30 March 2009

Celtophile Monday

This issue is in honor of Scottie, who after many, many years has had to suspend production of the amazing Rampant Scotland weekly newsletter due to health reasons. Thank you for providing such a valuable service, Scottie! Rest well and feel better.

Scottie was kind enough to pass along his list of online resources he used for the newsletter, so I will do my feeble best to glean interesting tibdbits as time permits. Enjoy!

Castle Figure Wins "Ghostly" Competition
An eerie picture of a figure in period costume at the window of a Scottish castle has won a competition to find the world's most convincing "ghostly image". The picture, taken in May 2008, appears to show a man or woman wearing a ruff, looking through a barred window at Tantallon Castle in North Berwick, East Lothian. No mannequins are used at the castle, and there are no costumed guides. Three photographic experts have confirmed that the photograph was not manipulated. Christopher Aitchison, a visitor who took the photograph said: "I was not aware of anyone or anything being present in my picture, only noticing the anomaly when I got home. I did not notice any nice old ladies wearing ruffs walking around the stairs!" Read More

First Ladies to Get Tweed Wraps
US President Barack Obama's wife Michelle and France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozi are to be presented with garments made from Harris Tweed. Wraps and scarves have been specially made for the two women and the other spouses of world leaders gathering in London for a G20 summit. Heriot-Watt University graduate Helen Finlayson, 22, was commissioned to design the pieces. They were made by Harris Tweed Hebrides on the Western Isles. The gifts were the idea of Chancellor Alistair Darling's wife Margaret. Read More

Nutt House Overrun by Squirrels
A woman in Northern Ireland says her home has been over-run by grey squirrels. Oonagh Nutt, from Moira in County Down, says the animals first came into her garden from an adjoining park six years ago, but in the last 18 months they got too close for comfort. "I thought it was lovely, I called one of them Hazel but then the next thing they'd got into the house," she said. Mrs Nutt says the squirrels have caused serious damage: "They chewed their way through my roof in several places, they tunnel through the cavity walls, they live under the floor boards, they go to the toilet in the attic. "Up close they are quite frightening - they look like puppy dogs with big hands, they growl and bark at you, they're vicious things. They'll go for you." Read More

Scotland in Pictures Last Week
Click Here

Footage Reveals U-Boat Secrets
Underwater footage from the wreck of a German U-boat sunk more than 90 years ago has been released. The vessel - the U-40 - was recently discovered by divers off the coast of Eyemouth in Berwickshire. It is thought to have been among the first to have been lured by a decoy trawler and then torpedoed by a British submarine during the First World War. It is the second such discovery in the waters off the Scottish Borders after a similar U-boat find in January 2008. The U-40 was discovered by a team of divers from Eyemouth-based Marine Quest about 40 miles off the Berwickshire coast. It was sunk on 23 June 1915 with the loss of 29 German sailors. According to Iain Easingwood of Marine Quest it took a lot of preparation to pinpoint the location of the U-boat. "Given the history and amazing story behind the U-40, this is probably our most significant find to date," he said. "There are so many other wrecks out there in the North Sea and we will be on the lookout for another exciting find." Click here for video

Satellite Tracks "Super Whoopers"
A project is under way to track the migration of 50 whooper swans from Britain to Iceland and back again. The birds have been fitted with GPS satellite transmitters in order to monitor their progress. A website has been set up to follow the journey from centres at Caerlaverock in Dumfries and Galloway, Martin Mere in Lancashire and Welney in Norfolk. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust said it helped to build a "fascinating and complete picture" of the migration. See Satellite Tracking

Highlanders Celebrate Bridge's 200 Years
Europe’s last remaining private army went on the march at the weekend, to commemorate the bicentenary of a Perthshire bridge. The 100-strong Atholl Highlanders marched across the Telford Bridge, at Dunkeld, on Saturday. The 11th Duke of Atholl’s private regiment donned their full regalia for the occasion. Their presence was in honour of the fourth Duke of Atholl, who had provided financial assistance to see the bridge completed back in 1809. Until then, people at Dunkeld had relied on two treacherous ferries to cross the River Tay. Read More, See Pictures

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