The Daily Thistle — News From Scotland

Monday 16th October 2017

“Madainn Mhath” …Fellow Scot, I hope the day brings joy to you…. Bella was eager to go out this morning, even fetching the leash for me, on leaving the house I can see why… a heaven filled with stars and a beautiful breeze blowing from Africa carrying sweet smells of tropical plants.. the Mediterranean is busy with shipping this morning, large ships going hither and yon walk completed and Bella now asleep on my foot, coffee in the mug and I’m about ready to “Rock and Roll” so let’s discover what happened in the world last night….

MAN HITS OUT AT GLASS SMASH VANDALS AFTER DOG’S FOOT CUT…. An Arbroath man has hit out at vandals who regularly leave broken glass strewn across the town’s pavements after his dog needed stitches on a cut foot. John Henderson said broken bottles and discarded glasses were making the West Port area a danger zone for pets and children.
Angus Council has defended its street-cleaning regime and said locals should play their part in keeping the streets clean and free of danger. Mr Henderson, 66, who lives in nearby Russell Square, uses Keptie Street regularly and said broken glass was becoming an almost daily issue. “It is just everywhere, particularly outside the pubs and leading down to the corner with Catherine Street,” he said.
“It’s impossible to avoid, and although there are some big bits it’s also in tiny shards which you can’t really see. “If you’re out walking at night you just don’t see it at all, you just hear the crunch under your feet.” His six-year-old rescue dog Louise has twice been cut by broken glass in recent months. A council spokesman said: “We undertake comprehensive street cleaning daily in the West Port area, by way of a member of staff with a barrow and a mechanical sweeper service, with the exception of Saturdays.
“On Saturdays, our staff will empty litter bins and clean up any significant accumulations of litter, particularly broken glass.”

MORRISONS VOWS TO GET MORE ‘VOLCANIC VINDALOO’ CURRIES AFTER DUNDEE STORE SELLS OUT BY 9AM…. Morrisons has said it is working “as fast as we can” to replenish stocks of a limited edition curry, 200 times hotter than the standard jalapeno pepper, after they were all snapped up. The Dundee store was sold out of the ready meals by 9am today, a store worker said, when the Tele visited this morning. It’s not known exactly when the Afton Way shop will get them back in stock, but Morrisons has pledged to get more for those daring to try it. A Morrisons spokesman said: “During National Curry Week people really have wanted a very hot curry and demand for the Volcanic Vindaloo has been very strong. “There may be some local shortages and we’re working as fast as we can to get more of these amazing curries on to our shelves.” The curry is said to be so hot that an age limit has been placed on the sale of it. Only those over 16 can purchase the £1.50 dish.

DUNDEE CHIPPER AMONG THE BEST FISH AND CHIP RESTAURANTS IN THE UK…. A Dundee chipper is in the running to become the best in the UK. Tailend, on Nethergate, has been named as one of the top twenty sit-in fish and chip restaurants in the country, as part of the 30th anniversary National Fish & Chip Awards. Situated in the former Deep Sea restaurant, the Tailend opened its basement restaurant earlier this year. There’s also the option to takeaway too. The city centre eatery will now ‘batter’ it out for a place in the final against fellow local contenders, including the St Andrews Tailend and Food in the Park in Blair Atholl. To reach this stage of the competition, the restaurants have been assessed against a wide variety of judging criteria, including menu development and innovation, responsible sourcing policies, staff training and development processes and marketing and promotional activity.
Over the coming weeks, judges will make unannounced visits to the finalists and undertake mystery dining assessments, scoring both the fish and chips on offer and the levels of customer service provided by staff. Tailend staff Billy Rattray, Jenna Murray, Adam Petasz and head chef Kris Green This next stage of competition judging will whittle down the shortlist and establish the top five fish and chip restaurants that will compete for the overall national title to be presented at the 30th anniversary awards ceremony.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish who are behind the awards, said: “Fish and chips represent everything that is British, conjuring up notions of days by the seaside, often with family and friends, enjoying succulent battered fish and fluffy chips.
“Congratulations to Tailend on reaching the semi-final, in what is one of our most hotly contested award categories, and best of luck in the next round of judging.” The winner of the Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award will be announced at The National Fish & Chip Awards’ ceremony in London on January 25.

GORDON STRACHAN QUITS AS SCOTLAND MANAGER…. The Scottish Football Association announced that Strachan would not continue in the role after Scotland’s World Cup hopes ended with a 2–2 draw in Slovenia on Sunday. A statement read: “The board of the Scottish FA and Gordon Strachan have agreed that the Scotland national team will be led by a new head coach in preparation for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. Gordon’s tenure will end with immediate effect along with that of his assistant coach, Mark McGhee.” Strachan’s future came under serious consideration after his side took just four points from their first four matches in Group F, but they finished the campaign unbeaten in six matches, finishing third behind Slovakia on goal difference.
After an SFA board meeting at Hampden Park, the governing body said it was “agreed that a new national coach should be recruited to provide fresh impetus” and the announcement suggested the decision was mutual. In the statement, Strachan said: “I said on my first day as Scotland manager that it was the proudest moment of my career and that I wanted to put a smile back on the nation’s face again. I share the profound disappointment at missing out on the play-offs, especially having worked so hard to fight our way back into contention. “The players should receive immense credit for that resilience in coming back from a difficult start and I would like to thank each and every player who has come in to represent their country. “Together we have shared some really magical moments and those memories will live with me forever. “Of course, what made those moments special was the unwavering support of our fans. Through highs and lows you have stayed with the team and my biggest regret is not being able to provide the finals tournament you deserve. “I would like to thank the board, the backroom staff and everyone at the Scottish FA for the help and support they have given me as national coach. It has been a real privilege.” SFA chief executive Stewart Regan added: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Gordon for his excellent service to the national team. I know how disappointed he was that we couldn’t secure a play-off place but to come so close was a tribute to the belief he instilled in his squad. “After almost five years the board felt it was time for a new direction to prepare for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and also the forthcoming UEFA Nations League. “We are grateful to both Gordon and Mark for their efforts and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

ONE MILLION FEWER SCOTCH WHISKY BOTTLES SOLD AFTER SPIRITS TAX INCREASE…. Official figures show 36.7 million bottles were sold in the first six months of 2017, down from 37.7 million in the same period the previous year. The 2.6% drop in demand follows March Budget increase in spirits duty by 3.9%, taking tax up to 80% of the cost of a bottle of Scotch. The Scotch Whisky Association has launched the Drop the Dram Duty campaign calling on Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut tax on spirits in the Budget next month.
The association said of an average bottle of Scotch sold at £12.77, more than £10 goes to the Treasury, comprised of £8.05 in excise duty and £2.13 in VAT. The HM Revenue and Customs figures show the overall tax take from spirits has fallen since the March budget spring increase. Spirits revenue dropped more than 7% in the first financial quarter of 2017/18, down to £697 million compared to £751m in the same period from April to the end of June the previous year. This reversed a 7% increase in spirits revenue from the freeze on excise duty in 2016, which boosted the Treasury by £229 million. The 2% cut in spirits tax 2015 led to a 4% rise in spirits revenue, a £124 million increase. Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “Philip Hammond’s damaging 3.9% spirits duty hike has hit UK demand for Scotch and seen less money going to the Treasury. “The Chancellor should use his November Budget to Drop The Dram Duty and boost a great British success story. “Cutting tax would send a strong signal that the Government believes in a world-famous UK manufacturing industry which supports 40,000 jobs and plays a key role in Scotland’s economy.”

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

Our look at Scotland today is of a glass of whisky, just trying to help with the million bottles…..

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 16th October 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