21 January 2008

Scotophile Monday

Welcome back to Scotophile Monday! All sources credited. Enjoy!

Homecoming Scotland 2009
Next year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's national poet and cultural icon Robert Burns, whose message of friendship and 'Auld Lang Syne' lives on. And Burns is the inspiration behind a year long celebration of some of Scotland's great contributions to the world. The Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond formally launched the "Scottish Homecoming" project this week. This is a programme of events which will run throughout 2009, complementing the vast range of world-class attractions already offered in Scotland. From the world's biggest ever Clan Gathering in Edinburgh to Celtic Connections in Glasgow and from the Open Championship at Turnberry to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, there's something special for everyone. For more details (though it's early days yet and the programme is still evolving) see Scottish Homecoming.

U.S. Library Reverses Decision on Scottish Literature
Last month, the US Library of Congress announced that 700 years of Scottish literary output was to be reclassified as a subsection of English literature. So the classic novel "The Thirty Nine Steps" by Scottish author John Buchan and Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped" would be listed under "Adventure Stories - English." Even Robert Burns would have been classified as "Poetry - English." Quite apart from the impact in America, there were concerns that the US library's decision would influence other libraries around the world. A strenuous campaign has been mounted and in what has been described as "a victory for common sense" the US Library of Congress has reversed the decision.

Tay Salmon Season
Heavy rain and melting snow meant that the river Tay was running high and strong this week as the salmon fishing season got under way. The traditional opening ceremonies took place at Killin and Kenmore, with the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band leading the procession to the river bank. The new season will see new conservation methods being introduced. Between 15 January and 31 May, the first salmon caught each day by each individual angler should be released and anglers should then have the option of keeping one subsequent fish only, per day. From 1 June to the end of the season all female fish should be released as well as at least 50% of male fish, particularly those over 15 lbs. On the other hand, the Tay Board Hatchery has three million salmon eggs on the hatching trays to replenish stocks - but many will not return from the ocean.

Glasgow Clipper Reaches Indonesia
The round-the-world racing clipper with the cumbersome name of "Glasgow: Scotland with Style" is part of an international Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race. When the yacht left Fremantle in Western Australia on New Year's Day, it was lying in overall second place. But a mistake off the coast of Singapore forced the Glasgow team to double back as the headed towards Batam in Indonesia on the fifth leg of the race. So they arrived in sixth place on this section, which will mean they are likely to slip down the overall table.

WWII Submarine Found
The First World War German submarine U12 sank in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland at Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders in 1915. It had been attacking cargo ships off the British coast but was hunted down and rammed by a Royal Navy warship. The precise location of the vessel - the first to have an aeroplane carried on its deck - has always been a mystery. But after five years of work by two amateur Scottish divers it has been found - 25 miles off the coast. The site has been reported to the German authorities as 19 sailors died in the attack (ten survivors escaped). It has been declared an official war grave and it will remain untouched.

This Week in Scottish History
January 20 1937 - Benny Lynch crowned world flyweight champion.
January 21 1290 - Sweetheart Abbey, near Dumfries, founded by Devorguilla, mother of John Balliol.
January 22 1788 - Poet George Gordon Byron (later Lord Byron) born. He moved to Aberdeen at the age of four and attended Aberdeen Grammar School. The title was inherited from an uncle.
January 23 1570 - James Stewart, the Regent Moray on the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots, murdered in Linlithgow, triggering civil war.
January 24 76 - Birth of Publius Aelius Hadrianus, who built Hadrian's Wall to cut off Scotland from the rest of Britain.
January 24 1890 - First train over Forth Rail Bridge.
January 25 1759 - Robert Burns born Alloway.
January 26 1861 - "One o'clock gun" fired for the first time from Edinburgh Castle.
January 26 1908 - The 1st Glasgow Scout troop was registered, the first to be formed.

Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner
This is the tenth such event being held at Floata Chinese Restaurant, Keefer St. Vancouver, British Columbia. Something special is created each year with traditional and contemporary performances featuring everything in-between and beyond! Food is described as a "quirky fusion/mix/buffet of Scottish Canadian and Chinese Canadian culture 10 course Chinese banquet dinner". Whew! The Gung Haggis Won-Ton included haggis served with plum or sweet and sour sauces in 2004 and in 2005 it was haggis lettuce wrap... More surprises are promised for 2008! See www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com.

Scottish Natural Heritage Information Service
The Scottish Natural Heritage Information Service - SNHi - has sections which help you to find out about species and habitats around Scotland, sites designated for their natural heritage value across Scotland, what's happening to Scotland's environment, facts and statistics about SNH's work, data on Scotland's countryside and all about the National Nature Reserves (NNR). THere's also information for teachers on sites suitable for outdoor learning. See Scottish Natural Heritage Information Service.

All of the above are from RampantScotland.com.

Burns Night Radio Broadcast
It's Burns night on Friday. Get into the mood by listening to Burns and Gow, featuring singer Michael Marra, on Radio Scotland from 15.30 or on demand later. Read more

Web Pages of the Week
Celtic Connections 2008
Greener Scotland

Blog of the Week
Stromness Dragon

Pledge to Reclaim Scottish History for Children
Scottish history is to be restored to its position at the heart of the school curriculum to combat young people's "ignorance" of their nation's past, the education secretary promises. Read more by Fiona MacLeod

Shining Tribute to Scottish Culture
A new exhibition reveals what happens when Scotland's top silversmiths and some of its most famous names work together. Read more by Rosalind Gibb

I'm singin' on the train, just singin' on the train...
FOUR Hearts fans who were arrested for singing football songs on board a train have been fined. They were returning to Edinburgh after watching their team reach a goalless draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle at their opponent's home ground. Their antics caused fellow passengers to leave the carriage during the journey and a steward complained to police, Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told. Ian Taylor, 34, Steven Duffy, 31, Paul Girdwood, 25, and Ian McKenzie, 38, pleaded guilty to causing a breach of the peace on board the train between Inverness and Edinburgh on November 25, 2006. Read more

Most Treasured Place in Scotland
A disused Victorian coal mine has been named the most treasured place in Scotland, in a poll of iconic images. Lady Victoria Colliery in Newtongrange, Midlothian, won the survey, which drew more than 20,000 votes. Respondents were asked to choose from a shortlist of ten archive images of places around the country to find the nation's favourite spot. The colliery - which now houses the Scottish Mining Museum - came in ahead of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art and Skara Brae, the prehistoric village on Orkney. It also beat Rossyln Chapel, which featured in Dan Brown's best-seller The Da Vinci Code,and the Falkirk Wheel. Read more

Have a good week!


NWJPB said...

If you miss Gung Haggis Fat Choy in Vancouver, catch it in Seattle February 24th!

5:00 to 9:00 PM
Ocean City Restaurant
609 S. Weller


Carolan Ivey said...

Sweet! Thanks for the tip! I've got friends in Seattle - I'll make sure to pass it along.