Tam's Tall Tales

- Readers Write

Recent Feedback from Readers of Tam's Tall Tales
Well, how time flies en you write a monthly column. Can it really have been a month since the last one? Seems more like a couple of days.

Customary thanks to the readers who gave us feedback on the last batch of stories in August. We can never really predict what will encourage people to reach for the electronic notepaper.

Here is a nice note from Irene in Canada about the development of the old Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh with an illustration of the hospital by Kim Traynor, via Wikimedia Commons:

"Have been looking at the pics of Edinburgh Royal....where I thought I was born.....Just recently, I was at my orthopaedic surgeon's office in Vancouver, B.C., and was talking to one of my surgeon's assistants. He told me he did training at Edinburgh Royal, and I said....."that is where I was born".....actually he said...."you were born at Simpson's Memorial Pavilion" which is close to, or beside The Royal......and is now a Hotel........Times change....That was 80 years ago......"

My little piece about the Scottish tunes played by Nicola Benedetti on her Homecoming CD brought this response from Garry in California:

"I'm an ex-pat from Dundee living in California 30 years. For years now, I have enjoyed Scottie's newsletter filled with exciting pictures and stories. I just thought I would drop you a wee line to say hello and to thank you for your stories and pics which I have really enjoyed over the past months.
My favourite passion is music. I would love to hear about the new bands coming out of Scotland especially the independent groups that don't get international attention. Recently I have noticed some great music coming from Dundee which is not really a historically music city unless you count Jimmy Shand! A wee shout out for Scottish singers may make a difference to them and a chance to be heard internationally."

I sent him a cheeky e-mail implying that Scottie was a bit of a philistine whose favourite tune was the Bluebell Polka - the only Scottish country dance tune to have hit the Top Ten. This was very remiss of me, because Scottie is in a fact a man of great musical taste whose repertoire extends far beyond these shores - well, to Norway and Grieg's Peer Gynt suite at least. He also pointed out that the graphic here of King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, was taken by himself. The venue is famous for playing host to up and coming bands from around the UK. Past acts to have rocked the bar include Radiohead and Blur.

August was a fantastic month in Scotland. The weather was really bright and settled - which is quite something and helps cheer everyone up. The various cultural events are exciting, and I took myself out onto Edinburgh's Royal Mile and spoke to some of the artists promoting their shows on the Edinburgh Fringe. You can see some of the acts here: YouTube scotscam channel.

Taking a group up to Edinburgh and competing against hundreds of other acts is not easy. Hats off to people, particularly the impecunious students, who take the risk.

I hope you enjoy this month's batch of tales. Of course the elephant in the room is the Independence Referendum. You may already have read the Independence Referendum article.

In any event, please feel free to drop me a line. Always good to hear from the long-suffering readers!

All best


Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
September 2014

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