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.
Cut-price Forth Bridge in Transport PlansThe Scottish Government published its "Strategic Transport Projects Review" this week. To a certain extent this is a "wish list" covering the next 20 years - funding for many of the projects will be hard to find and many of the infrastructure projects do not yet have an implementation timetable. Top of the list, however, is the second road bridge across the river Forth, west of Edinburgh. The transport review says that as it is now thought that the original bridge can be retained for much longer than anticipated, the new crossing can be made smaller - cutting the estimated cost to £1.72/ £2.34 billion, about half the earlier estimate. The original bridge will be dedicated to public transport with private cars and commercial vehicles using the new crossing. Other ambitious plans include making the main road between Perth and Inverness a dual carriageway along its entire 120 mile length; enhancing the Edinburgh-Glasgow rail links to reduce journey time to 35 minutes, with 13 services per hour (currently 5-6 per hour); faster, more frequent rail services linking Fife, Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow - reducing journey times between Inverness and the central belt by up to 30 minutes; upgrading the main road between Aberdeen and Inverness.
Bank of Scotland Takeover Approved
Shareholders of the Halifax Bank of Scotland Group have approved the takeover of the company by Lloyds TSB by a large majority. The new owners, now to be known as Lloyds Banking Group, say that the Bank of Scotland "brand" will continue to operate in Scotland at branch level. It seems likely that existing Lloyds TSB Scotland branches will be merged with this Bank of Scotland network. While much of the media comment has understandably concentrated on the loss of Bank of Scotland's head office and senior posts after 313 years, the gradual disappearance of TSB in Scotland's towns and cities will also mark the end of links with "savings banks". The first mutual savings bank in the world was created in Ruthwell in Dumfries in 1810. "TSB" at one time stood for "Trustee Savings Bank".
Scots Pupils Below Average in Science & MathsA survey of more than 60 countries and regions has found that Scottish pupils are below the global average in mathematics and science. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss) compared primary and secondary school standards. It found only 51% of Primary 5 pupils and 68% of Secondary 2 pupils were taught science by a teacher who felt "very well" prepared. In maths, Scotland lagged behind countries such as Armenia and Slovenia - and its overall highest position was 13th out of 49 countries. Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the survey highlighted unacceptable failings in maths and science in Scotland's schools and confirmed the urgent need to act. She pointed out that during the last administration the achievement of Scots pupils fell back between 2003 and 2007, compared to other countries. The study is regarded as an important benchmark for comparing standards in maths and science around the world. The best results were achieved by Pacific rim countries, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and South Korea.
Icy Weather Swamps HospitalsThe cold weather and icy, slippery pavements and car parks have produced a spate of people with broken wrists, ankles, elbows and legs. The accident and emergency departments in Glasgow and Clyde recorded their busiest day ever on the first Tuesday in December. Almost 2,000 patients were seen in one day, a 20% rise on the previous highest record. Fortunately, the severe weather warnings issued by the meteorological office for a heavy fall of snow towards the end of the first week of December didn't materialise, otherwise the number of accidents would have continued at a high level. Although the roads departments claimed that they had gritted all the main roads, it was suburban side roads that often went untreated and pedestrian areas were often left with hard packed snow and ice.
Scottish Birth Rate at 13-Year HighThe Registrar General for Scotland has reported that a total of 15,520 babies were born in July, August and September of this year, the highest for this quarter since the mid-1990s. Total births for the year to end September are 2,100 up on the same period last year. The death rate was largely unchanged at 12,625 deaths in the recent quarter, just 11 up on the third quarter last year.
Aberdeen Bus Strike Called Off
Bus drivers in Aberdeen who had been heading for a 48-hour strike over this weekend - when thousands of shoppers were expected to flood into the city for Christmas shopping - called off the industrial action with just days to go. Crisis talks had been held for some time in an effort to bring the two sides in the First Bus company together. A 24-hour walkout last Saturday by 400 drivers, mechanics and cleaners caused chaos in Aberdeen, the home city of the First Bus group. Retailers feared more strikes in the run-up to Christmas could devastate their festive season takings. The company had offered a 4% increase in pay - and the trade union had been holding out for 5%. A compromise of 4.5% was agreed to bring the dispute to an end.
Journalists RedundantAll the journalists and publishing staff on the Glasgow-based Herald newspaper and its sister publications the Sunday Herald and the Evening Times are being made redundant. All 250 staff have been told to re-apply for jobs, but it is expected that between 30 and 40 staff will not be re-employed. The newspaper group's managing director said that they were committed to the newspapers and their websites but radical change was needed to increase efficiency and make full use of state-of-the-art news production technology. The National Union of Journalists described the action as a "brutal attempt at forcing changes". The NUJ claimed that changers are taking place across the media industry but other employers in Scotland were working with the union to try to handle these changes in a civilised manner.
Edinburgh's Princes Street To Close
When the work involved in laying the track for Edinburgh's new tramway line resulted in the closure of Princes Street, the city's main shopping thoroughfare, it resulted in traffic chaos and the route was quickly re-opened. But now the route is to be closed for most of next year to ensure that the work is completed as quickly as possible. City retailers are complaining bitterly about the loss of business as shoppers stay away from the centre of the Capital as much as possible - and it will now get worse.
"Missing Link" to England ClosedIt says much about the priorities of those responsible for England's motorways that since the M74 motorway in Scotland was extended to the border with England, the first six miles south after that in England was merely a dual carriageway. That meant that farm tractors or even cyclists foolish enough to brave the vehicles going past at up to 70mph, were allowed on that stretch of the main route between Scotland and the rest of England. Now, at last, the "Cumberland Gap" has been closed, with a three-lane extension of the M6 motorway, replacing the A74 road. Work on it started in July 2006 and the total cost, including a new bridge over the river Esk, was £174 million. The new link comes as the 50th anniversary of the very first motorway (n the UK was being celebrated. That was an eight-mile stretch bypassing Preston in Lancashire - which is still part of the M6.
Hotel Room Prices FallA new report has highlighted that room prices at Scottish hotels have fallen by up to 15% (in Inverness) in the last year. Edinburgh prices fell by 5% (to an average of £106 per night) while Glasgow remained the best value with rooms down in price by 3% to an average of £77 per night. Hoteliers expect that they will be forced to introduce even more competitive prices next year as people look for more for low cost accommodation. In Edinburgh, massive discounts are on offer in some of the exclusive hotels - The Glasshouse has cut more than 50% from some of its prices.
Donald Trump's Scottish Family HomeUS entrepreneur Donald Trump has announced that he is to refurbish historic Menie House and make it his family home in Scotland. The building is on Menie Estate, which the billionaire is to develop into a "world class" golf resort on the Aberdeenshire coast. The 14th-century property is to be restored to its "original condition" - though it will presumably also have the comforts expected by a wealthy 21st century businessman. His aim is to make his Scottish home "reflect the levels of excellence" of his other properties around the world. A number of local companies have been engaged, including Interiors Unlimited of Inverurie, Fraser’s of Ellon, Bon Accord Granite and Ecosse Contract Services. It is expected that restoration work on Menie House and the associated Menie Park Lodge will be completed in the spring of next year.
Daring HandoverHMS Daring, the first of the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers, was officially handed over by the BVT Surface Fleet company this week. Civilian workers on the 7,000-tonne ship marched off the ship as Royal Navy personnel marched aboard at a ceremony at the Scotstoun yard on the river Clyde. HMS Daring is due to sail to its new home port of Portsmouth in January for further trials before becoming operational. There are three other Type 45 destroyers being fitted out at Scotstoun and two further ships are being built at Clyde yards. Each ship costs a cool £605 million.
Paisley Vision to Bring a Cultural RenaissanceA £30 million project to breathe new life into Paisley's historic but faded town hall, museum and library has been launched. Most of the cash for "paisley Vision" will be raised from grants, trusts and private finance to refurbish the buildings and create a new wing of the town hall to house the town's library. The existing museum and library buildings are to be transformed into a new cultural centre, with modern exhibition space to allow some of its valuable artefacts to be taken out of locked vaults for display. A 175-seat theatre is also included in the plans, as well as a new concourse and a link to the Paisley Observatory. The first stage of the development is to fully upgrade Paisley Town Hall.
Common Ridings Posted Around the WorldDuring the Homecoming year 2009, the Scottish Border towns of Hawick, West Linton, Selkirk, Peebles, Melrose, Galashiels, Jedburgh, Duns, Kelso, Lauder and Coldstream are joining together to celebrate their historic Common Ridings and Festivals. These 11 towns focus their ride-outs around marking out their boundaries on horseback. Now residents of the area are being encouraged to send postcards with pictures of their local event to all their friends and family around the world. The free postcards can be collected from Tourist Information Centres, libraries and the town’s Common Ridings committees. E-versions of the postcards will also be available to download electronically from the Homecoming website. The images capture the unique flavour of each of the events and recipients are encouraged to log on to the Return to the Ridings website for full details of each event.
Picture of Peebles Common Riding by Rob Gray.
Hunt the HaggisThe annual "haggis hunt" run by the Edinburgh-based Scotsman newspaper is now in its 9th "season" and was relaunched on St Andrew's Day (30 November) and will run until Burns Night on the 25 January. Last year entries were received from nearly 90 countries around the world. Anyone with an on-line PC can join in - the aim of the game is to spot a haggis which just happens to wander in front of any one of ten webcams located in places such as Loch Ness and Gretna Green in Scotland, Leicester Square, London, and Times Square, New York. First prize is a luxury break at Gleneagles Hotel. For more details, visit www.haggishunt.scotsman.com Who said haggis wasn't alive and well?
Scottish Parliament Voted "Ugly"The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh cost over £430 million and took seven years to build. Since then it has been praised and derided, winning architectural awards and described as a "bag of nails" by some experts. Public opinion has been divided too - though it has to be said there is a majority who dislike the building. (Views on the politicians who work there are viewed similarly). Now the legislature building has been voted the 8th ugliest building in the world in a poll run by VirtualTourist.com. The mixture of stone, oak, bamboo and fussily shaped windows and enigmatic wall decoration all go to make an unattractive building, it appears. Boston's City Hall was voted the world's ugliest building, with Montparnasse Tower in Paris second and the Lucky Shoe Monument of Finland third. Britain's ugliest building was the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool which came in fourth and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City was fifth. On hearing the result of the poll, a Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, with more than 1.5 million visitors and nine architectural awards, including the Stirling Prize, it is clear many people also highly rate Holyrood's design."
Recent Weather in ScotlandThe cold spell at the end of November has continued almost unabated, with the night after St Andrews Day producing the coldest night of the year thus far - -10.9C (12F) was recorded at Tulloch, west of Fort William. It was also the coldest November day in Glasgow for 23 years reaching a maximum of -2.2C (28F) that day. December continued cold, with maximum daily temperatures in Aberdeen never rising above 6C (43F) and on Thursday of this week Glasgow's maximum was barely above freezing point. Overall, the statisticians say that this was the coldest start to December since 1976.
The mallards and seagulls in this picture are walking on ice on a loch near 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:
~ Countryside snow scene in the Torwood area, on the border between Stirling and Falkirk (see thumbnail here);
~ Mallards on the ice of frozen Tannoch Loch in Milngavie, north of Glasgow;
~ A mass of swans struggling to grab a share of bread being thrown to them;
~ A new 130 feet high "Ferris Wheel" lit up at night beside Braehaed Shopping Centre and the river Clyde near Renfrew;
~ The elegant, purple flower of Hebe, a native of New Zealand and blooming in December here in Scotland.
Historical Affairs - Topical Items from Scotland's Past
From Vikings to BrochsA museum in Caithness, in the far north of mainland Scotland, is being upgraded and is to change its name from the Northlands Viking Centre to the Caithness Broch Centre. The new name is to reflect the large number of brochs - 2,000-year-old stone towers - which can be found in the area. There are more brochs per square mile in Caithness than any other part of Scotland. When the refurbishment is completed in the spring, the centre will display artefacts from Caithness's past, including Vikings. A Broch is an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure of a type found only in Scotland. Brochs include some of the most sophisticated examples of drystone architecture ever created.
Picture of Broch via Wikimedia.
No Review of "Appin Murder" CaseAn appeal to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to look into what is regarded as the most blatant miscarriages of justice in Scottish legal history has failed. The Appin Murder was part of the novel "Kidnapped" by Robert Louis Stevenson and involved the killing of Colin Campbell of Glenure, known as the "Red Fox". James (Stewart) of the Glens was tried in a what amounted to a kangaroo court held in Inveraray in 1752. Eleven of the 15 jurors were Campbells and the senior judge was the Duke of Argyll, the staunchly Hanoverian chief of Clan Campbell. Not a shred of evidence to convict Stewart was presented and the prosecution accepted that on the day of the crime he had been several miles away. Even so, James Stewart was found guilty and hanged. But this week the Criminal Review Commission decided not to accept the application for review. a number of factors influenced the commission in coming to that conclusion, not least the 256 years that had elapsed since the trial.
Anniversaries of Scottish Historical Events
- December 14 1542 - James V died at Falkland Palace. Mary Queen of Scots succeeded him.
- December 15 1936 - Zoological Society of Glasgow founded. A zoo at Calderpark opened, after the Second World War, in 9 July 1947. The zoo closed in August 2003.
- December 16 1653 - Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
- December 17 1502 - Marriage contract between James IV and Margaret Tudor signed by King James.
- December 18 1661 - Many Scottish historical records were lost when the ship Elizabeth of Burntisland sank off the English coast. The records had been taken to London by Oliver Cromwell and were being returned to Edinburgh.
- December 19 1904 - The "Scotsman" newspaper moves to new offices at North Bridge in Edinburgh, remaining there until 1999.
- December 20 1560 - First General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
- December 21 1846 - Robert Liston, who was born in Linlithgow in 1794, performed the first operation in a British hospital using anaesthetic (ether).
- December 22 1715 - James Stuart, the Old Pretender, arrived at Peterhead. He stayed for only a few weeks.
- December 22 2000 - Pop mega-star Madonna married movie-producer Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle, putting Dornoch into the media spotlight.
- December 24 1165 - King William I (Lion) crowned at Scone.
- December 27 1647 - King Charles I, imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle, reached an agreement with the Scots who offered military aid in exchange for a promise to establish Presbyterianism in England (but only for three years).
Year-Round Plans for Scotland's Oldest Ski CentreThe White Corries ski centre near Glencoe is planning to expand its facilities to become a year-round visitor attraction, with activities such as zip wire, rock-climbing and a paragliding base. Situated just 75 miles north of Glasgow, the resort covers nearly 500 acres and has seven lifts and 19 runs - if it snows. It is already a major paragliding destination and 50,000 walkers go past the centre each year on the West Highland Way which runs from north of Glasgow to Fort William. Last August the centre hosted its first Scottish Downhill Association Mountain Bike Championship race and more of these are planned. The team running the resort think that the current credit crunch could be a positive for Scottish skiing as the stronger Euro will discourage overseas trips. The White Corries ski centre is regarded as the first in Scotland due to the construction of the first overhead ski lift there in 1956.
Emergency Funding for Edinburgh FringeEdinburgh city council, the Scottish Government and Scottish Arts Council have agreed to step in to rescue the Edinburgh Fringe, the world's biggest arts festival, after it was brought to the brink of collapse by a series of box-office failures earlier this year. That may have cost the organisation as much as a million pounds and emergency funding of £250,000 is now being provided to keep the organisation going - more may be required later. Although the Fringe is estimated to generate £100 million for the Scottish economy, most of it in Edinburgh, the city council's normal financial contribution is just £50,000 each year.
Shetland's First Purpose-built CinemaThe northernmost islands of Scotland are nearer Bergen in Norway than Inverness in mainland Scotland. With a population of just 22,000, spread across a number of islands, Shetland lacks some of the facilities taken for granted in other parts of Scotland. Although film shows can be held in various halls, Lerwick, the largest town there, has lacked a custom-built cinema. Now, thanks to obtaining a £2.8 million grant from European funds, a new custom-built venue is to be built on the waterfront. Building work for a cinema, music and education venue is to start in the spring. It will include a 330-seat auditorium (capable of holding 700 people for a standing concert) and a 159-seat digital cinema.
Simple Minds for EdinburghSimple Minds are a rock band from Scotland, who had their greatest worldwide popularity from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. The band, from the south side of Glasgow, produced a handful of critically acclaimed albums. Now they are to perform in a one-off concert at Edinburgh Castle next July. They are to play all the tracks from one of their classic albums ("New Gold Dream" from 1982) in full. The concert is to be filmed and then released as a DVD.
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.
Silver Tassie Winners
21-year-old Aaron O’Neill, an apprentice in the coal mining industry at Lithgow, NSW, won the top trophy at the Silver Tassie competition held earlier this year at Sutton Forest and was named Australasian Young Piper of the Year for 2008. He was competing against his peers from around the world, as well as Australasia. Aaron plays with the renowned City of Blacktown Pipe Band and is a second year apprenticed mechanical fitter at the Baal Bore Colliery at Lithgow. Typically, he dedicates up to four hours a day to piping practice and won the top trophy at only his second attempt. Pipers competed in age sections ranging from under 12 to under 26. The leaders in each section went through to play off in a keenly fought final. Later in the day, Scotland-born Tam McGirr took out the open competition (not age restricted) and went home with a trophy dedicated in memory of Pipe Major Bill Green OAM, much honoured for his decades of service to piping, particularly with the Southern Highlands Pipe Band.
League TablesLast Sunday, Celtic's unbroken winning run of 12 games was ended when they were defeated 2-0 by Hibernian. One of the goals was a blunder by Celtic's keeper Artur Boruc. Rangers fully capitalised on the opportunity by defeating Hamilton 7-1 the previous day. This Saturday, Rangers could only manage a 2-2 draw away to Dundee United but Celtic could only respond with a 1-1 draw. Both Rangers and Celtic had to come from behind in the last five minutes to snatch a draw. That leaves Celtic out in front by 4 points. Dundee United and Hearts are both ten points behind Rangers.
In the First Division, St Johnstone just managed to defeat Greenock Morton 1-0 with a late goal. That leaves Saints 5 points ahead of Dunfermline, but after playing one more game than the Fife side.
European Champions League Win For CelticCeltic have had a poor run in the European Champions League this year but finished with a flourish by winning their last group match 2-0 against Villarreal. The Spanish side had already qualified for the next stage in the competition but their defeat meant that English club Manchester United finished top of the group. The win didn't change the fact that Celtic are out of Europe until next season. But the win will help in the calculation of Scotland's ranking in the European club competitions.
Scotland to Host European Football Championship?The Scottish Football Association has confirmed that talks have been held with the football governing bodies in Wales and Northern Ireland to host the European Championships in 2016. The number of finalists in that competition has been increased from 16 to 24 and Scotland does not have the infrastructure to host the expanded format. But it might be possible with Northern Ireland and Wales hosting some of the tournament.
Rugby World Cup DrawScotland face England, their oldest rivals, in the next Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011. Also in the same group are Argentina and the play-off winner of the European qualifying pool - which includes Georgia, Romania and Portugal. Frank Hadden, Scotland's head coach says that he hopes that Scotland will maintain their proud record of being one of only five countries to qualify for the quarter-final of every rugby World Cup.
Picture of rugby world cup via Wikimedia.
Shake-up for Scottish FootballEven though Scotland is a small country, there are three separate organisations trying to run football. There is the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Scottish Football League (SFL) and Scottish Premier League (SPL). Now the president of the SFA has called for a discussion to consider a major overhaul and to look at the possibility of summer football, league reconstruction and streamlining the three administrations. The idea of representatives from across the sport to undertake its "biggest and most thorough investigation" to date has been broadly welcomed. Whether a detailed agreement on a way forward can actually be reached remains to be seen.
A New Love Affair?Ferguslie may not have the same ring to it, but St Mirren Football Club are moving from their Love Street ground to a new stadium less than half a mile away at Ferguslie Park. The new 8,000-seater ground will stage its first match on January 31 when Kilmarnock are the visitors. Saints will sever the 114-year link with Love Street as part of a deal with supermarket giant Tesco. The club has considerably reduced ticket prices for the last match at the old ground on January 3, when they host Motherwell.
Scots Retain European Curling ChampionshipThe Scottish men's curling team retained their European Curling Championship title after a dramatic 7-7 win over Norway at the Swedbank Arena in Sweden. The Norwegians built up a 3-0 lead early on and held a 6-4 advantage after nine ends. But a double-takeout took the tie to an extra end. The Scots then stole victory after the Norwegian skip's stone went inches too far.
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 Castles Photo Library
Kildrummy Castle, Aberdeenshire
Unlike so many castles in the Scottish Borders and the Highlands, where wars, invasions and uprising took their toll of defensive structures, many of the castles in Aberdeenshire remain as complete buildings and are still occupied. Kildrummy is certainly not one of these since it was attacked repeatedly by various foes, rebuilt and sacked again and again. Located six miles west of the town of Alford in Aberdeenshire, Kildrummy was built in the 13th century on the site of an earlier fortification. At that time was one of the largest and most powerful castles in that part of Scotland. Even today, the outline of the high curtain walls and six round defensive towers can clearly be seen. For an illustrated feature page on the history of this great castle, see
Scottish Poetry and Song
Robin Hall and Jimmy Macgregor are well known for their humorous song "Football Crazy" about "Jock McGraw" who joined a football club and became over-enthusiastic about the game. There are other, earlier versions, including this one. It was transcribed by Adam McNaughton who credits the song to James Curran, written around 1885 when he called it "The Dooley Football Club".
You all know my big brither Jock
His right name’s Johnny Shaw.
Last week he jined a fitba’ club
For he’s mad about fitba’.
He’s got two black eyes already,
An’ teeth oot by the root,
Since Jock’s face came in contact
Wi another fella’s boot.
'Cause he’s fitba’ crazy,
He’s fitba’ mad.
The fitba it has ta’en away
The wee bit sense he had.
And it wid take a dozen servants
His claes tae wash and scrub,
Since Jock became a member o’
That terrible fitba’ club
The first game he took part in,
I wis there ma’sel’ an’ saw,
There were twa half bricks fae goalposts,
An’ a tin can for the ba’.
The Prince of Wales wis present,
Wi’ lords ‘n’ ladies grand -
Oor Jock he got an egg box,
An’ he made a big grandstand.
Oh all the fitba’ teams hiv afloat,
He swears they are the prime.
An’ you want tae hear him bounce aboot
Their beatin’ record time.
They’ve challenged every ither side
Nane ‘ill tak’ them up,
Since they beat the Blind Asylum
Fir a leather plated cup.
His wife she says she’ll leave him,
If he disnae keep
Away frae playin’ fitba’.
At night time in his sleep,
He ca’s her Pat McGinty,
An’ ither names sae droll.
Last night he kicked her oot the bed -
An’ swore it wis a goal!
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.
The first limerick may have originated in North America where the season autumn is more usually called "fall".
There was a young laddie from Coll
Who fell in the spring in the fall.
'Twould have been a sad thing
Had he died in the spring
But he didn't, he died in the fall.
There was a young man from Larkhall
Who went to a masquerade ball
Dressed up as a tree,
But he failed to foresee
His abuse by the dogs in the hall
Malcolm was most surprised when he saw a bunch of mistletoe hanging above the British Airways luggage check-in desk at Glasgow airport recently. He was sure this was not an invitation to steal a kiss from the attractive airline staff checking the bags so eventually he said to the girl "I give up. Why is the mistletoe hanging there above the luggage scale?" The attendant smiled sweetly (even though she had answered that question a hundred times already that day) and said, "So you can kiss your luggage good-bye."
Lachlan's Laws - # 80
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: "Golfers who try to make everything perfect before taking the shot rarely make a perfect shot."
A Girl's Best Friend
Lachlan was trying to impress Morag and asked her what she would like for Christmas. She thought for a moment and then said shyly "Anything with lots of diamonds!" On Christmas Day Morag unwrapped her present from Lachlan - and found a pack of playing cards....
A Scottish Festive Greeting
With the approach of the festive season, here is a traditional verse from Scotland. Some readers may struggle with some of the Scots words so an English translation follows.
May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye'll ivver see.
May the moose ne'er lea' yer girnal wi the tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye'r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wuss ye aye tae be.
The above, in translation, reads:
May the best you have ever seen be the worst you will ever see.
May the mouse never leave your grain store with a tear drop in its eye.
May you always stay whole and hearty until you are old enough to die.
May you still be as happy as I always wish you to be.
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
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