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.
Edinburgh Tramway Project Derailed?
Just as the Capital's main thoroughfare was to be closed for the next nine months to allow the work associated with the re-introduction of a tramway system to Edinburgh, the whole project has been thrown into disarray by the main contractor claiming that earlier delays had meant that additional costs of £80 million had ben incurred. The contractor was refusing to proceed further, without agreement on the extra cash. Of course, Edinburgh City Council denied that there had been any such delay and demanded that work should proceed as planned. Regardless of the outcome to the dispute, the project is undoubtedly going to be further delayed - and that will undoubtedly lead to additional costs. The tram project was the pet scheme of the previous, Labour-party led Edinburgh City Council. It had few supporters amongst ordinary citizens. At the last local government election, the Labour Party lost many council seats and the Scottish National Party - who had opposed the scheme - benefitted. But the project was not stopped - the Scottish Nationalist- led Government, however, said that they would not provide any further taxpayer funding if (as happens in so many projects) there was a cost over-run. Large areas of the city have already been dug up to prepare for the new tramway, with businesses complaining bitterly about the disruption. One shopkeeper claims that "Edinburgh has become a world building site not a world heritage site."
18 Survive North Sea Helicopter CrashAll 18 people on board a Bond helicopter which ditched in the North Sea en route to an oil platform evacuated safely to life rafts and were quickly picked up by rescue vessels and helicopters sent to the scene. There were only s few minor injuries - though all those rescued looked mightily relieved when they arrived on shore. The Super Puma helicopter (similar to that shown in the illustration) went down 125 miles east of Aberdeen - within sight of the oil platform. So far, the cause of the ditching is not known - that may be established once the helicopter has been recovered and been examined by accident investigators The rescue services were helped by the relatively calm seas at the time. Even so, it appears to have been a text-book evacuation of the stricken helicopter and rescue vessels were on the scene within minutes.
Harris Votes For National Park StatusIn an effort to stem the chronic depopulation of the island of Harris in the Western Isles, islanders have voted more than two to one in favour of asking the Scottish Government to designate their island as a national park. Having wrestled for ten years with plans to create Europe's largest coastal super quarry, the island now sees hope in conservation The aim is a park with "call-in" powers, similar to planning powers enjoyed by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Park A recent study has concluded that a national park would create 100 jobs, increase tourism and give access to new funding while providing new opportunities to conserve the Gaelic culture, but not restricting crofting. The population has been in decline since 1921 and now stands at just 1,800. 35% are over the age of 60 and school rolls have fallen from 179 in 1998 to 117 in 2007. The proposal will now go to Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham who is likely to ask Scottish Natural Heritage to consult further.
Picture of Harris courtesy of Photonet
Government Ditches Local Income tax PlanThe Scottish Government has dramatically dropped one of its flagship policies, to introduce a local income tax in Scotland to replace the present system which is based on property values. The Government finance minister claimed that the decision was due to a reduction in the amount allocated to Scotland by the UK government in London, combined with the inability to obtain majority support in the Edinburgh Parliament. Business leaders welcomed the decision as the cost of collecting the tax would have fallen on them. As part of the announcement, the Finance Minister confirmed that the Scottish Government was close to agreeing with local councils the freezing of local taxation for the rest of the four-yerar term of the government. While that will be welcomed by tax payers, it also means that local councils are having to make savings in order to balance their books. Renfrewshire Council, for example, has announced a £2.4 million cost-cutting drive which will result in 81 jobs in education being cut - including 28 teaching posts
The picture here is of Glagow City Chambers (roughly, the City Hall)
Scot of the YearControversial entrepreneur Donald Trump was third in the annual "Scot of the Year" contest, which was announced on 25 January by London-based charity ScotsCare. But it was cyclist Chris Hoy who raced past everyone to win the honour. Hoy won three Olympic gold medals in Beijing in 2008, becoming Scotland's most successful Olympian, the first Briton to win three gold medals in a single Olympic games since1908, and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time. the controversial second generation Scot, Donald Trump beat tennis star Andy Murray into fourth place.
£500 Million Investment at Oil Terminal
Media reports say that The Sullom Voe oil terminal in Shetland is in line for a £500m investment. The French oil company Total has is planning to build a new gas plant, which could create dozens of jobs and start operating in 2013. The project is part of a major £2bn investment by the company to pipe gas from the deep waters west off Shetland to the Scottish mainland.
Picture of Sullom Voe Oil Terminal via Wikimedia.
January Sales Boost Retail TurnoverCanny Scots who held back their spending, in anticipation of further reductions in January, helped to increase sales in Scotland by 4.9% compared to January 2008. Big ticket items such as TV's and laptops proved popular as did fitted kitchens and bedrooms.
One Billion TreesEnvironment Minister Michael Russell has warned that the planting of trees in Scotland will have to double if the country is to meet its target of 25% of the land covered by woodland by 2050. He says that new land will be turned over to forestry, particularly in the Highlands and Islands, and native, mixed and soft wood plantations will bring significant environmental benefits. The Scottish Government is introducing a controversial expansion strategy which involves the lease of 25% of Forestry Commission woodland to the private sector for up to 75 years. The Minister argues that this will generate £200 million to help pay for the ambitious plans to expand the national forest. At the beginning of the last century, woodland cover in Scotland had declined to below 5%.- one of the lowest in Europe. The creation of a state afforestation programme in 1919 with the founding of the Forestry Commission produced a steady increase in the woodland area, but mainly through the creation of huge coniferous plantations. Today, Scotland's woodland cover is about 17%.
Toll Free - One Year OnIt is now a full year since the tolls on the Forth and Tay bridges were abolished. The move came after a noisy campaign in the east after the government had removed tolls on both the Skye bridge and the Erskine Bridge (across the lower reaches of the river Clyde). Since then, motorists have saved millions of pounds in toll charges - and traffic has flowed far more freely, with no frustrating tail-backs due to toll booths, reducing journey times and petrol costs.
Earl and Son Tackle Blaze at Kelburn CastleKelburn Castle, overlooks the Firth of Clyde close to Largs, and is considered to be the oldest castle in Scotland continuously inhabited by one family. But more than 700 years of history was put at risk earlier this week when a smouldering electrical fault quickly turned into a full-scale fire. Initially, The young Viscount Kelburn and his father, the 10th earl of Glasgow, fought the blaze But they were forced back by smoke and had to wait until the local fire brigade arrived on the scene. The blaze was fortunately contained to one part of the castle. Kelburn Country Centre will be open as usual next week but it may be a while before tours of the castle resume.
Airport Passenger Numbers DeclineIt's hardly surprising that the number of passengers using Scotland's main airports should be falling. But Edinburgh airport - now Scotland's busiest, saw its traffic declining at its fastest-ever annual rate last month as recession-hit businesses cut travel budgets, consumer spending is curbed and airlines reduced flights. The airport had recorded over ten years of continuous growth - it always seemed that the only way that passenger numbers could go was up. Even in 2001, Edinburgh recorded a 9.9% growth in passenger numbers. The picture in Glasgow is no better - passenger numbers in January were down 12.2% on the same month last year.
Prestewick Airport Cuts 120 jobsThe economic downturn is also affecting Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire. The airport is currently running at a loss, a situation that has been made worse by a delay by Ryanair, the hub's main user, in finalising its summer timetable. As a result, 120 jobs are to go - amounting to over 25% of the total workforce. Both freight traffic and passenger numbers are down
Andy Murray Defeats Nadal to win Rotterdam World tennis TournamentAfter sweeping through the earlier rounds, Scots tennis star Andy Murray faced World #1 Rafael Nadal in the final. But Murray, who had already beaten Nadal twice in his playing career, came through 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in one hour 51 minutes to win the 10th title of his career. In the closing stages, Nadal had been struggling with a knee injury After the match, Murray expressed his condolences to Nadal, commenting that "It shows how good a player he is - he was still managing to beat me on one leg." Murray has had his own injury problems and has pulled out of next week's tournament in Marseille to protect his troublesome ankle.
International Piping Judges SuspendedThe Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) has notified its "international" judges that they have not been assigned to any RSPBA events in 2009. That includes several who judged at RSPBA competitions in 2008. Apparently the RSPBA decided that international judges needed to comply with a requirement to submit sample scoresheets from their work with their home associations for review by the RSPBA. Failure to supply the sheets. resulted in notification from RSPBA that they have not been assigned to any 2009 RSPBA competitions, including the World Pipe Band Championships where approximately one-third of bands are from non-RSPBA organisations. Most of the international judges affected were added to the RSPBA's panel in 2005, but only after going through an extensive application process, that included a seminar, examination and trial-judging, even though most had extensive judging experience with their home associations. It appears that some international organisations do not currently automatically make duplicates of score sheets, so copying would have had to be arranged in advance. It is noteworthy that the RSPBA does not provide any funding to international judges for air travel; they are offered the same honourarium that UK-based RSPBA adjudicators receive, which last year was £66 pounds for the World Championships." If needed" a sum of £60 is provided for accommodation.
Cost Cutting May Silence Strathclyde Police Pipe BandThe Strathclyde Police Pipe Band traces its history back to 1883 and its existence was endorsed by an act of Parliament. But there are reports that its future is in jeopardy because of a cost-cutting drive. Restrictions are being placed on police players which could result in the inability of the band to compete at the highest level. Instead of being able to participate at the big five events in the pipe band calendar, including the Scottish, British, and European championships, the band will only be able to play at two. It's like telling Rangers or Celtic they can only play in two competitions. During its history, the band has won 21 competitions and is one of the most prolific winners of the World Pipe Band Championships.
Attracting Cruise Ships to ScotlandPorts from around Scotland are joining forces to promote Scotland as a destination for cruise ships. A new organisation, Cruise Scotland, will be unveiled at the leading international sea trade show in Miami next month and will also be present at the European show in Hamburg in September. The number of cruise ships operating in Northern European waters has been growing in recent years and with the pound weaker against the dollar and the Euro, there is an opportunity to encourage cruise ships to come to Scotland. Leith (the port for Edinburgh), Invergordon, Scrabster, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Stornoway, Portree, Oban and Greenock (within reach of Glasgow) have either joined the new organisation or are considering doing so. Many of the ports already exhibit under the auspices of Cruise Europe and Cruise Britain, but a more-focused Scottish approach is now though to be needed.Lerwick is expected to see passenger arrivals at record levels this year, with a total of 45 cruise ships scheduled from mid-my to late September. A new size record for the port will be made when the Crown Princess a 113,000 gross tonnes liner arrives in September.
Forth Road Bridge Safe until 2016
The main expansion joints on the Forth Road Bridge will not have to be replaced until 2016 and as the new bridge is scheduled to be in place by then, it will avoid months of delays for traffic while the work is ongoing.
Curtains for President ObamaA Scottish company is working flat out to complete an urgent order for material for curtains in the White House in Washington. America's new First Lady is making changes there. The high quality fabric is not tartan, however, and "doesn't scream Scotland" according to the company.
Glen of Tranquillity coming to LivingstonWhisky company Glenmorangie (with its marketing slogan " "Glen of Tranquility") has purchased an 11-acre site near Livingston in West Lothian where it plans to build a new multi-million pound headquarters and bottling plant. The company produces Scotland's best-selling single malt whisky and is increasing production in response to rising sales around the world. It employs 400 people in Scotland and sells products in 150 countries. The new facility will help the company to significantly increase production. The company is also building new warehouses at the Glenmorangie Distillery in Tain and the Ardbeg Distillery on Islay.
Recent Weather in ScotlandTwo weeks ago, the overnight temperature at Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands plunged to -18C (-0.4F), the coldest February temperature since 1986. Having escaped the earlier snow, it was the turn of southern, central and western Scotland, including Glasgow to be get a number of inches of snow, which lingered for some days. The extra snow did mean that the Scottish ski resorts got a much needed boost with slopes reporting their busiest weekend of the season. Edinburgh has recorded one of the coldest February on record and is on track to record its first below zero average for the month for ten years. Of course, in recent years the trend has been for milder winters, making the current cold spell all the more unexpected
This Week's Colour SupplementThis week's large format photographs taken in Scotland to show the current season and its flora and fauna include:
~ A Canada Goose, with its distinctive white "chinstrap" looking quite at home standing in the recent snow fall (see thumbnail);
~ Waterbirds flying in all directions, panicked at the approach of an out of control dog;
~ a rather disconsolate pigeon trudging through the snow, unable to find anything to eat;
~ a Polyanthus, part of the primula family, in a vibrant yellow and orange;
~ A statue to James Clerk Maxwell, who established the original theories of electromagnetism (Einstein put on record that Maxwell's work had resulted in the most profound change in the conception of reality in physics, since the time of Isaac Newton;
~ Eranthis, more often known by its common name of winter flowering aconite, with its deeply dissected leaves forming an attractive ruff round the bright yellow cup-shaped flowers See This Week's Colour Supplement
Historical Affairs - Topical Items from Scotland's Past
Appeal to Save Paddle Streamer Waverley
A public appeal has been launched to raise £100,000 for vital repair work on the historic paddle steamer Waverley. During last summer, a damaged paddle shaft and the wet summer combined to reduce vital income leading to the need for the appeal. The operators don't get any government funding and all repairs have to be paid out of revenues . The Waverley is the last ocean-going paddle steamer in the world and forms an important link to the days of the traditional trips "doon the watter" of the Clyde by millions of Glaswegians.
"Pilgrim's Way" Footpath proposedThe Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perth has launched a campaign to establish a "Pilgrim's Way" footpath which would run from Iona (where St Columba established his first church in Scotland in 563 ) across to St Andrews That's its cathedral pictured here), named after Scotland's patron saint. St Andrews was once a major medieval pilgrimage centre. It is hoped that the "Pilgrim's Way would attract long-distance walkers as well as those making the trip because of the religious connections.
Riding Edinburgh Marches"Riding the Marches", the colourful annual occasion when a large group of horse riders tour round the boundaries of Scottish Border towns has become a major tourist attraction in these areas. Now the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches is to be revived after an gap of more than 60 years. On 6 September, 250 horses and riders dressed in bright sashes will travel from Tower Farm stables, in the Braid Hills, into the city. The procession will gallop up the Royal Mile until it reaches the Mercat Cross Pictured here), opposite Edinburgh's City Chambers. The festival last took place in 1946 as victory march to celebrate the end of World War II. It is hoped that having been revived this year, it can become an annual event. The Edinburgh Riding was an annual event from 1579 to 1718.
Anniversaries of Scottish Historical Events
- February 21 1952 - Identity cards, introduced at a wartime security measure, were abolished in Britain.
- February 22 1371 - David II died at Edinburgh Castle.
- February 23 1303 - Battle of Roslin in which a Scots army of 8,000, led by Sir Simon Fraser, Sinclair of Rosslyn and the Red Comyn, surprised an English army of 30,000 led by Sir John Seagrave and defeated them.
- February 24 1923 - Steam train, the "Flying Scotsman" went into service with London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), on the London (King's Cross) to Edinburgh route.
- February 24 1940 - Footballer Denis Law, who played for Manchester United and Scotland, born.
- February 26 1672 - Philip van der Straten, a Fleming, was granted Scots naturalisation and set up a factory in Kelso, thus starting the Border woollen industry. February 27 1545 - Battle of Ancrum Moor in which Scottish forces, led by Earl of Douglas, defeated an English army twice their size.
- February 28 1638 - Second National Covenant signed in Greyfriars Churchyard. March 1 1682 - The Advocate's Library (known as the National Library of Scotland since 1925) opened by its founder, Sir George Mackenzie, the Lord Advocate.
- March 2 1316 - King Robert II born in Paisley.
- March 3 1847 - Alexander Graham Bell born Edinburgh.
- March 4 1890 - Forth Rail Bridge opened by Prince of Wales.
- March 5 1323 - King David II born.
- March 5 1929 - David Dunbar Buick, founder of the Buick Manufacturing Company which later became General Motors, died in Detroit. He was born in Arbroath in 1854.
- March 6 1457 - King James II decreed in an Act of Parliament that there should be regular target practice and military parades and that "football and golf be utterly cried down and not used". This was the first time that the games had been mentioned in Scottish documents.
- March 7 1744 - The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers founded. The oldest golf club in the world, it produced thirteen "Rules of Golf" for its first competition which was played for the "Silver Club". (The first winner of the trophy only just escaped beheading for becoming Bonnie Prince Charlie's personal surgeon during the Jacobite Uprising the following year. The club played on the 5 holes at Leith Links for nearly a century.
Biggest Fringe Festival Ever?The organisers of this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival are predicting that this year's event could be the biggest ever, having received record levels of interest from both performers and audiences. The numbers joining the Friends of the Fringe scheme, which gives priority booking and discounted tickets, has risen by 32% on this time last year. The surge of interest is being put down to more Britons staying at home rather than going on expensive continental trips
International Highland Dancing ChampionshipsAs part of the Scottish Homecoming celebrations this year, Scottish Highland Dancers from across the world are being invited to take part in a prestigious international Championship which will form part of the international clan gathering which takes place in Edinburgh on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July. The championships are open to dancers in various categories ranging from novice to championship level. Over 40,000 people are expected to come to the Gathering at Holyrood Park.
T in the Park AssurancesDespite the deepening economic gloom, the organisers of T in the Park - Scotland's largest pop music festival - have issued assurances that the event will go ahead at Balado near Kinross. Many fans bought tickets last year, before the participating bands were even announced. The event attracts over 80,000 people each day The assurances were followed by the announcement that newly reformed "Blur" were to be top of the bill this year. Some of the biggest names in Scottish music, including the Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, Capercaillie and the Battlefield Band, will also be performing. Some other open air pop events have not been so lucky as T in the Park - Hydro Connect, which attracted 15,000 pop fans to Inverary Castle in Argyll last year has been cancelled Live at Loch Lomond and the Isle of Skye festival have also ben called off. The organisers of T in the Park say that there has been an "astronomical" demand for tickets and they should have no difficulty selling the extra 5,000 tickets for which they now have permission for the event - it will make it the biggest Tin the Park ever, with a record attendance of 85,000 this year.
Palm Sunday Concert at Culross AbbeyThis year's Culross Festival runs from 5-7 June and opens with a performance from the popular The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Then there is a complete change of pace with a Palm Sunday concert in Culross Abbey House Gardens, featuring the Linlithgow Rugby Club Male Voice Choir There is also an ambitious open air opera performance of the "Marriage of Figaro." For more details see Culross Festival.
Whisky Galore - The MusicalWhen the SS Politician ran aground on the Hebridean island of Little Todday with fifty thousand cases of whisky aboard, it prompted novelist Compton Mackenzie to write "Whisky Galore" about the efforts of the local islanders to save the whisky from the sea - and from the local customs and excise officers The book was turned into a comedy for the cinema under the title "Whisky Galore" (Known as "Tight Little Island in North America). Now the Pitlochry Festival Theatre is to include a musical version in its summer programme. The show mixes Western Isles song with 1940s big-band numbers and is the first time that the 50-year-old Pitlochry Festival Theatre has staged a musical. The producers hope that the show might go to London or even Broadway. It was first performed at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and received critical acclaim in a small church venue. The Pitlochry production will have a mock-up of the side of the ship on the stage. The stage version incorporates the book's references to the local religious divide, where Protestant and Catholic islanders differ on whether to salvage spirits from the ship on a Sunday. The film's marketing tagline was: "A Highland fling on a tight little island."
Glasgow Comedy Festival Headed for New York CityThe Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival will head to New York later this month for a preview of one of the hottest shows on this year's programme. 'American Homecoming' will preview at the Gotham Comedy Club in NYC on Wednesday 25th February before the American comedians - all with Scottish ancestry - cross the pond to perform in Glasgow for the first time as part of Homecoming Scotland 2009. It will give New Yorkers a taste of the comedy that is the foundation of the Glasgow festival. The three Homecoming comedians will be joined on stage by native Scot Charlotte MacDonald. The Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival is now in its 7th year and with 370 shows across 51 venues in 18 days in the cultural capital of Scotland is now the largest comedy Festival in Europe, attracting comedy talent from around the world as well as the best on the UK and European scene See also Glasgow International Comedy Festival
Taste of Grampian's 10th BirthdayThis year's "Taste of Grampian" event is being held on June 6 at Inverurie’s Thainstone Centre. Last year, the event attracted a record crowd of 14,000 and there will be a similar format this year with visitors getting plenty of opportunity to sample the north-east’s rich food and drink larder. There will also be a demonstration area to give exhibitors the chance to cook their products and let visitors sample them. Taste of Grampian also features a craft marquee, children’s fun educational area, a motor show sponsored by the Aberdeen Press and Journal, dancers, magicians, Inverurie Pipe Band, the Garioch Fiddlers and a wine-tasting area
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.
Tartan Day 2009Once again, Tartan Day around 6 April is approaching, when Scottish culture is cerebrated in many parts of the world, in the United States in particular. Every year, I attempt to update the list of events associated with this on a dedicated Web page. If you know of any Tartan Day events in your part of the world, just drop a note of the details to Scottie@RampantScotland.com and I'll add them to the long list on Tartan Dy Events Around the World.
League TablesThe much anticipated derby between Rangers and Celtic last Saturday ended in a 0-0 draw. That left Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League But after Rangers defeated Kilmarnock on Saturday, Rangers regained the lead - Celtic play Motherwell on Sunday. Heart of Midlothian are in third place, followed by Dundee United.
St Johnstone had to come from behind to scramble a 3-3 draw against Queen of the South on Saturday. That kept them at the top, five points ahead of Partick Thistle.
Sottish Homecoming CupBoth Rangers and Celtic are through to the 6th round of the Scottish Cup and have avoided having to face one another in the draw. Rangers (the current holders of the cup will play Hamilton, while Celtic will be playing St Mirren. Other teams still in contention are Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Ties will be played on the weekend of 7 March.
Scotland Heading for Wooden Spoon in Six-Nations RugbyScotland has got off to a poor start in this year's Six-Nations Rugby tournament. They lost 26-13 against current champions Wales at Murrayfield in Edinburgh. lat Saturday, inn Paris, the Scots went down 22-13, despite a passionate performance.
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
Delgatie Castle, Turriff, Aberdeenshire
There has been a castle at Delgatie, near Turriff, in Aberdeenshire, since 1030 AD. However, the earliest parts of the castle standing today is a 15th century keep, five storeys and a garret high, although it may incorporate older stonework from 1100. There is an adjoining 16th century gabled house and additional wings and a chapel were added in 1743. Painted ceilings in the castle date back to the 16th century and are considered some of the finest in Scotland. Strange animals are illustrated - some with human heads thought to represent the actual inhabitants of the time! The castle was stripped from the disgraced Henry de Beaumont, Earl of Buchan after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and given to Clan Hay (later to become the Earls of Erroll in 1452). Sir Gilbert Hay of Delgatie and many members of his family were killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Mary, Queen of Scots was a guest at the castle in 1562 after the Battle of Corrichie when the Gordon family was defeated by her forces. Her bedchamber is on view to visitors. The invention of the siege gun meant that greater fortifications were needed and rebuilding around 1570 provided 8-14 feet thick walls. For more on this castle's history, including illustrations, see castle Photo Library - Delgatie Castle, Aberdeenshire
Scottish Poetry and Song
James Hogg (1770-1835), the Ettrick Shepherd, who wrote this poem, must have known the disastrous consequences arising from the arrival of Bonnie Prince Charlie to rally support for the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. But the poem focuses on the rapturous welcome the Young Pretender received.
Come o'er the stream, Charlie, dear Charlie, brave Charlie;
Come o'er the stream, Charlie, and dine with McLean;
And though you be weary, we'll make your heart cheery,
And welcome our Charlie, and his loyal train.
We'll bring down the track deer, we'll bring down the black steer,
The lamb from the braken, and doe from the glen,
The salt sea we'll harry, and bring to our Charlie
The cream from the bothy and curd from the pen.
Come o'er the stream, Charlie, dear Charlie, brave Charlie; Come o'er the stream, Charlie, and dine with McLean;
And you shall drink freely the dews of Glen-Sheerly, That stream in the starlight when kings do not ken, And
deep be your meed of the wine that is red,
To drink to your sire, and his friend the McLean.
Come o'er the stream, Charlie, dear Charlie, brave Charlie; Come o'er the stream, Charlie, and dine with
McLean; O'er heath-bells shall trace you the maids to embrace you, And deck your blue bonnet with flowers of
the brae; And the loveliest Mari in all Glen M'Quarry Shall lie in your bosom till break of the day.
Come o'er the stream, Charlie, dear Charlie, brave Charlie;
Come o'er the stream, Charlie, and dine with McLean;
If aught will invite you, or more will delight you,
'Tis ready, a troop of our bold Highlandmen,
All ranged on the heather, with bonnet and feather,
Strong arms and broad claymores, three hundred and ten!
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.
There was a young lass from Dundee
Whose knowledge of French was "Oui, Oui"
When they asked "Parlez vous ? "
She replied "Same to you"
A fine bit of fast repartee.
There was a young lady from Harris
Whom nothing could ever embarrass
'Til the salts that she shook
In the bath that she took
Turned out to be Plaster of Paris...
Learning Your Numbers
The teacher asked little Jimmy McGregor if he knew his numbers. "Yes," he said. "I do. My father taught me." "Good. What comes after three.""Four," answers the boy. "What comes after six?" "Seven.""Very good," says the teacher. "Your dad did a good job. What comes after ten?""A jack," says Jimmy
Lachlan's Laws - # 84 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: "It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions."
New Exercise Plan Sadie was telling her friend about the new exercise plan that was guaranteed to lose pounds. The essential element in the plan was to exercise very early in the morning - before your brain can figure out what you're doing and stop you.
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