts. Now the information is available to any business that registers - and 10,000 have done so already.
Round the Clock Christmas ShoppingFour years ago the Glasgow Fort shopping centre (seen here) led the way in extended shopping hours over Christmas with trading up until midnight. Last year it was the first in Scotland to pilot 31 hours of non-stop trading in the lead-up to Christmas Eve. This year even more stores in the shopping centre have agreed to the marathon hours which will begin on December 23 at 10am and finish at 5pm on Christmas Eve. Supermarket giant Sainsbury's plans to keep its store at Braehead shopping centre open 24 hours a day from December 8 to 6pm on Christmas Eve. Other shops at Braehead will be open till midnight on weekdays from December 8 until just before Christmas. Many traders generate between 40% and 80% of their entire year's sales in the period from November to the end of January.
Record Number of GraduatesFigures published this week show that a record number of 77,380 people graduated from Scottish universities and colleges last year, 3,000 more than the year before. Of those who went on to permanent employment in the UK after qualifying, 81% found jobs in Scotland, a 2% rise on the year before. That figure rose to 92% for graduates who were already Scottish residents and found jobs in Scotland.
Airport Extension OpensAirport terminals always seem to have building works going on non-stop and Glasgow airport is no exception. With a new International terminal building and "T2" departure hall completed in recent years, the third phase of a £31 million extension opened in October with a major new ground floor arrivals hall for UK domestic flights. That was followed a week later with a new security area, replacing three existing search areas. All departing passengers are now routed through a central search area on the terminal's first floor. T2 passengers will also benefit as they will now no longer have to go outside after checking in. The project represents the biggest single investment in Glasgow Airport since the expansion of the early 1990s. A further phase, due to start this month, will see the existing terminal upgraded and refurbished to provide additional seating, new fashion stores and catering facilities.
Deposit Raised for Art CollectionThe core of the art exhibited at the National Galleries of Scotland are on loan to the collection by the Duke of Sutherland. They include four works by Titian, three by Raphael, an important self-portrait by the Dutch master Rembrandt, as well as works by Rubens and Tintoretto. The Bridgewater Collection, as it is known, is estimated to be worth a billion pounds on the open market and has been with the national collection in Edinburgh since 1945. In September, the Duke of Sutherland announced he wanted to sell part of the collection but agreed to sell Titian's Diana and Actaeon (see illustration) jointly to the Scottish gallery and the National Gallery in London for £50 million (about half the estimated market value). But a "deposit" of £1 million had to be raised by January 1 - and that sum has now been obtained. It was obtained from The Art Fund - the UK's leading independent art charity and was the largest grant for a single work of art in the fund's 105-year history. So far, so good. However, promises or guarantees of the remaining £49 are required by the end of December this year - and so far no other contributions have been announced. Even if that is achieved, the two galleries will have another four years to raise another £50 million for a second Titian, Diana and Callisto. If both paintings are bought, the rest of the Bridgewater Collection will remain in Edinburgh, on public display, for a further 21 years.
Record Price for Scottish Colourist PaintingA Samuel Peploe oil on canvas painting, titled "Roses", has fetched £529,250 at a recent Christie’s auction of Scottish art at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. The original estimate had been £300,000-£400,000. Peploe (1871-1935) was one of four painters who make up the "Scottish Colourists" - the others are Francis Cadell, JD Fergusson and George Hunter. Interest in their work has rocketed in recent years - another Peploe was sold for nearly £350,000 and Cadell's "Iona Cathedral" fetched £163,250 at the same auction. The sale of 180 lots spanning more than 300 years of Scottish art, resulted in £2.4 million of sales. It included a 1749 self-portrait by Edinburgh-born artist Allan Ramsay, which was eventually sold for £289,250.
Renewable Energy LandmarkThe amount of renewable energy generating capacity in Scotland passed the three gigawatt level this week, with the opening of two new wind farms. The landmark was confirmed by the Scottish Government Energy Minister as he officially opened the wind farms on "Green Energy Day". More than half of the renewable energy is now being produced by wind power, the rest by long established hydro-electric schemes and some biomass power stations. Since May last year, 14 renewable applications up and down the country have been approved, including the Clyde wind farm, currently the largest single consented wind farm in Europe. Five years ago, a target of 18% of Scotland's energy production from renewables by 2010 looked challenging. But that has already been met - several years early - and the industry is now focused on meeting the next target of 50% renewable energy production by 2020.
Lighthouse Facing Lights OutThe Lighthouse is Scotland's centre of architecture and design and is housed in a building in Glasgow designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1895. It was established in 1999 (for the city's "year of architecture and design") and has frequently experienced financial problems. Now it is facing a major funding shortfall, having been told that the Scottish Government would not be providing £2.25 million for its major Six Cities Design Festival. And the cost of mounting Scotland's first appearance at the Venice Biennale of architecture this summer cost £100,000 more than the funds provided by the Scottish Government and other private sources. It is now facing a deficit of £300,000 and has again gone to Glasgow City Council seeking funding to avoid the prospect of closure. A new business plan has been drawn up which will result in some job losses. It will also reduce the scale of some of its educational and outreach work and attempt to raise more money commercially. The Six Cities Festival, which was staged in 2007 in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling, was expected to be run again next year. It attracted 300,000 people to its 300 events.
Successes for Scots Tennis StarDuring October, Andy Murray from Dunblane, who had reached the final of the New York Open Championship in September, continued a successful tennis season by winning his second Masters title, this time in Madrid. He had defeated the World Number 2, Roger Federer, in the semi-final. It would have been a surprise if Andy had then lost to Frenchman Gilles Simon and indeed he won comfortably 6-4, 7-6 (8-6). In so doing, he became the first British player to win two titles at the elite Masters level in a season, having won the Cincinnati title in August. Andy Murray then followed that up by retaining his St Petersburg Open title to continue his successful winning form. However, after easing through the earlier rounds, Andy's superb winning run came to an end in the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters when he was defeated 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 by the defending Paris Open champion David Nalbandian from Argentina. Murray has already qualified for the end-of-season Masters Cup in Shanghai.
Picture of Andy Murray at Cincinatti via Wikipedia.
Piping ChampionCumnock’s Pipe Major Gordon Walker retained the title of Glenfiddich Piping Champion last Saturday night at the competition which raised the roof in the grand ballroom of Blair Castle in Perthshire. He has been competing in the invitation-only piping event for nearly 20 years.
Reprieve for 150 Highland Telephone BoxesWith the increasing use of mobile phones, public call boxes are becoming used less and less. British Telecom (BT), who are responsible for maintaining them across the UK, is trying to reduce costs by closing down many of the boxes which are under-utilised. Almost 60% of the UK's payphones are unprofitable - some more unprofitable than others. Of course, many of these are in remote areas and even if they are not used much, they are considered by many to be a vital lifeline communication service. BT had earmarked 192 boxes in the Highlands, where 83% of the 601 payphones are losing money. After representations from Highland Council and others, who pointed out that closure would leave long stretches of the strategic road network without payphone provision, in an area which has poor mobile phone coverage. BT has apparently been listening - and agreed that the 151 payphones highlighted by Highland Council should remain. The remaining 41 phones on the hit list will now be removed.
More Glenmorangie WhiskyThe home of the world-renowned Glenmorangie single malt whisky in Tain in Easter Ross is undergoing its biggest expansion since it went into production in 1843. The first phase, to provide additional fermentation capacity, has been completed and now a range of malt whisky distillation equipment, including four new stills, is being added. Each one is a replica of those currently in use and will increase production capacity by 50%. That will allow the company to meet a growing demand for premium single malt whiskies from existing and emerging markets in the US, Far East and central Europe. The £45 million investment programme will also see the construction of a new bottling facility and new cask warehousing at the Glenmorangie Distillery and the Ardbeg Distillery on Islay, as well as the restyling of the visitor centre at the Tain distillery.
"Free Whisky Saved"There had been concern that one of the proposals in a Scottish Government consultation paper on changing the legislation on the promotion of cheap alcohol might impact on the tradition of visitors being given a free dram at the end of a distillery tour.The main aim of the proposals was to target "happy hours" and cut-price deals in supermarkets, however. The Scotch Whisky Association and others argued that the dram at the end of a distillery tour was "an important part of Scottish heritage and the tourist industry in Scotland." So there was relief when Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill confirmed that there would be a dispensation for the distilleries. The cost of the drink is, of course, included in the overall ticket price for the tour.
Two-thirds of a Cheer for New GlassesThe National Weights and Measures Laboratory has proposed that a new measure of two-thirds of a pint should be legalised next year, to be available in bars and restaurants in addition the traditional pint and half pint measures. The proposal is aimed at "boosting consumer choice" but initial reaction was sceptical from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association - responsible for many of the 18,000 licensed premises in Scotland. There is a suggestion that the new measure would help drinkers to enjoy one or two small glasses without breaching the drink-driving levels. But a spokesman for the Campaign for Real Ale felt it could lead to confusion, saying: "If you're trying to work out how much alcohol is in five times two-thirds of a pint, many people will struggle - especially after having five two-thirds of a pint."
Recent Weather in ScotlandLast weekend, there was further torrential rain in many parts of Scotland, falling on already sodden ground, with strong winds adding to the problems. Stornoway was hit by gusts of up to nearly 100mph and Aberdeen recorded gusts of up to 68mph. Thousands of customers in Shetland lost power as the winds damaged overhead lines and junction boxes. Ferry services were disrupted with several sailings cancelled. This week, temperatures plunged to the coldest in October for five years as cold air came down from the Arctic and there was a covering of snow in Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, the first significant snowfall in October since 1980. The early snow caused the closure of a number of schools as daytime temperatures barely rose above freezing in the north. By the end of the week, however, temperatures began to rise again - even 46F began to feel mild by comparison with earlier in the week.
There were some sunny spells between the rain and the showers and sometimes both came along at the same time - producing a rainbow, as here at Hogganfield Loch in Glasgow.
This Week's Colour SupplementThis week's large format photographs taken in Scotland to show the current season and its flora and fauna include:
~ An orange dahlia, lit up by the rays of a low sun, with dark clouds behind;
~ A magnificent tree in the gardens of Drummond Castle in Perthshire confirming that there are better than usual autumn colours this year;
~ Acers, which grow in the formal gardens and parterres in front of Drummond Castle, creating a marvellous display;
~ Whooper swans, with their distinctive yellow beaks and even more distinctive whooping calls;
~ Rhododendrons sometimes try to produce a few flowers in the autumn too and here is one that has managed to produce a perfect pink bloom (see thumbnail);
~ Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers being fitted out on the river Clyde at Scotstoun, Glasgow.
For all these graphics, see This Week's Colour Supplement.
Historical Affairs - Topical Items from Scotland's Past
How Scots Shaped the Modern WorldThe new Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at Edinburgh University opened this week, aiming to investigate the impact made by thousands of Scottish emigrants from medieval times to the present day. The centre was established thanks to a donation of £1 million by Alan McFarlane, managing director of investment management firm Walter Scott and Partners and a former student at the university. Professor Tom Devine, the Scottish historian, will head the new centre which will research how Scots influenced societies, economies, and cultures around the world - not just the New Worlds of Australia, New Zealand and North America, but also in Asia and in countries such as Sweden, Poland, and France. From the 1850s to the Second World War, Scotland was one of the top three nations in Europe in terms of emigration. Because Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries had a disproportionate number of semi-skilled, skilled, and professional emigrants, they tended to have a disproportionate impact on their countries of settlement.
Bannockburn on FilmThe National Trust for Scotland is producing a film which will attempt to portray the gritty reality of the Battle of Bannockburn, when Scots led by King Robert the Bruce defeated the English King Edward II in 1314. Over 100 actors donned armour and authentic replica weapons last weekend in a re-enactment of the battle at Dalmahoy Country Estate. The film is being made by the same company that made the 360-degree "immersive film" shown at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre. The ten-minute film about the Scottish victory achieved against superior forces involves computer graphics as well as live action, and will be shown next spring.
World Heritage Village "In Danger"The chairman of the charitable trust which takes care of the 18th century cotton mill at New Lanark has warned that the current economic turmoil is impacting on the Unesco World Heritage site and that vital repair work is being delayed. The New Lanark site has recently had an application rejected for a National Heritage Lottery Grant which would have been used to stop a crumbling wall collapsing. Scottish Culture Minister Linda Fabiani has agreed to meet the chairman of New Lanark Trust to discuss the challenges facing the site.
Anniversaries of Scottish Historical Events
- November 3 1698 - The Darien Expedition landed at "Caledonia" in Panama.
- November 4 1650 - Birth of King William III.
- November 5 1877 - Opening of the original Mitchell Library, Glasgow, now the largest public reference library in Europe.
- November 6 1887 - Celtic Football Club formally constituted in Calton, Glasgow, to alleviate poverty in Glasgow's East End parishes.
- November 7 1974 - Writer Eric Linklater died in Orkney.
- November 8 1308 - Scholar and philosopher John Duns Scotus died. His dry subtleties led to the word "Duns" or "dunce" meaning dull and incapable of learning. Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1993.
- November 9 1847 - In Edinburgh, Sir James Young Simpson delivered Wilhelmina Carstairs while chloroform was administered to the mother, the first child to be born with the aid of anaesthesia.
- November 10 1871 - Journalist Henry M Stanley found the missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone with the classic "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"
- November 11 1918 - Armistice Day - World War I ends on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
- November 12 - St Machar Day, patron saint of Aberdeen.
- November 13 1093 - King Malcolm III (Canmore), last of the Celtic kings was killed at the Battle of Alnwick. Succeeded by Donald III.
- November 14 1896 - Speed limit for horseless carriages was raised from 4mph (2mph in towns) to 14mph.
- November 15 1873 - Statue to Greyfriar's Bobby, who stayed by his master's grave for 14 years was unveiled.
25 Years of Burrell Collection
It was 25 years ago in 1983 that the Queen opened the Burrell Collection, said to be the greatest collection of world art accumulated by one person. Sir William Burrell had gifted his collection to the city of Glasgow in 1944 but had stipulated that it should be displayed in a gallery within four miles of Killearn and not less than 16 miles from the centre of Glasgow - he was concerned about the effect of industrial pollution and wanted the building to be in a rural setting. It was long after Burrell's death before the gift of the grounds of Pollok House, only five miles from the city centre, at least provided the sylvan setting Burrell sought. The museum and gallery has a huge collection of medieval art, tapestries, alabasters, stained glass and English oak furniture and a prized collection of suzanis - richly embroidered wall hangings from Uzbekistan. The building was voted second in the 100 best modern buildings of the past 50 years by Prospect magazine in 2006. Now there are hopes for a major facelift for the building, to take it through the next 25 years.
Celtic Connections Presenting Reggae BurnsThe programme for the 2009 Celtic Connections festival has been announced and it includes a reggae tribute to the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns in an unusual Jamaica Burns Night. This will recall the journey Burns nearly made - a one-way trip to Jamaica in 1786. There will also be a 12-hour song marathon and a rare appearance from Youssou N'Dour, the revered Senegalese singer, who will be performing a one-off show. The programme has twin themes of the celebration of Burns in the specially designated Year of Homecoming and an exploration of the links between Celtic and African musical worlds. The 16th festival will see 1500 artists performing in 300 events in 14 venues from January 15 to February 1.
Fort William Mountain FestivalThe Fort William Mountain Festival is dedicated to celebrating mountains and the culture that surrounds them and runs from 6 - 14 March 2009. It will have a packed programme of mountain sports, films, lectures, guided walks, workshops, exhibitions, literature, photography and music for residents and visitors who want to learn about and celebrate mountain culture. The International Adventure Film Competition 2009 will offer the opportunity for both amateur and professional filmmakers from across the globe to showcase their work and share their passion for sport, culture and the environment. Entries for the film competition are invited for submission on these subjects and themes. In addition, the John Muir Trust's Wild Places, Wild Journeys Writing Competition 2009 will see the winning piece being published in the John Muir Trust Journal, one of the strongest voices in the campaign for the protection and conservation of wild places. The open competition encourages both aspiring and professional writers to share their experiences in either the English or the Gaelic language. For further details, see Fort William Mountain Festival.
Hallowe'enFor many centuries Hallowe'en has been one of the highlights of the Scottish cultural calendar, especially for children. This year the Scots Language Centre is celebrating Halloween with a programme packed full of ghosts, trolls and other supernatural creatures. They have pages on such delights as "dookin for aipples" and the supernatural world. There's also a video of a modern version of Tam O'Shanter acted by a group of drama students from Glasgow and a video of Malcolm Arnold's musical version of the same poem, performed by the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg. For loads of fun, see Scots Language Centre - Hallowe'en.
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.
Clan Chisholm Gathering in BanffThe first International Gathering of any Scottish clan in Western Canada was hosted by the Canada Branch of Clan Chisholm Society recently in Banff, Alberta. 150 Chisholms from the UK, the US, South Africa, and Canada attended. Rob Chisholm played the pipes at the President's Reception while guests in Highland attire had an opportunity to meet The Chisholm, Hamish Chisholm of Chisholm and his wife Julie and the international president of the Clan Chisholm Society Val Perry and her husband Jack of the US. The gathering took place at the same time as the Canmore Highland Games and Chisholms manned a clan tent at the event. Despite an early fall of snow during the games, there was plenty of heat in a huge tent containing entertainment, beer, food, whisky, camaraderie, and warmth; it later became the venue for the evening Ceilidh.
League TablesRangers moved into the lead in the Scottish Premier League with a 5-0 defeat of Inverness Caledonian Thistle giving them a better goal average than Celtic. The Hoops could move ahead again if they win against Hearts on Sunday, but will then have played one game more than Rangers. Motherwell continued their good form with another win on Saturday and remain in 3rd position thanks to a better goal difference than Kilmarnock in 4th spot.
St Johnstone continued a recent good run of results and now find themselves at the top of the table, two points of Queen of the South who lost on Saturday.
Celtic's Slim European Championship HopesThe gulf between Scottish football clubs and their counterparts in England (who can afford the best players in the world) was highlighted when Celtic travelled to meet Manchester United in the Group stage of the European Champions League. The English club strolled to a 3-0 victory that left Celtic's hopes of progressing further hanging by the slenderest of threads. Celtic have played 17 away games in various group stages of the Champions League and have achieved just one solitary point. Indeed, Scottish clubs have played 11 games in Europe this season - and have not recorded a single win to date.
Dundee Sack ManagerAfter a poor start to the season, Alex Rae the Dundee manager was sacked after a 2-1 defeat at home to struggling Ross County. Having finished third last season, Dundee had aspirations to be a contender for promotion, but with only three wins from 11 games, the club is instead languishing second from the foot of the table. The manager was understandably unhappy about the sale of top players during the summer. Rae came to Dundee in May 2006 as player manager but was concentrating this season on his management role.
Higgins Wins Snooker TitleSnooker player John Higgins, known as the "Wizard of Wishaw", won his first ranking event for 18 months with a 9-7 win at the Royal London Watches Grand Prix in Glasgow. He had raced to a 7-2 lead but saw that eroded to 8-7 before winning the next two frames to secure the title. Higgins has now won 19 ranking titles, but that was the first since he triumphed at the 2007 world championships. The win meant that Higgins moved up three places to 6th in the snooker world rankings.
Picture of John Higgins via Wikipedia.
Glasgow to Host Davis CupGlasgow is to stage Great Britain's home match against Ukraine in next year's Euro/Africa zone of the Davis Cup. The event will take place at Braehead Arena from 6 to 8 March and will give the Scottish fans the opportunity to cheer on Andy Murray. There had been a question mark over whether Murray would agree to participate in the Great Britain team after they had been defeated in September and were relegated to the second tier. But Murray has confirmed he will play at Braehead - and hope to advance to the World Group play-offs in September.
Cyclist Named Sports Personality of the YearCyclist Chris Hoy, who became the first British competitor to win three golds in a single Olympics since 1908, has been named Scottish Sportsperson of the Year - for the fifth time in six years. Paralympic cyclist Aileen McGlynn, who won two gold medals in Beijing, was the runner-up.
Picture of Chris Hoy via Wikipedia.
Braveheart Raises £40,000 for Scots CyclistsThe annual dinner of the Braveheart Cycling Fund has raised nearly £40,000 to provide support for young Scottish cyclists. This is the fifth year that the charity has held its fund raising dinner and cycling celebrities had donated cycling memorabilia for auction during the dinner. Top items included Robert Millar's mountain classification jersey from the 1984 Tour de France and a maillot jaune from CSC-Saxo Bank's Sastre and Sunderland. The original jersey donated by Scot Millar drew in the most money ever raised for an item in the dinner's history, £3200.
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.
Scottish Pictorial Calendar and Slideshow
Scottish Pictorial Calendar 2009
It's that time of year again when the Scottish Pictorial Calendar, which you can print on your own PC, appears on the Rampant Scotland Web site. This year, there are again four possible pictures for every month of the year. There is also a choice of two "cover" pages, if you want to print copies as an extra present for someone. And the only cost is paper and printer ink... While the pages look better if you print them on glossy paper, any good quality paper should produce a reasonable result. The link for the index page of the 2009 Scottish Pictorial Calendar is here.
And of course, even if you don't want to print a calendar, there are 48 pictures from Scotland to look at or download as desktop graphics. To make that easier, there is also a Slideshow Version with all the pictures presented in sequence.
Scottish Poetry and Song
Here's some good advice from Carolina Oliphant (1766-1845) also known by Lady Nairnie. She tells any lass who is concerned about whether she is the "bonniest lass in a' the warld" - that she'll find some lad who will be quite certain that she is just that!
The Bonniest Lass in a' the Warld
The bonniest lass in a' the warld,
I've often heard them telling,
She's up the hill, she's down the glen,
She's in yon lonely dwelling.
But nane could bring her to my mind
Wha lives but in the fancy,
Is't Kate, or Susie, Jean, or May,
Is't Effie, Bess, or Nancy?
Now lasses a' keep a gude heart,
Nor e'er envy a comrade,
For be your een black, blue, or gray,
Ye're bonniest aye to some lad.
The tender heart, the charming smile,
The truth that ne'er will falter,
Are charms that never can beguile,
And time can never alter.
Limericks may have been named after a town in Ireland, but they have now become universal - and there is a wealth of examples with a Scottish flavour! Here's a couple which fall neatly between the song/poetry section above - and the Scottish Humour below.
An indolent cleric frae May.
His roses allowed to decay.
His wife, more alert,
Bought a powerful squirt
And said to her spouse : "Let us spray".
An elderly man called Keith
Mislaid his set of false teeth -
They'd been laid on a chair,
He'd forgot they were there,
Sat down - and was bitten beneath
Gordon (from up-market Morningside in Edinburgh) was having a professional shave and a manicure and asked the attractive manicurist for a date. She replied "I'm married." That didn't put off Gordon and he suggested "Why don't you phone your husband and tell him you're going to visit a girlfriend." The manicurist replied, "Why don't you tell him yourself - he's shaving you with that cut-throat razor..."
Lachlan's Laws - # 77
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: "The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap."
Donald McPherson, who always looked after his money very, very carefully, was looking for a gift for a friend. Everything was too expensive except for a broken vase, which he could buy for almost nothing. He asked the store to send it, hoping his friend would think it had been broken in transit. In due course, he received a letter of thanks from his friend. "Thanks for the vase." it read. "It was thoughtful of you to wrap each piece separately."
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