The Daily Thistle — News From Scotland

Friday 14th July 2017

“Madainn Mhath” …Fellow Scot, I hope the day brings joy to you…. Well the weekend starts here… Tourists reluctantly leaving, their bags rattling and bouncing on the cobbled streets, children complaining at being woken so early, heading for the taxi rank on the main street… every Friday it’s the same, Saturday more tourists will arrive, their bags rattling and bouncing down the street but in a different direction… if asked we give directions otherwise Bella and I watch as people from Russia, China, Japan and all over Europe try to navigate the windings streets that have become our home, the advent of Airbnb has created this form of traffic, once where you would look for the Hotel sign or maybe it would pick you up at the airport when you arrive has changed to “Find Your Own Way” “Cook Your Own Food” “Leave The key Under The Mat” lifestyle, not that I’m against it, Sandra and I used when we went to Paris last year, it’s just that some families don’t seem to have the hang of it.. as Bella and I walk the narrow streets of Estepona at 4 o’clock in the morning….

ADVENTURER IN DARING HIGH WIRE WALK TO ORKNEY’S OLD MAN OF HOY…. Dramatic pictures show a daredevil adventurer walking a tightrope from one of Britain’s tallest sea stacks — at a height of 449 feet. Alexander Schulz became the first man to walk to and from the summit of the Old Man of Hoy in Orkney on Saturday. It is the latest achievement for the German thrillseeker who holds five world records in his passion of slacklining. Slacklining is the word given to walking along a suspended length of flat webbing which is held together by two anchors Alexander Schulz says completing the remarkable walk, which was 449 feet above sea level and 590 feet long, was an “amazing feeling”. The team behind the project say they used only natural anchors and no bolts and that the tension in the line posed no threat to the rock. Alexander said he was “stunned” by the location and that it had taken two months of planning by a team of eight to make his dream walk a reality. He added: “Being a slackliner and seeing pictures of The Old Man of Hoy it was absolutely clear what was missing there. “It was a dream to walk that line and it became reality.
“We have been very lucky with the weather and it was a fantastic time with great people. Thanks to the team.”

REMOTE HIGHLAND PENINSULA EARMARKED FOR SATELLITE LAUNCHPAD…. A remote Highland peninsula could be the site of Britain’s first launchpad for future space missions under new plans submitted to the UK’s space agency. A consortium, which includes US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin, believe that the A’Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland would be the ideal location in Britain from which satellites could be launched into orbit. A detailed proposal for the facility — located between Dounreay and Cape Wrath — has been submitted to the UK Space Agency (UKSA) which has met with Highland council and Highlands and Islands Entreprise (HIE) to discuss the plans. The Scottish base — which could be operational by 2020 — would be the first to launch a rocket into space from UK soil. The UKSA is understood to give its backing to the A’Mhoine proposals, which could generate more than £1bn over a decade. The agency has set targets to claim 10 per cent of the global space market, which is expected to be worth over £400 billion by 2030. Other sites in Scotland have been considered for space traffic, including space tourism hubs at Prestwick in Ayrshire and Campbeltown in Argyll.

WHISKY WASTE TO GROW HEALTHIER SALMON FOOD…. The nutritional value of farmed salmon could be boosted by a new generation of fish feed created from algae by a young Scots scientist. Douglas Martin, 26, has developed a sustainable way of increasing the Omega content of the fish. He has created a nutrient rich microalgae which is grown in giant stainless steel tanks using waste water from the whisky industry. The concept addresses a major challenge for the aquaculture industry — the sustainability of feed at a time of dwindling sea stocks and a rise in consumer demand for fish. At present, more small fish, per kilo, are used to feed farmed salmon than the weight of fish ultimately produced. And with feed topped up by vegetables and soya beans, the Omega content of farmed salmon has dropped by half over the past five years. Martin said: “The sustainability of fish feed is a serious issue for the aquaculture industry. Collapsing fish stocks are driving the use of fishmeal replacements, such as soya beans and sunflower seeds.

HMS VANGUARD CENTENARY MARKED BY VICTIMS’ RELATIVES IN ORKNEY…. Relatives of those killed in the Royal Navy’s worst wartime accident will be among those marking its centenary. HMS Vanguard exploded and sank in Scapa Flow off Orkney on July 9 1917, with the loss of 843 lives. Commemorative events will be attended by 40 descendants of the men who died. A number of vessels will take part in a wreath-laying service over the wreck site of HMS Vanguard on Sunday morning. This will be followed by a service at the Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery on the island of Hoy, where 41 of the ship’s crew are buried. The day will culminate with a special night watch service at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Starting at 11pm, it will mark the moment when the ship was destroyed by the explosions on board. During the service, the White Ensign that was recovered by the Royal Navy’s Northern Diving Group (NDG) will be presented to the people of Orkney.

REMOTE CLIFFTOP LIGHTHOUSE UP FOR SALE IN SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS…. A 19th century Highland lighthouse offers the ultimate escape from city life. For prospective home buyers searching for the perfect retreat the Stoer Lighthouse in Sutherland could prove to be ideal. Dating back to the 1870s, the lighthouse was designed by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson and is situated in one of the furthest peninsulas of Assynt, with the nearest neighbour in a small scattering of crofts a mile away. Stoer Lighthouse — which was automated in 1978 — comprises two two-bedroomed apartments and an external bothy all within the walled grounds. The two apartments were renovated in 2015 and 2016. They previously had no electricity but now they offer the opportunity to continue the holiday letting business or to convert into a larger home. Each apartment has fantastic views to the south and west and on a clear day it is possible to see Harris and Lewis, North and South Uist, and south to the Torridons and Skye. The property is on the market for offers over £371,500. Alternatively, each apartment can be bought separately. The ground-floor flat is available for offers over £175,000, the first-floor flat for offers over £170,000 and the external bothy for offers over £22,500.

On that note I will say that I hope you have enjoyed the news from Scotland today,

Our look at Scotland today is of the Stoer Lighthouse, which I wrote about earlier….

A Sincere Thank You for your company and Thank You for your likes and comments I love them and always try to reply, so please keep them coming, it’s always good fun, As is my custom, I will go and get myself another mug of “Colombian” Coffee and wish you a safe Friday 14th July 2017 from my home on the southern coast of Spain, where the blue waters of the Alboran Sea washes the coast of Africa and Europe and the smell of the night blooming Jasmine and Honeysuckle fills the air…and a crazy old guy and his dog Bella go out for a walk at 4:00 am…on the streets of Estepona…

All good stuff….But remember it’s a dangerous world we live in

Be safe out there…

Robert McAngus

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