The Daily Thistle

Monday 31st October 2016

“Madainn Mhath” …Fellow Scot, I hope the day brings joy to you… The bright blue cloudless sky of the day has been replaced this early morning with the black of the night filled with stars all competing to see who can sparkle the brightest… clearly visible this morning is the Andromeda Galaxy, California Nebula, Pleiades and Orion’s Belt all centered around Polaris or the Pole Star … as I look into the heavens, I am in fact looking back in time, in some cases millions or possibly billions of years because that’s how long it takes the light from some of the stars we see in the sky to reach us…

Good Morning I’m Robert McAngus and this is The Daily Thistle …. In its heyday, it stood guard over a creepy churchyard which had become home to a nefarious network of rogues and bodysnatchers. The 19th century “watchtower”, located in the south-west corner of St Cuthbert’s graveyard, has been listed “For Rent” as “office space”, despite being surrounded by hundreds of graves containing some of the elite from Edinburgh’s past. The tower, owned by the city council but leased to an anonymous individual, is said to have “office space for 3–4 people on the first floor, with room for an informal meeting space on the ground floor”, according to estate agents Cuthbert White. Plans for the tower reveal it contains a spiral staircase, while it’s also noted that the property “benefits from a popular location in Edinburgh’s West End, close to fantastic amenities including bars, restaurants , cafes and shops”. However, the history of the watchtower offers a window into the city’s gruesome and bloody past, having originally been constructed as a way to deter bodysnatchers from pillaging the graves.
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A string of top retail names are setting up shop in the Capital as it undergoes a mini revival. Clothing chain TK Maxx, electric car-makers Tesla, fashion retailer Jaegar and cosmetic firm Bobbi Brown are just a few of the big brands opening stores in the city.
More shops opened in Edinburgh during the first half of the year than any other part of Scotland, ahead of the £1 billion redevelopment of the St James quarter. A new report out today said 36 new outlets began trading in the city centre between January and July — four more than Glasgow. Edinburgh also experienced the biggest number of store closures — but the vast majority can be attributed to the St James Centre shutting down. In total, 3.7 per cent more shops opened in the Capital in the first six months of this year compared to 2015, slightly higher than the national average of 3.6 per cent. However, the figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) painted a bleak picture for Leith, which saw no new shop openings and four closures, not including Ocean Terminal. Graham Birse, director of retail think tank the Edinburgh Institute, described the report as “hugely encouraging” for the city centre amid increasing numbers of shoppers taking to the internet. He said: “Edinburgh has done brilliantly to recover from a number of store closures and I believe we can look forward to a bright retail future. “With the redevelopment of the St James Centre well under way, we can look forward to a number of high-quality retailers arriving in the city which will cement Edinburgh’s place as a retail destination. “We can’t overlook the fact that a proportion of these retail outlets fall under the category of temporary or interim leases, particularly the ‘tartan gift shops’ that have sprung up recently, but when those leases expire, it’s important to replace them with better-quality stores to encourage footfall.” While 82 outlets closed their doors in the city centre over the period, most are linked to the St James centre, which saw 60 stores shut. Read More:

Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth intercepted a passenger aircraft and guided it to land at Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire yesterday.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said contact with the aircraft had been lost, sparking the incident. The plane was reported to have been en route from the French city of Toulouse to Keflavik in Iceland. It is thought to have been a factory flight, branded with the insignia of Tijuana-based Mexican airline Volaris, with seven engineers and crew on board but no passengers. An RAF spokesman said: “Quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft were launched today from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth to identify an unresponsive civilian aircraft. “The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons.
“Any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted. “Communications were re-established and the aircraft has been safely escorted by the Lossiemouth aircraft to Prestwick airport.” Police Scotland said the aircraft was diverted to Prestwick at about 2:40pm and landed safely at 3:57pm. It said: “A full emergency response has been put into action at the airport. “Emergency services are in attendance to establish the full circumstances.” Read More:

A retired farmer has bought one of the smallest island gems on Scotland’s western seaboard for almost £1 milliion. Adventurer Ben Fogle tweeted about his dream of owning four acre Rudh-A-Chruidh island, in Oban Bay,when it was put on the market earlier this year. The four-acre island comes with its own helipad and boathouse. Picture: Savills Posting a photograph of the island on his Twitter page Mr Fogle tweeted to his 137,000 followers: “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want *spoken like the Spice Girls*#zigazagah.” Twitter followers then urged the presenter of Channel 5’s New Lives In The Wild to follow his dream and buy the island, which was on the market for offers over £950,000. However, it emerged yesterday that a retired farmer from Beauly, had beaten the TV star to it. Lanarkshire businessman David Hamilton, the island’s previous owner, confirmed he has sold the island for “near enough the asking price.” Mr Hamilton said that although Fogle had not put in an offer, there had been “tremendous interest” from potential buyers for the tidal island, which is attached to the tip of the isle of Kerrera. Mr Hamilton, who demolished the only house on Rudh-A-Chruidh, an old bungalow, to make way for a stunning architect designed home, owned the island, which has its own helipad and boathouse, for six years. He said he sold it because other commitments meant he and his wife, Grace, did not have as much time as they had hoped to visit it and added: “It was a great project, I really enjoyed the building and I am delighted that the island has gone to somebody local that knows the area and has the time to enjoy it, more than we did.”
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Well my Fellow Scot, That’s the news for Monday, so now you know…

Our photograph of Scotland today is of a participant in a march and a rally for Scotland’s independence in Edinburgh..all these years and the colors still shine through….

As always It’s a pleasure to have your company this Monday 31st October 2016 , and as I always say, it’s great to have someone to talk too in the wee hours as I write…And I do mean it when I say Thank you for your comments and memories please keep them coming.. Have a comfortable and safe day, but please remember it’s a dangerous world we live in, be safe out there.. now I don’t know about you but I’m off to the kitchen to get myself another cup of coffee, Colombian of course…I made enough for you too.. Want one??

Robert McAngus