Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Scotland New Years Eve Celebrations

The annual New Years Eve celebrations and procession of the Caledonian Lodge of Oddfellows, in Newburgh, Fife, Scotland. The Oddfellows paraded by torchlight through the town, wearing costumes, masks and creating merriment by their antics. December 31st, 2006. Many New Years events were cancelled throughout Scotland, fortunately, despite very bad weather at the start of the procession, the event was held as planned. Well done Newburgh !!!

Scottish New Years Eve Video

Despite the stormy weather the parade starts down Newburgh High Street, Fife, Scotland.

Scotland New Years Eve Videos

High winds and rain at the start of the New Years Eve celebrations, in Newburgh, Fife, Scotland.

To Scottish Exiles

Are you not weary in your distant places,
Far, far from Scotland of the mist and storm,
In drowsy airs, the sun-smite on your faces,
The days so long and warm ?
When all around you lie the strange fields sleeping,
The dreary woods where no fond memories roam,
Do not your sad hearts over seas come leaping
To the highlands and the lowlands of your Home ?

Wild cries the Winter, loud through all our valleys
The midnights roar, the grey noons echo back;
About the scalloped coasts the eager galleys
Beat for kind harbours from horizons black':
We tread the miry roads, the rain-drenched heather,
We are the men, we battle, we endure !
God's pity for you people in your weather
Of swooning winds, calm seas, and skies demure !

Let torrents pour then, let the great winds rally,
Snow-silence fall, or lightning blast the pine;
That light of Home shines warmly in the valley,
And, exiled son of Scotland, it is thine.
Far have you wandered over seas of longing,
And now you drowse, and now you well may weep,
When all the recollections come a-thronging
Of this old country where your fathers sleep.

They sleep, but still the hearth is warmly glowing,
While the wild Winter blusters round their land:
That light of Home, the wind so bitter blowing
Look, look and listen, do you understand ?
Love, strength, and tempest-oh, come back and share them !
Here is the cottage, here the open door;
Fond are our hearts although we do not bare them,
They're yours, and you are ours for evermore.

Neil Munro.

Scottish New Years Resolution

Here is a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson.

"You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?"

Scottish New Year Tradition

Letting the Old Year Out and the New Year In.

Just before midnight, a window should be opened at each side of the house to let the Old Year out and the New Year in.

Scottish Weather

Well, it's New Years Eve, and here in Perthshire we have torrential rain. Nothing else to do but have a wee laugh.

"Take notice," shouted the Inverary bell-man at the pitch of his voice, "that the boat bound South for Glasgow will sail on Monday morning, God willing and weather permitting, or on Tuesday, whether or not."

Scottish Hopes

Well, it has been yet another year when the Scottish Parliament has been dull and boring. My hopes for next year are that our Parliament will become less interested in treating Scots like children, to be chastised and over governed. We need a Parliament with greater vision; greater rhetoric; and a willingness to truly believe in Scotland and the Scottish people. This wee, but proud, nation, deserves better than our present parliamentary numpties.

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne, by Robert Burns.

Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung after the hells have rung and everybody has been wished a Happy New Year.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne !

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp !
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes ,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit ,
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn ,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere !
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught ,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Scottish New Year

In Scotland, where New Years Eve is called Hogmanay, there is an old tradition called "first footing," in which the first person to enter a home after the new year determines what kind of year the residents will have. The first person over the doorstep after midnight should be a male with dark hair. The "first footer" often brings symbolic gifts like coal to keep the house warm or baked goods such as shortbread, oat cakes, and a fruit caked called black bun, to make sure the household always has food.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Scotland Storms Clouds

After a beautiful morning on December 30th, 2006, in Perthshire, Scotland, storm clouds gather over Glen Turret, just North of Crieff. The forecast is of unsettled weather for New Year's Eve for Scotland, with a strong storm system passing through, leading to persistent and locally heavy rainfall, and even severe gales. Not that any of that will stop Scots celebrating !!!

Scottish Character

It has been rightly said that there are as many sides to the Scottish character as there are checks in a plaid. History, climate, and physical features have combined to produce the proverbially undemonstrative and thrifty Scot with his strongly developed sense of independence. But there are other equally prominent features in his make-up; and all the reliable estimates of the character of the Scot portray him also as a severely practical man, hard-working, competent, educated and hard-headed.

In moving about his world, the Scot is concerned primarily with the practical use of things. When an old Scottish farmer was shown St Paul's Cathedral for the first time, his only comment was, "Man, it would hold a terrible, lot of hay."

And when the mayor of a major Scottish city was asked to express an opinion about the Pyramids his summing up was simply, "What a lot of masonry work and no rent coming in."

Scottish Highland Toast

Up with it, up with it, up with it!
Down with it, down with it, down with it!
Away from me, away from me, away from me!
Towards me, towards me, towards me!
Drink it off!
And no other shall ever drink from this glass again!

The proposer stands on his chair with one foot on the table, holding the glass in his right hand. He accompanies the toast with appropriate gestures, and at the last words, flings the glass over his left shoulder on to the floor, where it is shattered to atoms. I have seen it drunk thus in the Isle of Skye.

Scottish Highland Bridge

An old Highland Bridge located just East of the Sma Glen on the road from Crieff to Dunkeld. Wee Scottish video taken on the afternoon of December 30th, 2006.

Scottish Toasts

Here's to you, as good as you are,
And here's to me, as bad as I am;
But as good as you are, and as bad as I am,
I am as good as your are, as bad as I am.
Old Scottish Toast

Here's tae us; wha's like us?
Gey few, and they're a' deid.
Scottish Toast, probably of 19th-century origin. The first line appears in T. W. H. Crosland The Unspeakable Scot

May those who live truly be always believed,
And those who deceive us be always deceived.

Here's to the men of all classes,
Who through lasses and glasses
Will make themselves asses!

I drink to the health of another,
And the other I drink to is he
In the hope that he drinks to another,
And the other he drinks to is me.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand
Andy may his great prosperity
Ne'er fail in old Scotland!

May the hinges of friendship never rust,
or the wings of luve lose a feather.
- Dean Edward Bannerman Ramsey,
Reminiscences of Scottish Life: A Toast

May the best you've ever seen
Be the worst you'll ever see;
May a moose ne'er leave yer girnal
Wi' a teardrop in his e'e.
May ye aye keep hale and hearty
Till ye're auld enough tae dee,
May ye aye be just as happy
As I wish ye aye tae be.

(girnal - meal chest; moose - mouse)
- Allan Ramsay of Ayr.

O Thou, in whom we live and move,
Who made the sea and shore;
Thy goodness constantly we prove,
And grateful would adore;
And if it please Thee, Power above!
Still grant us with such store
The friend we trust, the fair we love,
And we desire no more.
- Robert Burns.

Some have meat but cannot eat;
Some could eat but have no meat;
We have meat and can all eat;
Blest, therefore, be God for our meat.
- Dr. Plume, The Selkirk Grace, in his manuscripts in a handwriting from about 1650

O Thou who kindly dost provide
For every creature's want!
We bless Thee, God of Nature wide,
For all thy goodness lent.
And, if it please Thee, heavenly Guide,
May never worse be sent;
But, whether granted or denied,
Lord bless us with content.
- Robert Burns.

Here's to me and here's to you,
And if in the world
There was just us two
And I could promise that nobody knew
Would you?

Here's a bottle and an honest man!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o' care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man.
Believe me happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man!
- Robert Burns.

I'll drink a cup to Scotland yet,
Wi' a' the honours three.
- Henry Scott (Scot) Riddell, Toast to Scotland

Cullen Skink

Take cuts of smoked haddock,
Fry them until they flake;
Squeal two leeks in a pan
Until they are seething.

Boil a whole handful of potatoes
So they're rumbling in the water
like small, white boulders,
Wait until they crumble, soft.

Now pour in cream;
A yellowness creeps
To every corner. Turn off the heat.
Fasten the lid and leave to sleep.

At five o'clock next day
Serve with thick bread.
And ledges of hard butter.
So hot it burns your words.

Kenneth Steven.
Scottish Cooking.

Scottish Hangover Cures

Scottish home cures and “old wife” remedies were used more in former times than they are now.

For headaches, and hangovers, a house-leek was pounded and made into a poultice. These plants were easily got as they grew on the roof of many an old Scottish cottage, but seemed to favour the old grey slates rather than the newer blue ones.

The juice of primroses was used as a lotion for, and sage was used not only for flavouring but also for stomach trouble. Sage “tea” also did for a hair-wash!

Rosemary was usually “for remembrance,” but apparently, according to the herbi-wives or skilly buddies, it was also good for the liver!!

Violet leaves were used for swellings, and a brew of camomile flowers was useful in cases of sleeplessness-and gumboils!. Auld Scottish Grannies' Remedies.

Scottish Honours

David Murray, chair of Murray International Holdings Ltd, has been awarded a knighthood for services to Business in Scotland in the Queen's 2007 New Year Honours list.

Percussionist Evelyn Glennie OBE has been awarded a DBE for services to Music.

Arts impresario Professor Richard Demarco OBE, writer Professor Alexander McCall Smith and Pat Watters, President of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, are among those in Scotland to receive a CBE.

Recipients of the OBE include Paul Bush, HEAD OF the Scottish Commonwealth Games Team, Patricia Heywood, formerly World Wide President of the Mothers' Union and Dr Stuart Monro, Scientific Director, Our Dynamic Earth.

The MBE has been awarded to singer-songwriter Archie Fisher, former Indoor Bowls World Champion Alex Marshall, Ann Mitchell, formerly customer services assistant at Lauder College refectory, and conservationist Charles Park.

The Queen's Police Medal is awarded to Malcolm Rae Dickson, HM Assistant Inspector of Constabulary, David Mulhern, Chief Executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority, and Patrick John Shearer, Deputy Chief Constable, Grampian Police

The Queen's Fire Service Medal is awarded to Wayne Terrance McCollin , Temporary Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Lothian & Borders, and Eileen Baird, Deputy Chief Officer, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Scottish New Years Eve

The Scots cherish the differences that set them apart from the English and everyone else, and cling tenaciously to the distinctions that differentiate them by region, their customs, dialects and the Gaelic language. The Scots can be dour but equally they can flash with inspiration. They delight in self-deprecating humor and continue to honor their tradition of hospitality. The Scots are a gregarious people and thoroughly enjoy meeting people from all over the world, while at the same time ensuring to keep intact their national characteristics and customs. Which, strangely enough, rarely include wearing the kilt, drinking vast quantities of whisky, or playing the bagpipes, except on New Years Eve.

Scottish Tribute Concert

The Perthshire piper Gordon Duncan, who died suddenly in December 2005, aged just 41, had a seminal impact on Scottish music. An extraordinarily gifted player, and an inspiring mentor to many younger pipers, he threw open a host of musical doors in his all-too short career. The 2007 Celtic Connections Festival will remember and celebrate Gordon's life and music through a tribute concert which will bring together piping stars from across the Celtic world. Thunderstruck.

Free Scottish Music

Scots tenor Nicky Spence is offering a free download of his recording of Auld Lang Syne this Hogmanay. The version will be available from 9am on December 31 until 12.30am on January 1, free to be downloaded here. Nicky also releases his debut album, My First Love, on January 15. My First Love.

Auld Lang Syne Lyrics.

Scotland has a strong folk and musical tradition, with an amazing number of singers, songwriters and musicians performing in every musical style, and most of Scotland's best performers are now available on Scottish iTunes.

Scottish Hogmanay

Newburgh, Scotland, December 29th 2006. A wet and windy afternoon and evening in Scotland with more gales and rain expected in the next few days. A tradition in Newburgh, which started in 1864, is the annual procession of the Caledonian Lodge of Oddfellows. The Oddfellows parade by torchlight through the town, wearing costumes, masks and creating merriment by their antics. This event starts a 7pm, on December 31st, at the Old town Hall shown in the photograph above.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Scottish Quiz

To true believers, the Loch Ness Monster is a relic from the Cretaceous that survived the great extinction. Could it really have been a long-necked plesiosaur ?

1) No, eels and an excess consumption of Scottish Whisky explain the sightings.

2) No, Plesiosaurs were exclusively saltwater animals.

3) Not unless Nessie does the backstroke, as the plesiosaur's neck was adapted for feeding on the bottom, not for stretching up out of water.

Find The Answer Here.

Scottish Prayer

A Scottish prayer: "Oh Lord, we do not ask you to give us wealth. Just show us where it is!"

Scotsman In The Pub

A Scotsman was in the pub having a wee drink, when he said to the barman; "I will bet you a single malt whisky that I can bite my right eye !"

The barman, laughed, and said; "Okay, that's a bet."

The Scotsman took out his glass eye, and bit it.

The barman, now annoyed, said; "I will bet you a double malt whisky that you cannot bite your left eye."

The Scotsman said; "Your on."

And then took out his false teeth and bit his left eye.

Scotsman and Englishman

A Scotsman and Englishman were strolling along the beach when they found a lamp. They cleaned it up and out popped a genie.

"I'll give you each one wish for freeing me" said the genie.

The Englishman thought for a moment, then wished. "I believe in an England for the English, I'm sick and tired of all these Scots coming into MY country. I wish for a huge wall around England, to keep the English in and the Scots out"

POOF and it was done.

The Scotsman thought briefly, then asked.

"Genie?" he said "tell me about this wall".

"Well" said the genie "it's 500 feet high, a third of a mile thick, nothing can get in and nothing can get out".

"OK" said the Scotsman "Fill it with water".

George Bush

Sandy and an George Bush were flying across the Atlantic to New York when the stewardess approached.

"May I get you something?" she asked.

" Yes, a whisky" Sandy replied.

She poured him a drink then asked the President if he'd like one.

"Never!" he said sternly. "I'd rather be raped and ravished by whores all the way to America than drink whisky!"

Sandy hurriedly passed the drink back, saying " Shoot, I didn't know there was a choice!"

Miss Nevada

There was an Scotsman, an Englishman and Miss Nevada sitting together in a carriage in a train going through the Highlands of Scotland. Suddenly the train went through a tunnel and as it was an old style steam train, there were no lights in the carriages and it went completely dark. Then there was this kissing noise and the sound of a really loud slap. When the train came out of the tunnel, Miss Nevada and the Scotsman were sitting as if nothing had happened and the Englishman had his hand against his face as he had been slapped.

The Englishman was thinking: " The Scotsman must have kissed Miss Nevada and she missed him and slapped me instead. "

Miss Nevada was thinking: " The Englishman must have tried to kiss me and actually kissed the Scotsman and got slapped for it."

And the Scotsman was thinking: " This is magic. The next time the train goes through a tunnel I'll make that kissing noise and slap that English fool again.

Blood Relative

Of the varied elements constituting the character of the Scottish people, it can be claimed with some assurance that loyalty is perhaps the most conspicuous. They are nothing if not patriotic. Their proverbial love of country not only binds them more closely to their native town, village or glen, but also expresses itself in extreme loyalty to kith and kin.

" After all," said the old widow on being consoled on the loss of her husband, " After all, he wasn't actually a blood relative. "

Scottish Humor

Meikleour Beech Hedge

The Meikleour Beech Hedge is located in Meikleour, Perthshire, Scotland, alongside the Perth to Blairgowrie Road. The hedge was planted in the autumn of 1746, the year of the Jacobite uprising, by Jean Mercer and her husband, Robert Murray Nairne on the Marquess of Lansdowne's Meikleour estate. It is said the hedge grows towards the heavens because the men who planted it were killed at the Battle of Culloden. The hedge is noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest and longest hedge in the world, reaching one hundred feet in height and one quarter of a mile in length. Meikleour Beech Hedge.

Scots and Drink

Aye, Sandy, it is ten years since we met, so I will be glad of a wee dram of whisky with you, but I hope you remember that I payed last time.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Isle Of Skye

We are very pleased to announce our third photo tour to Scotland featuring the Isle of Skye and Orkney. Participants on this tour will explore and photograph the diverse landscape of the Isle of Skye, the largest of the Hebrides. We will hike across the spectacular Quiraing range, a basalt uprising that is the dominant feature of the Trotternish Peninsula. A trip across the peninsula will take us to the tiny village of Uig, and beyond to the Fairy Glen, a magical forest of Hazel trees situated amidst strange and wondrous hills and valleys. We will also spend a day in the Cuillins - Skye's most dramatic mountains. Lance invites you to join him for a swim in the chilly waters at the fairy pools. Skye has something for everyone: sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, majestic mountains, quiet forests, and ever-changing skies that never fail to reward photographers with amazing light. If it rains, there is plenty to see and do in Portree, the largest town on Skye. We may visit An Tuireann center for contemporary crafts and visual arts or browse the many shops, cafes, and pubs in town.

At the meeting point of three sea lochs on the west coast of the Scottish mainland is the very photogenic Eilean Donan Castle where we will stop to photograph on the way to Orkney.

On Orkney we will explore the amazing megalithic sites, including Maes Howe, a 5000-year-old chambered tomb with 1000-year-old Viking graffiti, and the preserved prehistoric village known as Skara Brae, exposed by a storm in the nineteenth century. It never gets fully dark on Orkney in high summer, which means we will have hours of amazing twilight to photograph the amazing Ring of Brodgar, a massive stone circle that was built over 5000 years ago. We will also visit the Viking Cathedral in the village of Kirkwall, and the picturesque town of Stromness, which is wonderful for photographing at night. One day on Orkney will be dedicated to a visit to Hoy, another of the Orkney Islands, where we will hike across the northern end of the island to see the Old Man of Hoy, a 450 foot high sea stack.

John Buchan

John Buchan was born in York Place, Perth, Scotland, as the eldest son of Rev. John Buchan and Helen Buchan. He studied at the University of Glasgow and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he had an outstanding career, winning many prizes. In 1901 he became a barrister of the Middle Temple and a private secretary to the High Commissioner for South Africa, Lord Milner (1901-03).

Prester John (1910) was based on his South African experiences. After his father's death our young hero sets off to make his fortune in South Africa. He gets tangled up in an African tribal uprising and the strange encounter and rumours he hears along his journey make him suspect that his destination may not be as predictable as he has supposed. Set at the turn of the last century, this is a real adventure story. Prester John.

After returning to London, Buchan specialized in tax law and continued to write. In 1906 Buchan started to work for the publisher Thomas Nelson and Sons. He revitalized publication of pocket editions of great literature and virtually edited The Spectator. In 1907 he married Susan Charlotte Grosvenor; they had three sons and one daughter. During World War I Buchan was a war correspondent before joining the army. While ill in bed in 1914 during the first months of the war, he wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps.

Richard Hannay's ennui comes to an abrupt end when a murder is committed in his flat. Only a few days before the dead man had revealed to him an assassination plot which would have terrible consequences for international peace. The Thirty-Nine Steps (Penguin Classics).

John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, was Governor General of Canada from 1935 until his death in 1940. A man of action and prodigious energy with a great sense of adventure, he was equally a man of contemplation and imagination. Buchan assumed a wide variety of roles throughout his life, writer, administrator, politician, outdoorsman, traveller and promoter of literature, to name a few. John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier.

A Dreich Day in Scotland

A Dreich day in Perth, Scotland on December 27th at 12 noon. Dreich meaning dismal and dreary with no sun, and rain expected.

Highland Clearances and Canada

In the Clearances of the 19th century, crofts, once the mainstay of Highland life in Scotland, were swept away as the land was put over to sheep grazing. Many of the people of the Highlands and islands of Scotland were forced from their homes by landowners in the Clearances. Some fled to Nova Scotia and beyond. David Craig sets out to discover how many of their stories survive in the memories of their descendants. He travels through 21 islands in Scotland and Canada, many thousands of miles of moor and glen, and presents the words of men and women of both countries as they recount the suffering of their forbears. On the Crofter's Trail.

British Columbia and Scotland

This historical biography, based on the life of British Columbia pioneer John Muir, tells the amazing story of a family from Scotland who came out to Canada in the late 1840s to work as 'consignee' labourers for the Hudson's Bay Company. Ashby recreates the story of the Muirs' struggle to develop a place for themselves in the hierarchic colony ruled by James Douglas. With their vision of a country based on democratic principles, the Muirs fought to bring a new way of life to the West Coast. Drawing on the Muir family diaries, Ashby recounts the family's voyage from Scotland, their first years toil in the coalmines near Fort Rupert on northern Vancouver Island, and their challenge to the Company when they initiated what may have been the first strike in Canada. Muir went on to acquire property and became an important figure in the economic development of the province. He built the first successful steam-operated sawmill in BC and developed the largest privately owned fleet of ships in the Northwest. He became a magistrate with his own sense of justice for the working man, and later a Member of the First Legislative Assembly. So fascinating is Muir's personality and so intriguing is his struggle for a democratic way of life that his life's story reads at times like a novel. Ashby is to be commended for vividly bringing back to life this historic figure, a man deserves to be better known in his own right and for his contribution top the development of the West. John Muir: West Coast Pioneer.

Aberdeen and Canada

The days when Aberdeen's fast sailing and copper-bottomed ships carried emigrant Scots to Canada are brought to life in this fascinating account of the northern Scotland exodus during the sailing ship era. Taking readers through new and little-used documentary sources, Lucille H. Campey finds convincing evidence of good ships, sailed by experienced captains and managed by reputable people, thus challenging head on the perceived imagery of abominable sea passages in leaking old tubs. And by considering the significance of ship design and size, she opens a new window on our understanding of emigrant travel. Instead of concentrating on the extreme cases of suffering and mishaps, to be found in anecdotal material, Campey's approach is to identify all of the emigrant sea crossings to Canada made on Aberdeen sailing ships. Observing the ships which collected passengers from the port of Aberdeen as well as those which collected emigrants at Highland ports, especially Cromarty and Thurso, Campey reveals the processes at work and the people who worked behind the scenes to provide the services. Her following of the emigrant Scots on to their New World destinations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Upper Canada provides us with an opportunity to see how events in Canada were influencing both the decision to emigrate and choice of location. These emigrant Scots succeeded, often after difficult beginnings, and would endow Canada with their rich traditions and culture which live on to this day. Fast Sailing and Copper-Bottomed: Aberdeen Sailing Ships and the Emigrant Scots They Carried to Canada, 1774-1855.

Scotland and Upper Canada

As economic conditions in Scotland worsened during the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries, destitute hand-loom weavers from the cotton districts around Glasgow and land-hungry Highlanders left Scotland for Upper Canada in increasing numbers. The success of these and other early settlers caused the exodus to mushroom as people from all parts of Scotland sought a better life in Upper Canada. Once settled they clung to their culture and identity and greatly influenced the social and economic development of what would become Ontario. This book is the first comprehensive account of this great Scottish exodus to Upper Canada. The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855 tells the story of Scottish hardship, emigrant ship crossings and early pioneer settlements. It provides new insights on how it was that Upper Canada came to acquire its distinctive Scottish communities. This is a story of the courage, enterprise and rugged independence shown by the settlers who were helped on their way by some larger than life characters such as Thomas Talbot, Lord Selkirk, Archibald McNab and William Dickson. Drawing on new and wide-ranging sources, the book provides much descriptive information including all known passenger lists together with details of over 900 emigrant ship crossings. Providing a fascinating overview of the exodus, it is essential reading for historians, genealogists and all with an interest in the history of Scotland and Canada and the relation s between the two countries. The Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada 1784 - 1855.

Scots In Canada

The story of the Scots who went to Canada, from the 17th century onwards. In Canada there are nearly as many descendants of Scots as there are people living in Scotland; almost 5 million Canadians ticked the "Scottish origin" box in the most recent Canadian Census. Many Scottish families have friends or relatives in Canada. Who left Scotland? Why did they leave? What did they do when they got there? What was their impact on the developing nation? Thousands of Scots were forced from their homeland, while others chose to leave, seeking a better life. As individuals, families and communities, they braved the wild Atlantic Ocean, many crossing in cramped under-rationed ships, unprepared for the fierce Canadian winter. And yet Scots went on to lay railroads, found banks and exploit the fur trade, and helped form the political infrastructure of modern day Canada. This work follows the pioneers west from Nova Scotia to the prairie frontier and on to the Pacific coast. It examines the reasons why so many Scots left their land and families. The legacy of centuries of trade and communication still binds the two countries, and Scottish Canadians keep alive the traditions that crossed the Atlantic with their ancestors. Scots in Canada: A Concise History.

This is an account of what happened to the thousands of people who left the Scottish Highlands to make a new life in the United States and Canada. The book evaluates the impact of people from the Highlands on the New World. It is the story of how soldiers, explorers, fur traders, lumberjacks, guerilla fighters, railway builders and pioneer settlers from the northern part of Scotland contributed to the United States and Canada. A Dance Called America: Scottish Highlands, the United States and Canada.

Quebec and Scotland

This work records the oral history, folklore and folk-life of emigrants from the Outer Hebrides to Quebec in the 19th century. It opens with the historical background before telling oral history as remembered and experienced by the emigrants' descendants, telling of land clearing, homesteading, farming, lumbering, bridge building and all the other tasks required to build a new community in the wilderness. Gaelic-speaking presbyterians, the group kept their language for the first three generations and still retain their religion to this day, as well as the tradition of the "taigh ceilidh". For more than a century people in the Outer Hebrides have been asking what happened to those who left. This work answers much of that question. Oatmeal and the Catechism: Scottish Gaelic Settlers in Quebec.

Nova Scotia and Scotland

Old and New World Highland Bagpiping provides a comprehensive biographical and genealogical account of pipers and piping in highland Scotland and Gaelic Cape Breton. The work is the result of over thirty years of oral fieldwork among the last Gaels in Cape Breton, for whom piping fitted unself-consciously into community life, as well as an exhaustive synthesis of Scottish archival and secondary sources. Reflecting the invaluable memories of now-deceased new world Gaelic lore-bearers, John Gibson shows that traditional community piping in both the old and new world Gaihealtachlan was, and for a long time remained, the same, exposing the distortions introduced by the tendency to interpret the written record from the perspective of modern, post-eighteenth-century bagpiping. Following up the argument in his previous book, Traditional Gaelic Bagpiping, 1745-1945, Gibson traces the shift from tradition to modernism in the old world through detailed genealogies, focusing on how the social function of the Scottish piper changed and step-dance piping progressively disappeared. Old and New World Highland Bagpiping will stir controversy and debate in the piping world while providing reminders of the value of oral history and the importance of describing cultural phenomena with great care and detail. Old and New World Highland Bagpiping (McGill-Queen's Studies in Ethnic History).

The story of the Highland Scots who sailed to Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773 aboard the brig "Hector". They voyaged to escape famine, intolerable treatment from their landlords and above all to search for a land of their own. They had been promised prime farming land but found only virgin forest. Somehow, with great courage and tenacity, and with the help of the native Indians they survived and their achievements encouraged further shiploads of emigrants to join them. This piece of Canadian history is also part of the history of Scotland and the Scottish people. Scotland Farewell: The People of the Hector.

This is the first fully documented and detailed account, produced in recent times, of one of the greatest early migrations of Scots to North America. The arrival of the Hector in 1773, with nearly 200 Scottish passengers, sparked a huge influx of Scots to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Thousands of Scots, mainly from the Highlands and Islands, streamed into the province during the late 1700s and the first half of the nineteenth century. The author traces the process of emigration and explains why Scots chose their different settlement locations in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Much detailed information has been distilled to provide new insights on how, why and when the province came to acquire its distinctive Scottish communities. Challenging the widely held assumption that this was primarily a flight from poverty, the book reveals how Scots were being influenced by positive factors, such as the opportunity for greater freedoms and better livelihoods. After the Hector: The Scottish Pioneers of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, 1773-1852.

In April 1932, John Lorne Campbell, while on a visit to the United States, took the chance of going to Cape Breton Island and Antigonish County in Eastern Nova Scotia, to find out how the descendants of emigrants from the Scottish Highlands and the Hebrides were faring in their new country, and to what extent the Gaelic language had been maintained among them. In September 1937, after four years on Barra, he returned with his wife, Margaret Fay Shaw, taking with them a recorder in order to collect Gaelic song and tradition and compare it with surviving tradition in the Western Isles. This book is the result of that expedition. As a preface the book includes an account of the collapse of the Hebridean kelp industry after 1820 which led to the bankruptcy of the last Chief of the MacNeils of Barra in the direct line, and which was a major contributory factor to the great flood of emigration from the Hebrides to Canada and America. The title refers to the traditional song and lore preserved by emigrants from Scotland in the new land to which they came. Songs Remembered in Exile: Traditional Gaelic Songs from Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Photography Scotland

The Art of Travel and Photography. The goals of travel and photography are one in the same, to explore the world and experience it with a fresh vision. Strabo Tours in association with experienced Scottish Tour Guide, Sandy Stevenson are dedicated to enriching your life, helping you see Scotland with your own eyes, and create images that express your unique experience to others.

Following its invention in 1839, a craze for photography ripped through Scotland, and over the next 100 years Scottish photographers captured an impressive visual record of their land and its people, their mixed fortunes, hopes and aspirations. Their achievements document a century of profound contrasts, of division, upheaval and change that recast forever the character of Scotland. This volume presents the triumphs of a self-confident Scotland, the completion of the Forth Bridge and the stream of vessels that slid down the slipways of the Clyde to bind together a far-flung empire, but also its injustices, the story of the rural and urban poor, and the Clearances that drove people from the land to seek work in the cities or new hope in emigration to the New World. Gordon Highlanders drinking whisky from enamel buckets in the New Year celebrations of 1890; the caves of Staffa and their association with the mythical Celtic hero, Finigal; the grandeur of Edinburgh Catle; a portrait of John Logie Baird, Scottish scientist-hero and inventor of the television; the golfers of Scotscraig a mere decade after the invention of photography; or salmon fishing in the Ness Islands, this visual history brings the country to life not only for those of Scottish descent but for everyone who has enjoyed the rich character and landscape of this nation. The Scots: A Photohistory.

Alexander Mackenzie

Alexander Mackenzie, January 28, 1822 - April 17, 1892, was the second Prime Minister of Canada from November 7th, 1873 to October 8th, 1878. He was born in Logierait, Perthshire, Scotland. He immigrated to Canada in 1842 after completing an education in public schools at Perth, Moulin, and Dunkeld, Scotland. Mackenzie married Helen Neil (1826-1852) in 1845 and with her had three children, with only one girl surviving infancy. In 1853 he married Jane Sym (1825-1893). When the Macdonald government fell due to the Pacific scandal in 1873, the Governor General needed to call on someone to form a government. There was no clear leader of the Liberal Party and Mackenzie was the fourth person called upon, and the first to accept, the post of Prime Minister of Canada. Mackenzie formed a government and then asked the Govenor General (Lord Dufferin to call an election for January 1874 which the Liberals won.

Mackenzie remained prime minister until the 1878 Canadian election when the Macdonald Conservatives came back into power after winning a majority government. As Prime Minister, Alexander Mackenzie strove to reform and simplify the machinery of government. He introduced the secret ballot; created the Supreme Court of Canada; established the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario in 1874; created the Office of the Auditor General in 1878; and struggled to launch the national railway. After his government's defeat, Mackenzie remained Leader of the Opposition until 1880 when he relinquished the party leadership to Edward Blake. At the time, it was customary for the British monarch to knight all Canadian Prime Ministers. But Scottish memories run deep and Alexander Mackenzie declined all offers of a British knighthood. He died in Toronto, Ontario from a stroke which resulted from hitting his head during a fall and is buried in the Lakeview Cemetery, Sarnia, Ontario. A study of the famous Canadian statesman and Prime Minister. The Hon. Alexander Mackenzie.

Niel Gow Scottish Fiddler

Niel Gow, who was born in Inver, near Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland, and spent most of his life there, is perhaps the most famous of Scottish fiddlers. His father was a weaver, and destined his son to the same trade, but Gow early proved his musical talents, and was given lessons by Sir William Stewart’s fiddler. In the ‘45 he followed Prince Charlie for a short way, but became discouraged and turned back at Stirling. Later in the year he won a prize at a public fiddling contest and began to make his name. The Duke of Atholl took him up, and his fame spread even to London, to which he was sometimes summoned to give command performances. He was thought to be incomparable for the livelier airs, though his youngest son Nathaniel excelled him in slow and pathetic music. About a hundred of his airs have survived, the most famous being the Farewell to Whisky. He was a character as well as a musician, and many of his pawky sayings are remembered. He founded a tradition of music at Inver. His son Nathaniel wrote and published much music equal to his father’s and his grandson Niel wrote the air of the well-known song Cam ye by Atholl? These two sought their fortunes further afield, but the native tradition of Inver was long maintained. John Crerar, one of Niel’s pupils, left some compositions behind him: McKerchar, the Atholl Paganini, retired to Niel Gow’s cottage; Willie Duff, or Beardie Willie, was a noted fiddler as well as a local character, and Charles Mcintosh of Inver was a musician as well as a naturalist. Even as late as the 1920s John Scott, the Postman at Tnver, was the judge of reels and strathspeys at the Perth Festival. Niel Gow’s cottage and his oak are still to be seen at Inver. Many of his airs were composed under his oak, and it was also a kind of school from which he taught John Crerer, who sat the other side of the Tay.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria visited Dunkeld in 1842 during the Royal Progress through Scotland with Prince Albert. They were entertained by the 8th Duke of Atholl on the lawn beside the Cathedral on the site of Dunkeld House. In 1844 she passed through on a visit to Blair Atholl. She had a meal in the Atholl Arms Hotel where the original receipt can be seen. Lastly in 1868 she visited the widowed Duchess of Atholl who lived in St. Adamnam’s Cottage within the Cathedral Grounds. This was pulled down in 1890.

Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert loved Scotland. Their early journeys to Scotland, including visits to Dalkeith Palace, Taymouth Castle and Dumbarton will be examined, as well as their stays at Balmoral, to which they formed a deep attachment. The author, Jeanne Cannizzo, illuminates the private side of the royal couple's life away from their public life in London. Our Highland Home: Victoria and Albert in Scotland includes images from the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland, the Royal Collection Trust, and many public and private collections throughout the United Kingdom. Our Highland Home: Victoria and Albert in the Highlands.

Queen Victoria's Life in the Scottish Highlands examines the watercolor paintings commissioned by Queen Victoria while visiting Scotland and describes the activities of the Queen in Scotland. Queen Victoria's Life in the Scottish Highlands: Depicted by Her Watercolour Artists.

A century after Queen Victoria's death, debate still rages surrounding her relationship with her gillie, John Brown. Were they ever married? What was the extraordinary hold he had over her? This biography aims to shed new light on these questions and to discover the truth behind Brown's hold on his royal employer. Following the death of Prince Albert in 1861, the Queen found solace in the companionship of John Brown, who had commenced his royal employment as a stable hand. He became "The Queen's Highland Servant" in 1865 and rose to be the most influential member of the Scottish Royal Household. While the Queen could be brusque and petulant with her servants, family and ministers, she submitted to Brown's fussy organization of her domestic life, his bullying and familiarity without a murmur. Despite warnings of his unpopularity with her subjects by one Prime Minister, the Queen was adamant that Brown would not be sacked. The Queen's confidence was rewarded when Brown saved her from an assassination attempt, after which he was vaunted as a public hero. The author reveals the names of republicans and disaffected courtiers who related gossip about Queen Victoria and John Brown and their purported marriage and child, and identifies those who plotted to have Brown dismissed. Based on research in public, private and royal archives, as well as diaries and memoirs of those who knew Brown and interviews with his surviving relatives, this text analyzes the relationship between Queen Victoria and Brown. John Brown: Queen Victoria's Highland Servant.

How was Queen Victoria influenced by her closest male ministers, relatives, advisers and servants? John Van der Kiste is the first to explore this aspect of Victoria's life; focusing on four roles - mentors, family, ministers and servants. A soldier's daughter, Victoria lost her father at the age of eight months. Although her uncle Leopold did his best to be a substitute father, the absence of her real father probably influenced her throughout her life, not least in choosing her husband. Her close and faithful relationship with Albert is one of the great royal love stories but her relationships with her sons were much more stormy. However, with most of her heads of government she enjoyed relatively cordial relations - in widowhood she showed a decided partiality for Disraeli, who acquired for her the title Empress of India, but disliked Gladstone, complaining that he "speaks to me as if I were a public meeting". Queen Victoria's relationships with her servants are also explored, from the liberal influence exerted over the increasingly conservative queen by her private secretary, Ponsonby, to the outspoken John Brown and the Indian Munshi, who both antagonised those around her. Sons, Servants and Statesmen: The Men in Queen Victoria's Life.

The Admirable Crichton

A prodigy of the Renaissance, James Crichton grew up at Clunie Castle with his father, Bishop Crichton. Dunkeld Royal School had not yet been founded so he was sent to Perth Grammar School where Latin, French, Hebrew and Greek were taught. Thus when he went to St Andrews University at the age of ten he was already proficient in these languages. He left, at 15, a Master of Arts and was admitted to share James Vi’s studies under the learned George Buchanan. In addition to scholastic attainment Crichton was also an accomplished sportsman. fencer and dancer. At the age of seventeen he challenged the learned men of Paris to a disputation ranging over the whole field of knowledge. He had a photographic memory, he had a great readiness and choice of language, and could improvise poems in Latin, Greek or French in any metre proposed. At the end of the day he was universally acclaimed as The Admirable Crichton. After 2 years in the French Army he continued his travels to Italy. Here he visited Venice, Padua and Mantua where he gained reknown as an intellectual. In Mantua he killed a man in a duel and was eventually treacherously murdered by the young Prince of Mantua. He was only 22 when he died and it is difficult to predict what his future would have been. Perhaps he had already reached the height of his achievements.

Scottish Weather

I am often asked "What's the weather like where you live in Scotland ? " Well, that's a very difficult question to answer. How can you easily describe a place where the weather changes so often, and so often in just one day. Yesterday it was a cold, but beautiful clear day. Today, a thick fog covers the landscape for miles around. The Scottish climate seems to defy all forecast, maybe we have to trust in our old folklore when it comes to figuring out Scottish weather.

Many of the old rhymes about weather have a grain or more of truth in them, but others have not. ‘When the cock goes crowing to his bed, he’ll rise in the morning with a watery head!’ Well, I’ve been out of my bed at night as often as most people, and have heard cocks crowing at bedtime, midnight, dawn and at every hour in between. As often as not the next day was exceptionally fine. In actual fact, if one cock starts crowing at night, other cocks hear him and respond—that’s all there is to it ?

Nevertheless, before the days of scientific forecasting, country and sea-faring folk had to keep their weather eye open, and they realised that the swing of the wind, the movements of birds, beasts and insects, the clarity of the air, etc., meant a change for good or ill. Flashes of wildfire, or the weird appearance of “the Merry Dancers” were sure indications of unsettled weather. “Grey mares’ tails” in the upper sky meant that a wet spell would continue. Spiders spinning, and swallows flying high indicated good weather to be.

A well-known Angus rhyme introduces the Sidlaws:

When Craigowl puts on his cowl,
and Coolie Law his hood,
The folk o’ Lundie may look dool,
for the day’ll no’ be good.

There is a Fife version:

When Falkland Hill puts on his cap,
the Howe o’ Fife will get a drap,
And when the Bishop draws his cowl,
look out for wind and weather foul!

Another rhyme—’ Mony haws, mony snaws ‘—connects a rich harvest of hedgerow berries with a cold winter. Apparently, too, ‘An air winter maks a sair winter.’

Another traditional rhyme claims that ‘Winter thunder bodes summer hunger,’ but the connection seems far—fetched, and it is doubtful if many of these long—term forecasts had any truth in them at all.

Some rhymes feature the moon:

‘When the moon is on her back,
Gae mend yer shoon and sort yer thack!’

Here is another:

‘When round the moon there is a brugh,
The weather will be cauld and rough!’

The cold late spring of the hills and glens (where snow may linger into April and May) is caught in the Gaelic saying:

‘Spring with a serpent’s head and a peacock’s tail.’

And typical east—coast weather (in bad years, at least) is well described in the line:

‘It greets a winter, and girns a’ summer.

Two rather similar rhymes from Angus:

Geese tae the sea,
guid weather tae be;
Geese tac the hill,
guid weather tac spill.

And here is the other:

Mist on the hills, weather spills;
Mist inthe howes, weather grows.

There are many others, including that old—time question put by country bairns to a passing snail:

Snailie, snailie. shoot oot yer horn,
And tell us if it’ll be a bonny day the morn.

In Angus, at the lambing time in the glens (April) they still speak of “the Teuchat’s storms.” In Fife they talk of “the coo-­quack o’ May.”

The local sayings sound better when given in the local dialect, and so you'll just have to visit.

Charles McIntosh and Beatrix Potter

Charles McIntosh and Beatrix Potter and their common bond in the Natural History of the Dunkeld and Birnam Area. Most people will have heard of Beatrix Potter, the writer of children’s stories. Far fewer will recognise the name of Charles McIntosh the rural postman from Inver, near Dunkeld. These two very different individuals, brought together by a common interest in fungi, met and subsequently exchanged letters and specimens over a number of years. This is the story of their fascinating acquaintance.

The setting is the area around Dunkeld, Birnam and Inver, some twelve miles north of Perth at the gateway to the Highlands.

Helen Beatrix Potter

For eleven consecutive summers, the Potter family came to Dalguise House near Dunkeld. Their only daughter, Beatrix was four when the family first travelled by train to Scotland in 1870. In 1884 when Beatrix was about 18 she wrote in her diary:

“Even when the thunder growled in the distance, and the wind swept up the valley in fitful gusts, oh it was always beautiful, home sweet home, I knew nothing of trouble then.”

These long holidays first awakened the interest of the young girl to the delights of wildlife and nature.

Charles McIntosh

Charles was born in Inver in 1839 in the cottage where he was to spend his entire life. His father, also Charles, was a hand-loom weaver, famous fiddle player and music teacher. His mother Mary was a descendent of the MacDonalds of Glencoe.

This book is a novelisation of the movie Miss Potter, written by the film's scriptwriter Richard Maltby. It is set during the time when bestselling author and illustrator Beatrix Potter wrote and published her most famous tale, about the enduring and beloved character Peter Rabbit. An 8-page full-colour insert shows scenes from the film starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. Miss Potter: The Novel (Miss Potter).

This is a full-colour illustrated guide to the background and making of the forthcoming film on Beatrix Potter's life starring Renee Zellweger as Beatrix and Ewan McGregor as the man she loved. The author, journalist Gareth Pearce, and the photographer, Alex Bailey, were on the set throughout the filming and give a fascinating insight into the creation of a movie. The Making of Miss Potter.

Across the Dunkeld bridge in Birnam, The Beatrix Potter Centre and Garden awaits you. Beatrix Potter drew inspiration from her childhood holidays spent along the banks of the River Tay and is reputed to have written The Tale of Peter Rabbit on one of her trips here. Read more about her time in Dunkeld and Birnam.

Beatrix Potter, the twentieth century's most beloved children's writer and illustrator, created books that will forever conjure nature for millions. Yet though she is a household name around the world, her personal life and her other significant achievements remain largely unknown. This remarkable new biography is a voyage of discovery into the story of an extraordinary woman. At a time when plunder was more popular than preservation, she brought nature back into the English imagination. Beatrix Potter: A Life In Nature reveals a strong, humorous and independent woman, whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside. Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature.

This lavish, illustrated journal describes Beatrix Potter's life as a young woman in Victorian Britain as she struggles to achieve independence and to find artistic success and romantic love. Using witty, observant commentary taken from Beatrix' s own diaries, the journal moves from London to Scotland to the Lake District, and features a wealth of watercolour paintings, sketches, photographs, letters, paper-engineered items and period memorabilia to recreate a world where nature and imagination are brilliantly combined. Beatrix Potter: A Journal.