The Daily Thistle — News From Scotland

Sunday 14th May 2017

“Madainn Mhath” …Fellow Scot, I hope the day brings joy to you…. Good Morning Gentle Reader from a warm and comfortable Estepona by the sea…Millions of stars are twinkling in the early morning sky and Bella and I are enjoying our walk together… I love the early morning before the hustle and bustle of the day starts, even in a small town like this, people have to go to work, tourists have to find a place to eat or a portion of the beach to lay on, so walking before all of this happens suites us fine, and then we can both return to the house and relax, me with the usual coffee and Bella with a water and biscuit….So let’s take a look at what happened in Scotland while we in Europe sleep and those in the USA played and preyed….

IS BANKSY LIVING — AND WORKING — IN FIFE?…. A man has claimed that he is “99 per cent sure” that world-famous artist Banksy is living in a Scottish town. John Rocco, 61, has claimed that the anonymous artist, whose graffiti art has gripped fans around the world, is now residing in Kirkcaldy, Fife. This mural at the Harbour Bar in Kirkcaldy is one of a handful of Banksy-esque designs to have popped up in the Fife town in recent weeks. A Banksy original can sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds and he notoriously opened The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem earlier this year, boasting it had ‘the worst view of any hotel in the world’. John is now convinced that a man he was introduced to through a mutual friend, is Banksy himself and is living in Kirkcaldy, Fife. Since they met at least three pieces of art purporting to be the work of the famous street artist have appeared in different locations around Kirkcaldy. John said ‘Banksy’ has also donated original pieces of work, some of them signed, which will be put up for auction in town with the money going to two different charities, Chernobyl Children’s Project and Prostate Cancer Scotland. He said: “I told a friend of mine that I wasn’t sure about some art work I was doing. “He introduced me to his friend who agreed to do the work. As things progressed I got to know that this was Banksy.” “He’s put a lot of time and effort into this and the work he’s done is incredible. “I have enough proof to confirm his identity with me. His signature matches the previous work by him. “What I’ve heard and seen from the rest of the people who know him, as well as the quality of his work, makes me damn sure it’s him. “He speaks with a Bristol-based accent and dresses quite scruffily. He’s quite quirky and doesn’t attract any attention. “I am 99 per cent sure this guy is Banksy. He told me his real name is Robin Banks. And I’ve no reason not to believe it.” There have been concerns that this could be a ruse to extort money from people, a claim John strongly denies as he claims “Banksy” has turned down any money. John said: “He has been adamant that he is taking no money for anything. From the auction that we’re holding as well, he said he doesn’t want a penny of the money.” “Why Kirkcaldy? He’s that type of guy and this is the sort of thing he does. “I’ve watched him work and I’m sure I’m not being taken for a ride. “He’s been really sound with me and has been round the house for Sunday roast. He’s been lovely.”

ABERDEEN STUDENTS GO VIRAL AFTER PINEAPPLE PRANK DUPES GALLERY…. Two Aberdeen students caused a social media storm after they appeared to successfully pass off a pineapple as a piece of art at a gallery. Ruairi Gray, 22, and friend Lloyd Jack, 22 put the £1 fruit on display at a Robert Gordon University exhibition to trick people into believing that it was a work of art. The duo were then “shocked” when they returned a couple of days later to find their pineapple had been moved into a glass display case. Mr Gray told MailOnline: “I saw an empty art display stand and decided to see how long it would stay there for, or if people would believe it was art. “I came in later and it had been put in a glass case — it’s the funniest thing that has happened all year “Art is never something I had considered but I’m hoping for an honorary degree now,” Mr Gray, a Business Information student joked. The prank has gained much attention online with over 1,000 people sharing the photos and over 4,000 liking Mr Jack’s tweet. Natalie Kerr, who organised the Look Again exhibition, told the Press and the Journal, “we were moving the exhibition, and came back after ten minutes and it was in this glass case. “It’s a bit of a mystery, the glass is pretty heavy and would need two or three people to move it,” said the cultural assistant, who claims to be allergic to the fruit. Ms Kerr added: “It’s still there now — we decided to keep it because it’s keeping with the playful spirit of this commission.”

DOG WALK LEADS TO AMAZING WEDDING RING FIND…. aul and Jan Higson were delighted to find Paul’s wedding ring whilst walking their dogs in Orkney. Paul, who works in various areas across the mainland, lost his wedding ring two months previously and had been scared to tell his wife. The couple had given up hope of ever finding the ring again but Jan spotted it during a dog walk on the Sands of Wright in South Ronaldsay. Speaking to the BBC she said: “I saw something metallic in the stones (on the beach). I originally thought it was a washer or something like that but I bent down and moved one of the stones because it was wedged under one of the stones and pulled it out and it was Paul’s wedding ring.” Family and friends were totally stunned at this “million-to-one chance” finding. The couple have put on a Euromillions ticket in the hope that their luck continues.

HARRY POTTER RAIL LINE CLOSED BY 50-ACRE FIRE…. Trains were halted on the Fort-William-Mallaig line today after a fire broke out beside the track at Glenfinnan. Network Rail said the alarm was raised at Saturday 11:10am, 20 minutes after the Jacobite steam train had passed the location. The route was closed at noon with disruption expected until 5pm. Some trains were replaced by coaches, with services running again by mid-afternoon. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters and four appliances had tackled a blaze covering 50 acres, which was brought under control within hours. West Coast Railways, which operates the weekday steam service, was unable to say whether the train had been involved. A spokesman said: “We take this very seriously and have been taking additional precautions, which have included patrols following the train.” The route, including the featured in the Harry Potter film series. The fire comes a day after a wildfire closed the A7 south of Galashiels for four hours. It was at least the eighth significant incident in the last week, with others including near Pitlochry, Lochinver and North Kessock.

LONACH HIGHLANDERS TO MARCH AT EDINBURGH TATTOO…. For more than 175 years, generations of men from the same secluded glen in The Cairngorms have marched together every summer in a show of friendship, family and tradition. Now, this summer, the Lonach Highlanders are to step out of their Aberdeenshire heartlands and onto the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle for the first time when they appear at the Royal Military Tattoo. Dressed in full Highland regalia and armed with their trade mark Lochaber axes and eight-foot pikes, around 75 of Strathdon’s finest will travel to the capital in August to take part of the spectacle which this year has a new focus on Scotland’s clan culture. The Lonach men, believed to be the largest body of non-military men to carry ceremonial weapons, have been invited to take part in the performance on August 14 by Lord Forbes, chief of the Forbes clan. Jennifer Stewart, secretary and chief executive of the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, said it was an “honour” to be invited to the event. She added: “Television recording will be taking place on the night that we are parading. If we make the director’s cut then there is potential for millions of people around the world to learn about Lonach.” Membership is drawn from residents of the local area who descend from the Forbes, Wallace and Gordon clans. It current patron is Sir James Forbes, 8th Baronet of Newe and Edinglassie, who is based in Calfornia and works in the wine and whisky trade. He is the great, great, great grandson of Sir Charles Forbes, 1st Baronet of Newe & Edinglassie, who arranged the first Lonach gathering and games in 1823 to extend the goodwill shown by the community on the 21st birthday of his son. Since then, the tradition of the Lonach Highland Gathering and Games has been broken only by two world wars. Society membership currently stands at 227 men with the recent addition of young recruits a welcome boost to the ranks. Each year, the Lonach men march around six miles, from Strathdon to Bellabeg and back, and stop at the homes of six prominent residents on the way. At each house, a dram is raised to the cry of “ho, ho Lonach!” in a toast to the health of the area and its people. For many years, Billy Connolly and his wife Pamela Stephenson hosted one of the dram stops at their former home Candacraig House, which they sold in 2015. The couple regularly attended the gathering with celebrity friends, including Steve Martin, Dame Judi Dench and the late Robin Williams. The event, this year on August 26, attracts around 10,000 people, with 2017 marking the 176th time the gathering has been held.

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 Harry Potter line.. you didn’t think I would let the chance to post a train in the Thistle escape did you?

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 Sunday 14th May 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