New Year Honours awarded to Scots
Saturday, December 30, 2006
- Evelyn Glennie, a percussionist with hearing difficulties awarded Dame for services to music.
- Richard Demarco, an arts impresario, awarded a CBE.
- T.V. weather girl, Heather Reid awarded OBE for contributions to physics.
- Archie Fisher, folk artist and radio broadcaster, awarded MBE for services to traditional Scottish music.
- Ina Shaw, a grandmother, awarded MBE for services to Stirling Albion Football Club.
- George Bell, a retired milkman, awarded MBE for services to the community.
- Peter Smith, a plumber on the Balmoral Estate, awarded Royal Victorian Medal for plumbing duties on the Royal Estate.
Visit Scotland-not Yorkshire!!
Friday, December 29, 2006
Labels: Yorkshire Airways
IS SCOTLAND OVER-GOVERNED?
- Over 3000 rules and laws have been created post 1999 which intrude on all aspects of personal life.
- 3,100 Scottish Statutory Instruments (subordinate legislation).
- Also, central government in Westminster has passed almost the same number of laws affecting Scotland.
- The business sector is concerned with the level of spurious and over-regulation.
Scotland's Bird's of Prey under threat
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Scots diaspora should be honoured
The Scottish National Party has called for a museum to celebrate notable Scottish migrants such as Andrew Carnegie and Sir Sean Connery.
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Scots Tennis Star sponsored by Mineral Water Coy
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Joke for the New Year
Thursday, December 28, 2006
FORREST GUMP GOES TO HEAVEN
The day finally arrived. Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven.
He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. However, the
gates are closed, and Forrest approaches the gatekeeper.
St. Peter said, "Well, Forrest, it is certainly good to see you.
We have heard a lot about you. I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we have been administering an entrance
examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it
before you can get into Heaven."
Forrest responds, "It sure is good to be here, St. Peter, sir. But
nobody ever told me about any entrance exam. I sure hope that the test ain't too hard. Life was a big enough test as it was."
St. Peter continued, "Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only
First : What two days of the week begin with the letter T?
Second: How many seconds are there in a year?
Third: What is God's first name?"
Forrest leaves to think the questions over. He returns the next day and
sees St. Peter, who waves him up, and says, "Now that you
have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers."
Forrest replied, "Well, the first one -- which two days in the week
begins with the letter "T"? Shucks, that one is easy. That would be
Today and Tomorrow "
The Saint's eyes opened wide and he exclaimed, "Forrest, that is
not what I was thinking, but you do have a point, and I guess I did not
specify, so I will give you credit for that answer. How about the next
one?" asked St. Peter.
"How many seconds in a year? Now that one is harder," replied
Forrest, but I thunk and thunk about that, and I guess the only answer
can be twelve ."
Astounded, St. Peter said, "Twelve? Twelve? Forrest, how in
Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"
Forrest replied, "Shucks, there's got to be twelve:
January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd.... "
"Hold it," interrupts St. Peter "I see where you are going with
this, and I see your point, though that was not quite what I had
in mind.....but I will have to give you credit for that one, too. Let
us go on with the third and final question. Can you tell me God's first
"Sure," Forrest replied, "it's Andy."
"Andy?" exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St Peter.
"Ok, I can understand how you came up with your answers to
my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come
up with the name Andy as the first name of God?"
"Shucks, that was the easiest one of all," Forrest replied. "I learnt
it from the song, "ANDY WALKS WITH ME, ANDY TALKS WITH ME, ANDY TELLS ME I AM HIS OWN. . . "
St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates, and said: "Run Forrest, run."
Give me a sense of humor, Lord.
Give me the ability to understand a clean joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And to pass it on to other folk.
Campaign to preserve birthplace of John Buchan
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
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Labels: John Buchan
Dr. Livingstone presumed saved by tartan jacket
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Labels: Dr. Livingstone
Scotland's Earthquakes: Shaken and Stirred!
The Highlands of Scotland are prone to earthquakes:
- Shieldaig in Wester Ross recorded a quake of 3.1 early 2006
- Comrie in Perthshire is known as the "Shakey Toun" because it sits on the Highland Boundary Fault and has records of quakes dating back to 1788. The town's Royal Hotel serves a beer called "Earthquake Ale".
Beatrix Potter and Dalguise, Perthshire
Monday, December 25, 2006
There is a cottage in Dalguise where there was a washerwoman who provided the role model for Mrs Tiggy Winkle.
Although having been being tutored by a governess, and was therefore without an academic background, she nevertheless undertook some quality scientific research into fungi which at that time were still deemed to be within the plant 'family'. She worked closely with local naturalist-and postman-Charles McIntosh-who was a shy man but, like Beatrix, had a strong passion for local flora and fauna. McIntosh walked some 15 miles per day in the course of his postal duties.
Beatrix provided McIntosh with some of her drawings with which he was well pleased.
Beatrix is known to have a strong interest in groups of fungi and wanted to know :
- Why they appeared so rapidly
- Where were they before growth started?
- How did the single cell grow from spores?
Beatrix's research was of such quality that she was able, via a Mr. Massey, to submit a paper to the Linnean Society, London where the work was well received but was not expressed in the normal dour, scientific language to gain full acceptance. Moreover, at this time, this type of academic work was very much the province of men.
Although Beatrix's drawings were of high quality, very few featured in her children's books.
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Labels: beatrix potter
Glasgow's Science Centre Tower reopens
During the winter the Tower is open Tuesday to Sunday 11.00am to 5.00pm.
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Fourteen Jacobite soldiers re-buried
Saturday, December 23, 2006
The soldiers had been buried in the Coal Yard area of the castle but were discovered about 1986. The remains were removed for safe-keeping and analysis by Historic Scotland.
It is believed that the 14 men died of disease rather than through combat. One of the men may be Private Colin Sutherland.
The re-burial was a simple ceremony conducted by an Army chaplain.
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Aberdeen's fast rising house prices
Behind Aberdeen ranked Kilmarnock and Motherwell with 25pct rises. Edinburgh is the most expensive location in Scotland with an average price of £203,000, up 12pct.
Aberdeen's real estate has benefited form a strong local economy, especially the energy sector.
The average home in Scotland now costs nearly 4 times the average household income.
Contact catswhiskerstours to learn about Scotland's business environment.
Labels: Scotland's Economy
Beatrix Potter's links with Perthshire
The film Miss Potter starring Renee Zellweger goes on general release January 5th 2007. There is also a novel Miss Potter by Richard Maltby Jr which available from Warne at £6.99.
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Labels: beatrix potter
Black Grouse Under Threat
Friday, December 22, 2006
The bird's decline is particularly noticeable in Perthshire but reductions have also occurred in other parts of Scotland, and England and Wales.
Forestry Commission Scotland has a policy of planting native woodlands as part of an initiative to restore Grouse habitats.
The only way of counting the Black Grouse population is to identify lekking males (blackcocks) during their courtship displays; the females lay hidden out of sight in the long grass.
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Edinburgh's Famous Addresses
Thursday, December 21, 2006
6a Nicolson Street (Formerly Nicolson's): This is where J.K.Rowling wrote parts of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Rutherford's Howff, Drummond Street: This is a former drinking den patronised by Robert Louis Stevenson.
2 Wellington Place, Leith: Former home of Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting.
Sciennes Hill House, Sciennes House Place: Meeting place of Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns.
Riddles Court (was Land) 322 High Street: First permanent home of philosopher, David Hume.
Scotland Street: Setting for Alexander McCall Smith's novel, 44 Scotland Street.
31 Drummond Place: Home of Compton Mackenzie who wrote 'Whisky Galore'.
Arden Street, Marchmont: Former home of Ian Rankin, author of Inspector Rebus.
St. Stephen Street, Stockbridge: Former home of novelist, Joan Lingard.
Boyd's Inn (now Entry), Canongate: Arrival point of Dr. Johnson 1773.
Canongate Kirkyard: Contains graves of Adam Smith (economist), Robert Ferguson (poet) and Agnes McLehose ( known to Robert Burns).
5 The Abbotsford, 3 Rose Street:Meeting place of poet Hugh MacDiarmid and associates during 1950s and early 1960s.
Craiglockhart: Former war hospital where Siegfried Sassoon met Wilfred Owen (poets).
St. Peter's Church, 77 Falcon Avenue, Morningside: Oscar Wilde used Father John Gray as a role model for the character Dorian Gray.
160 Bruntsfield Place: Birthplace of novelist Muriel Spark.
Explore Edinburgh with catswhiskerstours. See live webcam of Princes Street.
Scotch Whisky and the Scottish Economy
Out of the total GBP18.6M ($ 36bn) of exports, food and drink accounted for GBP3.6BN with otther sectors contibuting as follows: Chemicals GBP1.8bn; Office Machinery GBP1.7bn; Business services GBP1.6bn; and media equipment GBP1.3bn.
Exports in 2005 were up GBP900M on 2004. The U.S.A. was the most important single country destination accounting for GBP2.1bn ($4.0bn) of the total.
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Labels: Scotland's Economy
Dupplin Cross: St. Serf's Church, Dunning.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The cross dates to about AD 820 and up until the 1990s is sat on a hill at nearby Forteviot. Thereafter it was sent to Edinburgh for a short period before being "repatriated" to Dunning. Condition is incredibly good considering it's exposure to the elements for nearly 1200 years.
Original plan was to house the cross permanently in Edinburgh but the authorities responded to a campaign by local people and the cross was returned to Dunning in 1992. It now occupies pride of place in Dunning Church which itself is now a museum under the control of Historic Scotland. There is a guide on hand during the tourist season to explain the Cross to visitors.
The Cross is made form sandstone from the Galloway region of Scotland.
Side View 1
Top section represents a serpent devouring its own tail.
Mid section shows King David
Bottom section depicts a Pictish knot (no beginning and no end).
Note that carvings of people with large heads indicates high status.
Side View 2
Top section represents hunting dogs.
Mid section depicts two generals.
At the top there are vines which evoke the Eucharist.
The round boss at the centre may indicate either the sun or a loaf of bread.
Below the arm is a representation of King Constantine. Below him are figures with smaller heads which indicates persons of lesser importance.
At the foot are hunting dogs.
Blank section at the rear has been subject to infra-red investigation and found to contain Latin script with references to Constantine, son of Fergus.
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Labels: Dupplin Cross
Whisky Blending at Glengoyne Distillery
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Cost of the course is GBP25.00 ($50.00).
Each student's product is poured into a 100ml bottle to take home. A certificate is also provided. However, the exact recipe remains in Glengoyne's registry of blends.
Glengoyne's malt is found in Isle of Skye and Langs blended brands.
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Big Expansion for Aberdeen Airport
Aberdeen is one of the fastest growing airports in the U.K. with 3 million passengers this year rising to a projected 5.9m by 2030.
The expansion plans have been welcomed by tourism and business leaders.
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News from Scotland
Monday, December 18, 2006
Currently, prospects are the best for generations with record levels of investment for military vessels under BAE Systems Naval Ships. Over 550 new staff have been recruited with total now at almost 4,000 which includes the Govan and Scotstoun yards.
Kinloch Castle to be restored with help from Prince of Wales
Kinloch Castle was built in 1901 on the island of Rum by Sir George Bullough, an industrialist. It is now owned by Scottish Natural Heritage but requires restoration. The Prince's involvement will be by way of "green" elements such as solar panels and an independent power supply.
The castle is open for visitors during March to October. Tours are also available.
Kiltmaker Required for British Army
Because of delays in placing an order by the Ministry of Defence there are only 320 kilts for 5000 Scottish soldiers of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. However, officials have announced that 1400 kilts will be ready by May 2007 with the programme complete by January 2008.
Famous Glasgow Restaurant Destroyed by Fire
Cafe India located in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow was destroyed by a fire which broke out at 3.00pm on Decemeber 17th 2006. No one was injured in the fire. Past patrons of the restaurant include Sean Connery, Keanu Reeves and Michael Jackson.
Scottish Road Accidents Attributed to Ballooning Deer Population
The Scottish deer population has reached a record 400,000, three times that 1976. This artificially high population has caused many accidents resulting in some 74 injured people (including one or two fatalities) and the deaths of 7,000-10,000 deer each year.
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Fort William- Rain Capital
Saturday, December 16, 2006
This level of precipitation is 10 times the level predicted.
Labels: fort william
Friday, December 15, 2006
- Milnathort: where more than 160 buildings were submerged under up to five feet of water after the River Quaich burst its banks.
- Stirling: where about 60 homes had to evacuated.
- Port of Menteith: where the River Forth burst its banks stranding many in farmhouses.
- Kingussie High School: which was closed after the River Gynack burst its banks.
- Meikleour: where one trapped woman described the flood as akin to a tsunami.
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Scotland's Stone of Destiny
Thursday, December 14, 2006
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Isle of Lewis Wind Farm
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Protest groups, which include Moorland Without Turbines believe that irreplaceable peat bogs on the island will be destroyed.
The development is sponsored by Lewis Wind Power, a partnership between Amec and British Energy.
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Labels: Isle of Lewis
Over the past year the number of private sector enterprises in Scotland rose by 0.1oct to 265,435 and the number of people employed in the businesses rose by 1.4pct to 1.9m. The Scottish National Party has criticised this low level of enterprise growth.
Labels: Scotland's Economy
Scotland's Unusual Heritage Buildings
Saturday, December 09, 2006
- Dounreay Nuclear Power Station, Caithness. The dome is of particular interest.
- Lion Chambers, Glasgow. One of the early buildings to be constructed from lightweight reinforced concrete.
- Pillar box in Hyndland Road, Glasgow. One of only 161 such pillarboxes installed during the short lived reign of Edward VIII.
- St. Peter's College, Cardross, Dunbartonshire. A Roman Catholic Seminary which closed in 1980.
- The Bookie's Tower at Lanark Racecourse.
- The Glasgow College of Building and Printing. This dates from the 1960s.
- David Hume Tower, Edinburgh University. Completed 1963.
- Gala Fairydean FC's concrete grandstand. ( Galashiels Football Club)
Ghostly Presence in Crieff, Perthshire
Friday, December 08, 2006
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Bag a Munro!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
The eponymous peaks are named after Sir Hugh Munro (1856-1919) who founded and became President of The Scottish Mountaineering Club in 1889. In 1891 Sir Hugh published "Tables giving all Scottish mountains exceeding 3000 feet in height".
Since 1902 more than 3500 people have climbed or "bagged" all the Munros.
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Scotland's Other Drink-Specialist Beers
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Here is a list of some of the better specialist breweries:
- Moulin Brewery, Near Pitlochry, Perthshire. Adjacent to the Moulin Hotel.
- Arran Brewery, Isle of Arran.
- Broughton Ales, located in the Scottish Borders.
- Cairngorm Brewery, Aviemore
- Caledonian Brewery Company, an Edinburgh based brewery founded in 1869.
- Harviestoun Brewery, Alva, Clackmannanshire
- Innis and Gunn Brewing Company, Edinburgh
- Inveralmond Brewery, Established 1997 in Perth
- Traquair House Brewery. Located in the 18th century wing of Scotland's oldest continually inhabited house.
- Williams Brothers Brewing Company, Alloa, Clackmannanshire
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Labels: scotland's beers
Scotland's Finest Architects
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Born Kirkcaldy, Fife. Notable for:
- Register House, Edinburgh.
- Elevations for Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.
- Culzean Castle, Ayrshire
- Dalquharran Castle, Girvan, Ayrshire
- Caldwell House, Uplawmoor, Renfrewshire.
Born Edinburgh. Notable for:
- Fettes College.
- Old Edinburgh Infirmary
- Eastend House, Biggar, Lanarkshire.
- Seacliffe House, North Berwick.
- Kilberry Castle, Tarbert, Argyll.
- Trumland House, Orkney
- Stirkoke House, Caithness.
Aberdeen based and noted for:
- Royal Infirmary
- Greek Revival Music Hall
- County Assembly Rooms
- Haddo House, Huntly
- Lessendrum House, Huntly
- Glasshaugh House, Portsoy.
Born Dunblane, Perthshire and noted for:
- Glenfinnan Monument
- Interiors of Hopetoun House and Taymouth Castle
- Culdees Castle, Crieff.
- Cambusnethan Priory, Wishaw, Lanarkshire.
- Avondale House, Falkirk.
Born Edinburgh and noted for:
- Finnart House, Garelochhead.
- Poltalloch House, Lochgilphead, Argyll.
- Buchanan Castle, Drymen
- Balintore Castle, Kirriemuir
Born Glasgow and noted for:
- The Elms, Arbroath.
Eldest of William Adam's four sons and noted for:
Whisky To Pour
Monday, December 04, 2006
Islay's distilleries are disposing of GBP100,000 ($200,000) worth of whisky a day because six of the distilleries have run out of fuel oil and currently harsh weather has prevented oil tankers docking at the new GBP2.6M ($5.2M) pier which appears to have been constructed so as to facilitate docking only in calm weather.
Absence of fuel means production has had to be curtailed.
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- Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture and design.
- Botanic Gardens
- The Burrell Collection
- The Citizens Theatre
- Gallery of Modern Art
- Glasgow Cathedral
- Glasgow Science Centre
- Kelvingrove art Gallery & Museum
- Museum of Transport
- The Peoples Palace
- Sharmanka kinetic Gallery & Theatre
- The Tall Ship at Glasgow Harbour
News from Scotland
Friday, December 01, 2006
The 93,000 acre South Uist Estate has been purchased by the local community for GBP4.5M ($9.0M). The transaction incorporates virtually all of South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula. The new owners intend to focus on various initiatives including affordable housing, renewable energy, drainage and coastal management. It is hoped that the buy-out will stabilise the population (currently 3000) which has dropped by 18pct over the past 20 years.
Scotland Subsidises American Bank's Glasgow Expansion
JP Morgan Chase has been awarded GBP3.0M ($6.0M) as an incentive to generate 200 new software development posts in Glasgow. Funding was provided under the Regional Selective Assistance Scheme through which similar grants have recently been paid to other major financial institutions such as Barclays Bank, HSBC and Morgan Stanley. These grants to very wealthy institutions have attracted criticism in some Scottish political circles.
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Labels: Scotland news
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