The Daily Thistle — News From Scotland

Monday 27th August 2018

“Madainn Mhath” …Fellow Scot, I hope the day brings joy to you…. “Starry Starry Night” goes the lines from the Don McClean song about Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh…Well as I walk Bella this morning I feel as if I have stepped into the painting.. tendrils of cloud and mist are swirling in the heavens and stars in abundance are each fighting to attract my attention… quite magnificent! I love mornings like this, the Mediterranean is a flat calm this morning and being plied by little one man fishing boats, their lights seemingly dull against the starry heaven, they are fishing for Pulpa or Squid as we would call it, one of the staple’s here on the Costa del Sol, they cook it in garlic oil and then fry with a very light batter, excellent if cooked correctly but reminiscent of rubber if done wrongly…

HEADLESS WOMAN AT CENTRE OF CLAN MYSTERY REINTERRED…. A special service was held at Wardlaw Mausoleum in Beauly, near Inverness, on Thursday. The remains of a headless woman at the centre of a Highland clan mystery have been reinterred at a special service. It had been thought the coffin at Wardlaw Mausoleum in Beauly, near Inverness, may have contained the bones of the 11th Lord Lovat Simon Fraser, known as the Old Fox, who was beheaded in London in 1747 following the Battle of Culloden. Clan Fraser legend had suggested his remains had been stolen by supporters and taken back to Scotland to the family mausoleum.
But a DNA examination by renowned forensic expert Dame Sue Black found the remains were that of a young woman aged between 25 and 35. The search for the Old Fox continues and next month historian and clan member Sarah Fraser and Erik Lundberg from Wardlaw Mausoleum will travel to the Tower of London where the remains of Simon Fraser were said to have been originally interred following his execution. Fans of historical time-travel series Outlander regularly visit the mausoleum, with the Old Fox featuring in the stories as the grandfather of fictional character Jamie Fraser.

FREEDOM OF EDINBURGH STRIPPED FROM MYANMAR LEADER …. Auan San Suu Kyi was accused of ignoring violence against Rohingya Muslims in her country. Former Nobel peace prize laureate Auan San Suu Kyi has had the Freedom of Edinburgh revoked amid the Rohingya crisis. City councillors agreed unanimously to strip the Myanmar leader of the honour following claims she has ignored violence against Rohingya Muslims in the Buddhist-majority country she represents. The UN has described the Myanmar military’s actions in Rakhine state as “textbook ethnic cleansing”. More than 700,000 Muslim-majority Rohingya have fled the region to neighbouring Bangladesh due to widespread persecution. Ms Suu Kui has refused to condemn the alleged brutality of government troops, however, sparking worldwide outcry. She was given the Freedom of Edinburgh in 2005, for her support of democracy while under house arrest. Today she was stripped of it with immediate effect after a unanimous vote by all Edinburgh councillors after a motion was lodged by Lord Provost Frank Ross. He said: “It has been ten months since this chamber discussed the status of this award for Aung San Suu Kyi. “It did so in the light of the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar (Burma), which was and continues to be broadcast around the world. “At that time this chamber instructed me to write to Aung San Suu Kyi, making it very clear that as a recipient of the Freedom of our City, we urged her to use her powers to alleviate this human crisis.” Mr Ross added: “I did so and we have tried every route that we possibly have available to us to make contact, via our armed forces, through diplomatic means, by writing directly — yet we have seen the situation in Myanmar continue to deteriorate. “This award is granted rarely and only to those individuals who are held in the highest esteem by the citizens of Edinburgh. It was presented to Aung San Suu Kyi in recognition of her personal courage and relentless pursuit of justice. “I no longer believe her receipt of this award or the reasons it was presented are appropriate or accurate. It is not a decision we take lightly to revoke the honour granted to her in 2005.” Edinburgh follows Dublin, Newcastle and Oxford in revoking an honour from Ms Suu Kyi. It’s the first time that Edinburgh has stripped a Freedom of the City honour since 1890. Irish politician Charles Parnell lost his amid a love affair scandal.

BALLOON BIRDS COULD BE MISTAKEN FOR REAL-LIFE COUNTERPARTS…. A Scotsman is making balloon birds so realistic they could be mistaken for their real-life counterparts. Terry Cook, 32, spent hours perfecting the inflatable sculptures to make them look like the real thing. “I am obsessed with birds and animals and have been since I was a child,” Terry said. “I have an interest in magic tricks, and from that an interest in balloon modelling developed. “A few years back my niece had a birthday party and I was asked to make some balloon animals, all the kids loved it and it spurred me on to do it a bit more. “I used to just make all the classic balloons like dogs, elephants and swans, but then I thought it would be cool to try and make something out of the ordinary.” Terry, who lives in Aberdeen and also breeds birds, says his collection includes a heron, a woodpecker and his favourite — a blue tit. “My favourite one is the blue tit, just because it was the first one I made, and it looked quite cute when it was finished,” he continued. “I can remember staring at swifts in the sky for ages when I was a kid and my folks laughing at how into them I was.
“I was curious as to why you never saw them perching in trees or on the ground.” He makes the birds in is free time and despite the time they take to make, he loves the rewarding feeling he gets after finishing a piece. “They can take a couple of hours to make because I just make it up as I go along,” he added. “It can be difficult figuring out how to get the right shape, and by the end of it your absolute sick of hearing them squeaking against each other. “I can hear the sound of latex squeaking in my sleep sometimes.”
Terry is passionately against irresponsible littering and emphasised that he properly disposes the balloons after each of his projects.
He said: “So many man-made products will be here long after we die, and are equally as harmful as balloons, but because balloons are actively released into the environment by people who are ignorant of the damage they cause.
“People then perceive balloons as an overall bad thing.
“The issue comes from careless discard and irresponsible disposal of these products, not so much their use.
“I love creating the balloon birds but disposing of the plastic properly is the most important part of the project.”

DRIVER CAUGHT SPEEDING AT 75MPH PAST SCHOOL AND NURSERY…. A blue Audi was clocked speeding in the 20mph zone near Carmyllie Primary School, Angus. A driver has been caught doing 75mph past a primary school and nursery. A blue Audi A3 was clocked speeding in the 20mph zone near Carmyllie Primary School in Angus.
The driver has been charged with dangerous driving following the incident at 3.40pm on Wednesday. Inspector Ray Cuthill said the outcome could have been “much, much worse”. He said: “To drive in such a manner and at such speeds within a built up area is completely unacceptable. “It is even worse that a driver would choose to drive at a speed approaching four times the speed limit past a primary school and nursery just as the children have finished for the day. “Thankfully nobody was hurt as a result of the driver’s actions but it is clear that the outcome could have been much, much worse.”

CONCERNS RAISED OVER PLANS TO HARVEST KELP ON WEST COAST…. Proposals by firm Marine Biopolymers would eventually see more than 30,000 tonnes of the seaweed gathered each year by specially adapted boats. The company has been criticised over the plans which involve large-toothed devices being trawled through kelp beds, which are home to considerable amounts of sea-life.
Seaweed has a number of uses, from pharmaceuticals to food, and the market for it is thriving. Critics claim the move could harm the marine environment, deplete fish stocks, increase coastal erosion and even contribute towards climate change.
Nick Underdown, head of campaigns at sustainable fisheries charity, Open Seas, said: “Dredging our kelp forests is not dissimilar to clear-felling virgin rainforest. “It’s one of the few pristine habitats in our seas that remain unscathed by over-intensive exploitation.
“It provides a fundamental foundation to the way our seas work, providing habitat for many hundreds of species, and represents one of our best stores of blue carbon. “On land we are trying to actively recover our native pine forests, why repeat the mistake of deforestation at sea?” ‘The proposal is completely adrift from sensible, sustainable use of our seas and would drag us backwards.’
“But allowing mechanical dredging in the way proposed will not only undermine the health of our sea, it will undermine other marine businesses and alternative harvesting methods.” Marine Biopolymers, based in Ayr, South Ayrshire, has submitted a scoping report to Marine Scotland. It outlines its plans to apply for “one or more” licences to harvest kelp in waters from Mull up to Lochinver and across to the Outer Hebrides.
Mussel farmer and seaweed picker from Ullapool, Ailsa McLellan, said: “I’m concerned from an environmental point of view.
“Kelp is a significant absorber of carbon, it buffers ocean acidity caused by warming seas and prevents coastal erosion.
“It seems utterly bonkers to take that away at this stage in our planetary evolution. There is nothing green about dredging up kelp.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Marine Scotland will consult fully on any forthcoming application and environmental assessments. “Scottish ministers will then make a determination on a licence application, taking into account the effects on the environment and other uses of the sea.”
“We believe that we have a world leading technology and products that will balance the needs of the sustainable environment with commercial reality, producing a business that is both innovative and ‘Green’ at its heart.”

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

Our look at Scotland today is of Abbotsford house on the Borders
rather lovely I think…

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 Monday 27th August 2018 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