Scottish Snippets

2 April 2016

Number 702

Spring Crocus

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 style, there is now this regular update on the new and updated pages on the Rampant Scotland site including "Scottie's Photo Diary From Scotland" and Tam's Tall Tales.

HotTo receive a text version of this newsletter as a reminder to look at these Web pages when they are published, just send an e-mail to with "Subscribe Newsletter" in the subject line.

Scottie's Pictorial Diary

The wet weather in the early months of the year was didn't encourage going out to take many photographs at the start of this year but I realised recently that there had not been any "photo Diary" pages so far this year. By including pictures taken inside the Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park and the greenhouses at the Kelvingrove Botanic Gardens as well as the birds and sunsets at Hogganfield Loch and the spring bulbs in my own garden resulted in a longer than usual "Photo Diary" for January to the end of March. I have been in the habit of placing picture at the start of these pages but having now found how to create a "carousel" of pictures you will see a random selection of seven of the pictures at the top of the page coming up one after the other in a slide show. See: Scottie's Pictorial Diary

Places to Visit - Bowhill House, Scottish Borders

The magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry is located about three miles west of Selkirk and is full of paintings and treasures with an extensive estate, gardens, ruined castle and children's adventure playground. See: Places to Visit - Bowhill House, Scottish Borders

Newark Castle, Scottish Borders

Newark Castle is located in the grounds of Bowhill House, high above the south bank of the Yarrow Water. It is easily visible from the main A708 road and sits on a high mound above the steep banks of the river, providing a strong defensive position. It was initially a royal hunting lodge for the Ettrick Forest and was a popular location with Scottish Kings, despite the lawless reputation of the local reivers. Royal arms are visible on the west gable. The castle is accessed from within the Bowhill Estate by means of a steep, winding track. See: Newark Castle, Scottish Borders


In addition to the "carousel" slide show at the start of Scottie's Pictorial Diary, appropriate graphics are being added to a number of other pages to create some added interest. That includes the Rampant Scotland Home page and the index for "Places to Visit" is another. Others so far include the "Traditional Scottish Recipes" (the most accessed pages on Rampant Scotland) as well as the Places to Visit index and "Memory Lane" index. Many of the other sections of Rampant Scotland will have the same graphic presentation to illustrate their content - that will take a while to complete in view of the vast number of pages and subject areas! See Home page, Places to Visit, Recipes and Memory Lane

NOTE: You may have to refresh the page in your browser to see the updated slide show if you have been to these pages recently.

Helter Skelter in Glasgow University

April 1st (yesterday) known as "April Fool's Day" is often marked by the media with items that look valid at first but it soon becomes apparent as a joke. A classic in the past was the BBC serious current affairs programme "Panorama" which had an item on the harvest of spaghetti from the spaghetti bushes - with shots of the pasta being gathered from the branches. The Glasgow Herald marked 1st April this year with a headline about a secret project involving the construction of a Helter-Skelter slide inside the Victorian tower of Glasgow University (which has recently been clad in scaffolding due to renovations). They even had a "Leader" commenting approvingly on the project - and a video backing it up.... See for yourself at Helter Skelter in Glasgow University

Tartan Day 2016

Although Tartan Day had been celebrated in other countries before 1998, it was the designation of Tartan Day by the US Senate that year that triggered off a number of locations to celebrate the monumental achievements and invaluable contributions made by Scots in many locations. The ones I have been told about or have tracked down for myself are listed on the page shown below. Sadly, the idea never took off in Scotland and even Arbroath seems to have stopped holding an event. See: Tartan Day 2016

Memory Lane - First Employment

When I began work (in a bank) we all wrote with ink and pens fitted with replaceable steel nibs. (Picture of pens and nibs Fernando Martello via Wikimedia Commons ) I vividly recall at the end of the first week asking myself "will I have to do this for the next 20 years before I become a manager?" Little did I realise that in a few years time I would become involved in the computerisation of all the bank's account records and so was at least partly responsible for all the ledger cards, steel nibs and blotting paper being swept away! See: Memory Lane - First Employment

Memory Lane - First Motor Cars

David had a repeated vivid ream about looking from a balcony at a new, blue car parked below on the street. Then, a few years later after emigrating to Canada he saw exactly the same bright blue car parked below his apartment exactly as he had dreamt it! See: Memory Lane - First Motor Cars

Next Newsletter

The next newsletter is scheduled for three weeks from now on 23 April and will be mainly Current News and Events in Scotland from Tam O'Ranter.

Of course, if you have any Scottish memories which you would like to contribute to "Memory Lane" please send them in!

Yours aye


Previous editions of this Newsletter are available in an Archive. The Index to the other pages of the Rampant Scotland site is available here.

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