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Welcome to all

You may have noticed that this is a Scottish blog I feel I'd like to show the world (or a few Categorian folk)
that we Scots are more than just kilt wearing, bagpipe playing, whisky drinkers.
That's why you won't see a lot of tartan and flag flying here.
Well, apart from my background and my curser that is (I couldn't resist) I felt I needed an identity :-)


I'd like to offer you a wee dram but as that's not possible I will raise my glass and drink to your health.

Slainte. Here's tae ye!




The Northern Lights





Click on the link for lots more amazing photos.






Clyde's story is narrated by Billy Connolly - the world famous actor and comedian. Music by Paolo Nutini.









Bloody Scotland celebrates Scottish crime writers




Click on the link to read on.....
Fisherman escapes shark attack off Islay






A fisherman has escaped a shark attack after his crew caught the animal off Islay in the Inner Hebrides.
The 7ft porbeagle took hold of Hamish Currie's steel toe-capped boot after the skipper hauled it on to the deck of his vessel.Mr Currie, 53, from Saltcoats, Ayrshire, targeted the shark after hearing reports of it attacking seals.
He was left shaken after the shark clamped its jaws around his foot and bit a hole in his boat.
Mr Currie said: "A friend got in touch to tell me about the shark because I specialise in that style of fishing.
"I took a crew of three up there to look for it because it had been attacking seals in the area."


A group of seven people have celebrated a forthcoming wedding by sitting down to a three course meal on top of a Scottish hill.




The friends carry a table and chairs to Quiraing, near Staffin on Skye




Edinburgh Festivals 2012

Stewart Francis Stewart Francis is a Canadian comedian who has appeared on numerous British TV shows


Comedian Stewart Francis has won an award for the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe.

The deadpan Canadian funnyman was given the prize by digital TV channel Dave, whose panel put a selection of their favourites to a public vote.

He won for the joke: "You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks."

The British King of the one-liner, Tim Vine, took the runner-up spot for the second year in a row.

Vine, who won the award two years ago, appears twice in the list of 10 jokes compiled by the TV channel, as does Francis.

The top jokes were:

1. Stewart Francis - "You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks."

2. Tim Vine - "Last night me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily I was the one facing the telly. "

3. Will Marsh - "I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister."

4. Rob Beckett - "You know you're working class when your TV is bigger than your book case."

5. Chris Turner - "I'm good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet… I don't know Y."

6. Tim Vine - "I took part in the sun tanning Olympics - I just got Bronze."

7. George Ryegold - "Pornography is often frowned upon, but that's only because I'm concentrating."

8. Stewart Francis - "I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting!"

9. Lou Sanders - "I waited an hour for my starter so I complained: 'It's not rocket salad."

10. Nish Kumar - "My mum's so pessimistic, that if there was an Olympics for pessimism… she wouldn't fancy her chances."





Sir Chris Hoy's 'immense pride' at leading out Olympic Team GB

Team GB entering the stadium led by Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy. See video



Sir Chris Hoy has told BBC Scotland he is immensely proud to have been the Team GB flag-bearer at the London 2012 opening ceremony.






This brought a lump to my throat. I think it's called pride. I love my country.












Climbers on top of Stob Dubh on Buachaille Etive Beag




In pictures: Tough Mudder at Drumlanrig Castle



Thousands of people - including this woman in orange - descended upon Dumfriesshire to take part in Tough Mudder, which was designed by British special forces to test fitness, stamina, mental strength and camaraderie.

Click on the link to see more..........


The UK's longest zip wire slide is to open in Galloway


The UK's longest zip wire slide will open at an outdoor adventure centre in Galloway.

At nearly half a mile long, it drops 110m from end to end. Riders can reach speeds of 50mph dangling on the end of the rope.

See video


Mute swan pair in winter dawn mist, Loch Insh, Scotland.






Olympic torch: Handover on 'Chariots of Fire' beach






Click on the link to watch the video


Scotland's role in moulding America's first black combat pilot





Diamond Jubilee beacons in Scotland



People around Scotland have been celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by lighting beacons.




Major General Nick Eeles lights a Jubilee beacon at Edinburgh Castle


Jack Vettriano auctions Fife flat contents

Jack Vettriano is selling the contents of his flat in Fife, including items immortalised in some of his famous paintings.



Vettriano's "late Victorian sofa" Vettriano's 'late Victorian sofa' featured in the painting "Original Sin"



Jack Vettriano




Emergency shelter on the summit of Ben Nevis was covered in rime ice







A tug of war between two seagulls on top of a greenhouse.






Welcome!

Beltane Fire Society is the volunteer run organisation behind Beltane Fire Festival and Samhuinn Fire Festival.

BFS is part of a large and important culture both in Edinburgh and the rest of the world. We hope that our efforts will inspire others to get involved in celebratory works around the globe.




Beltane Fire Festival is an annual participatory arts event and ritual drama, held on 30 April on Calton Hill in Edinburgh.


Edinburgh International Festival's photos




Loving this photo - a chance to really see the scale and scope of NVA's Speed of Light. This is the audience view from the top of Arthur's Seat as the groups of runners snake round the hill below.













'Irises' Katherine Jones, oil on canvas











'Bloom' Katherine Jones, oil on canvas panel





Jacobs Ladders Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Scotland by Ian Cameron

Crespecular rays shine from around the edges of clouds and I hoped I would get the chance to photograph the little island tree illuminated by a solitary shaft of sunlight. The anticipation of that nearly caused me to miss the reverse situation which I now think to be an even more powerful picture. Instead the tree is silhouetted behind a shaft of sunlight where the light has painted the land beyond emerald green and the water a glittering band of silver. Flawless and a signature image.






Scotland's Dull And America's Boring Join Up


A new initiative has paired the Scottish hamlet of Dull with an American town named Boring.

The Dull and Boring plan was hatched after a resident of Dull, near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, cycled through Boring in Oregon.

The Dull folk of Perthshire then contacted their Boring counterparts across the Atlantic with a view to striking up the partnership.






Dirty books reveal mediaeval secrets

New scientific analysis by a St Andrews academic shows mediaeval people were like us.
They feared illness, were selfish and fell asleep reading late at night, just like us, new research has revealed about our mediaeval ancestors.
For the first time a new scientific technique has allowed us into the minds and motivations of mediaeval people – through their dirty books.
A new technique invented by Dr Kathryn Rudy, lecturer in the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews, can measure which pages in mediaeval manuscripts are the dirtiest and, therefore, the most read.



The most heavily worn text and image in this manuscript are those dedicated to St Sebastian, who was through to be efficacious against the bubonic plague (because he had suffered from arrow wounds, which resemble buboes).



I saw this group last night at our local Folk Club. Excellent Night!

North Sea Gas, from the CD "Dark Island"




...and another, just 'cause I like it.




Jurassic View
The Quiraing, Skye, Scotland Ian Cameron

This sumptuous prehistoric view looks more like a film set from Jurassic Park than an island off the west coast of Scotland. The soft reflected light of a caramel coloured dawn sky has bathed the velvety slopes of Skye in soft honey light. The little pool glinting with reflected light is absolutely crucial to the picture's success and becomes a compelling focal point.



Many thanks to poprod an old friend from SU for the send. It's much appreciated.




Geographer draws London Tube-style map of Scotland's Munros

A new map of Scotland's highest mountains has been inspired by the layout of the guide to the London Underground. Peter Burgess, a former geography teacher living in East Ham in London, created the MunrOverground. It shows Munros - mountains higher than 3,000ft - and landscapes such as Linn of Dee in Aberdeenshire.



Scotland Munro Map






Gretna Green Story Exhibition

Sense the anticipation and high emotions of the countless thousands of couples who have entered the blacksmiths shop; young lovers making a frantic dash in the dead of night with frenzied horsemen in hot pursuit! The blacksmiths cottage and workshop sit virtually untouched and you can easily imagine those fleeing lovers, hands clasped tightly awaiting the moment when the Blacksmith Priest strikes the Anvil and declares "Under the ancient rights and laws of Scotland you are now man and wife."

See more online
I have been searching the web for old photos. I rhink this one is amazing.

Anson bombers flying over
The Forth Bridge






Longhope lifeboat calf rescue film in Pentland Firth emerges

See video

Light therapy potential probed in disease fight

Study reveals 'extraordinary' DNA
Light therapy 'can slow dementia'

Scientists at the University of St Andrews have begun a project to develop new light technology that could improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
The team will work to overcome current obstacles that limit how light penetrates a cell to assess its health.
Researchers believe the work could eventually have implications for the detection and treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer's and epilepsy.

The Cuillins were photographed from Roag on a clear evening by Richard Wood from the Isle of Skye.







Sign pinned to a football pitch


Roy Whittaker, from Larbert, was actually looking for the beach in Montrose when he took a wrong turn. He said this notice caused much hilarity in the car.






Huge Joe Caslin artwork of teenage hoody appears in Edinburgh street



Tom Conti The study revealed that actor Tom Conti is related to Napoleon Bonaparte

Study reveals 'extraordinary' DNA of people in Scotland

Clues to ancient invasion in DNA

The DNA of people living in Scotland has "extraordinary" and "unexpected" diversity, according to a new study.
The Scotland's DNA project, led by Edinburgh University's Dr Jim Wilson, has tested almost 1,000 Scots in the last four months to determine the genetic roots of people in the country.
The project discovered four new male lineages, which account for one in 10 Scottish men.
It also found that actor Tom Conti is related to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Continue reading the main story
Sleep app aims to 'manipulate' dreams
Dream on app DreamON is a new smart phone app

A smartphone app for what is hoped to be the world's largest dreaming experiment has been launched at the Edinburgh Science Festival.

DreamON monitors a person 20 minutes before they want to wake, playing a 'soundscape' designed to invoke pleasant scenarios, such as lying by the sea or walking in the countryside.

Participants will then be asked to record their final dream to a database.

Researchers expect up to 10,000 people to take part in the study.

New Written Language of Ancient Scotland Discovered

Once thought to be rock art, carved depictions of soldiers, horses and other figures are in fact part of a written language dating back to the Iron Age.








This wonderful sight is the world's first bumblebee sanctuary.
The 20 acre meadow is in Perth and Kinross, beside Loch Leven, and was created in a partnership between BBCT and RSPB Scotland.














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The water looks inviting at the Seilebost side of the estuary on the Isle of Harris.







Mairi and Aonghas kayaked in the Sound of Sleat off the Isle of Skye.




Dancing robots take to the floor in Edinburgh


See Video









Find your tartan

We have thousands of tartans to choose from in our tartan database. Select any letter from A-Z for a full list of tartans, clans and septs...or use our targeted Tartan Search to go directly to your own clan or related septs.




Video game treatment for lazy eye

Children wear special gaming goggles instead of the more traditional eye patch

Eye specialists at Glasgow Caledonian University have developed a video game to treat a common sight problem in children.
Children who suffer from a lazy eye, or Amblyopia, can play the game instead of wearing an eye patch.
Tests suggested playing the Tetris-style game resulted in an almost immediate improvement.






Air-purifying clothes unveiled at Edinburgh International Science Festival




Professor Helen Storey and Professor Tony Ryan in their field of kilts and jeans in St Andrew Square The jeans and kilts neutralise pollution around the wearer

Catalytic Clothing, in the form of air-purifying jeans and kilts, are on display as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
The clothes are treated with titanium dioxide which acts as a catalyst, which cleans the air.
Air pollution is neutralised by the clothes as the person walks.
With the help of sunlight, the catalysts neutralise the dirt from the air pollution around the person.



William Topaz McGonagall
poet and tragedian of Dundee, has been widely hailed as the writer of the worst poetry in the English language. A self-educated hand loom weaver from Dundee, he discovered his discordant muse in 1877 and embarked upon a 25 year career as a working poet, delighting and appalling audiences across Scotland and beyond.







This morning, five mini humanoid robots previewed a choreographed dance routine that promises to be one of the hits of this year’s flagship activity of the Edinburgh International Science Festival - InMotion at the National Museum of Scotland.







Edinburgh Zoo Pandas put in same enclosure to mate (little video)

The giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo have been brought together to mate five times but so far have been unsuccessful.
Yang Guang was allowed into Tian Tian's indoor cage through a grate for five minutes at a time.
The 20st (127kg) male bear was showing more aggression, which the zoo said was a good thing.

Female pandas ovulate just once a year, with a narrow window of just 36 hours in which they can get pregnant.










I like the fact that they have switched of the live cam to give the pandas privacy :)


Snake' found in Kingswells loft turned out to be draught excluder

A woman called in the Scottish SPCA after finding what she thought was a 5ft snake in her loft - but it turned out to be a lookalike draught excluder.

Animal rescue officer Karen Hogg arrived at the rented home in Kingswells, near Aberdeen, to find the lady "very distressed".
It turned out to be a large green and black snake-shaped draught excluder with a red felt tongue.
Officer Hogg said: "The poor lady was still very shaken." She added: "We've rescued hundreds of snakes from properties in all sorts of unusual circumstances, so we had no reason to believe this might not be the real thing.

"I'd brought gloves and a pillow case to enable us to handle and contain the snake safely, but as soon as we spotted it we realised the equipment wouldn't be necessary.
"This call-out really made us smile and given that we deal with cruelty and neglect day in day out, it was refreshing to go to a job where the 'animal' was completely unharmed."

The draught excluder - named Sid - is now at the Scottish SPCA's Aberdeen Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.






A Photo Blog where photographers from all around the Scotland, and visitors to the country, capture the best of the nation's places, people, history, views, scenery, buildings and architecture, townscapes, cityscapes and culture.

And of course the quirky....














News Video
Montrose marks 450 years of golf




Its main UK stronghold is in Scotland, where you can visit many nest sites with public viewing facilities, including Loch Garten (Highland), Wigtown (Dumfries and Galloway) and Loch of the Lowes (Perthshire). In 2001 it began breeding in England at Bassenthwaite in Cumbria, at Rutland Water (where it was introduced) and there are two pairs with viewing facilities in Wales. Can be seen at almost any large body of freshwater during spring and autumn migration.



We have just returned home after a few days stay in Crianlarich and travelling around the Trossachs and to Oban. It was fantastic because the weather In Scotland this last week in March has been amazing, temperatures reaching to over 20% degrees centigrade, summer weather for us.








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Seacliff beach (near North Berwick) looking north towards the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth.








Sanna bay on the Ardnamurchan peninsula



Penguins move to a new home in Edinburgh Zoo (video)

Animal transportation can be a tricky business. Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo have had to literally pick up a penguin.

About 29 Gentoo penguins have been moved while their pool is being refurbished.






STAFFA: THE PILLAR ISLAND

Staffa is an island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The Vikings gave it this name as its columnar basalt reminded them of their houses, which were built from vertically placed tree-logs. Staffa's strange structure is due to its volcanic origins, similar to the Giant's Causeway in the United Kingdom.





Check out more great photos


A Great and Good Man !

I live very close to Dunfermline and his good works are still in evidence today.


On Monday, 5 March, the Forth Bridge was illuminated at night for the first time in two years.






A statue of children playing leap frog at Cathkin Brae



Ewan watched his mum blowing a bubble at Glasgow Science Centre.








Saw the 'Gabs' perform live in the Dalgety Bay Folk Club tonight. Absolutely fantastic!


Robin Watson and Gordon Menzies have been together as Gaberlunzie since the early 1970s and are well known for producing an exciting blend of modern and traditional songs. Essentially Scottish, with an emphasis on rhythm and harmony, Gaberlunzie has a wide appeal to audiences both at home and abroad. They have travelled extensively in Europe, Canada, United States, and the Middle East, taking with them not only Scottish music but also that other extra special ingredient - Scottish humour.





A feature at Pittencreiff Park photo by Mark Grieve











A Scottish teenager was asked by Elton John to open his Falkirk concert in June after he heard her singing.
Sir Elton called 13-year-old Tallia Storm on her mobile after listening to a CD she had given to the star's partner, David Furnish.
Soul singer Tallia said it was "surreal" to speak to Sir Elton, who was one of her musical heroes.
She will perform at the Falkirk Stadium concert on 10 June - the only Scottish date on Sir Elton's 2012 UK tour.
Tallia spotted Mr Furnish when she was on holiday abroad this Christmas and gave him a letter and CD to pass on to Sir Elton. The singer called her the following day.



Glamis Castle in the 18th century, shortly before its "mystery" began.

“If you could even guess the nature of this castle’s secret,” said Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore, “you would get down on your knees and thank God it was not yours.”





Read more by clicking on the link.

FIFE COASTAL PATH

Linking the Forth and Tay Estuaries, the Fife Coastal Path runs for over 153km though the varied landscapes of Fife. The route links some of Scotland's most picturesque former fishing villages as well as the home of golf - St Andrews with its ancient University. In between are miles of golden beaches, attractive woods and nature reserves but the route also threads its way through industrial towns such as Kirkcaldy and Leven. History is everywhere, from the winding gear of the former coalyards to ruined castles and the pictish and prehistoric carvings in the Wemyss caves.

Click on the link to see masa, photos ect

Image of Dunfermline by Mark Grieve






The Falkirk wheel is a successful millenium project which raises canal boats from a lower canal to a higher canal.
Which joins up two canals in Scotland making for one long canal network.
It is also a tourist attraction well worth a visit.



The sun had already set over the Falkirk Wheel enabling Ernie Hogan, from Grangemouth, to see the coloured lights.






Seals going into the sea along the Sands of Forvie



50 fascinating facts you should know about Scotland
Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than three hundred years, but it is unlike anywhere else in Britain. Here are 50 facts you should know about the country: Please read on....






Behind the mask of an Egyptian mummy


A major exhibition of Egyptian treasures is set to open at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The Fascinating Mummies exhibition combines artefacts from collections in Holland and Scotland, including a number of mummified animals and people.

New technology has allowed researchers to look inside the mummies without them being unwrapped.


Watch the video





Alastair Scott, from Rutherglen, said this photo of Ben Vorlich was taken on a day with some of the best conditions on Scottish hills this winter.






Kaye Brewster crossed Edinburgh's North Bridge on her way home from work when she stopped to capture the scene. She thought it 'looked like a painting'.
What ever happened to compassion?

Funeral limousine given parking ticket in Edinburgh

St Andrew's and St George's church on George Street Pic: Google The funeral limousine was given a ticket outside St Andrew's and St George's church on George Street.







The Forth Bridge, one of Scotland's most famous landmarks, has been awarded a gold Blue Peter badge.

It is the first time a structure has been given the programme's highest honour, usually reserved for famous faces and extraordinary youngsters.






Originating in the 1880s, the Up Helly Aa tradition celebrates Shetland's Norse heritage, which dates back centuries




The festival attracts thousands of spectators to the islands, many travelling from around the globe to be part of the night




The fire festival is followed by a public holiday to allow islanders to recover from the night's celebration





Northern Constabulary officer on guitar One of the officers played guitar during on the band's songs

Footage of two police officers playing electric guitar and the drums in their uniforms has emerged on the internet.
The officers had gone into the town's Caledonian Hotel as part of a routine patrol in Stornoway on Lewis.
Members of the band A Promise to No One asked the officers if they wanted to play during one of their songs.
A police spokesman said officers dealt with serious matters but added that it was also "good to show a lighter side of community policing".






Billy Connolly named most influential stand-up comic of all time

These days Billy Connolly may be more well-known for globe-trotting TV programmes and a dyed beard than edgy humour – but The Big Yin has been named Britain’s most influential stand-up comic of all time.








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