The Daily Thistle — News From Scotland

Tuesday 29th August 2017

“Madainn Mhath” …Fellow Scot, I hope the day brings joy to you…. I hope that where ever you are, life is treating you well, here in Estepona Spain, the children are getting ready to go back to school and the beaches are quiet as the proverbial graveyard as the majority of tourists have gone back from whence they came… Which means the town is quiet and is slipping into its normal Spanish way of life, which is slow…but the weather is still hot.. so you can go down the beach and lay or swim as is your taste…but enough about here let’s take a look at what’s happening in Scotland…

LAST POSTBUS REACHES THE END OF THE ROAD…. She has carried dogs, bikes, tourists and many a local over one of the Highlands’ remotest routes as part of an operation stretching back 50 years. However the unique service provided by Susan Macleod and her colleagues reaches the end of the road today when Britain’s last Postbus makes its final journey. Susan Macleod, left, who has been the Postbus driver and delivery postwoman on the Lairg-Tongue route for 12 years, The Lairg-Tongue run in Sutherland is being discontinued by the Royal Mail amid acrimony with the route’s Highland Council funder. The Postbus, which can carry four passengers, is the last of a fleet that once covered 200 routes across some of the furthest flung parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England. It will be replaced by a larger van which the Royal Mail said could carry more parcels and speed up deliveries. The firm said the number of passengers had also dwindled to an average of just three a week — half that in 2005. The end of the service follows four routes in the Western Isles being withdrawn last year. Postbuses were first launched in Wales in 1967 by postmaster general Tony Benn to replace axed rail lines and bus services. The first arrived in Scotland the following year, between Dunbar and Innerwick, and by 1993 there were 140 buses, carrying 80,000 passengers a year. Ms Macleod, who has been the Tongue route’s Postbus driver and delivery postwoman for 12 years, said she will miss the company but will continue delivering its mail in the bigger van. She said: “I’ll miss all the blethers with the regular passengers, and everyone who gets on the bus always say they wish they had my job. “But it can be difficult both in the summer and the winter. The winter because of the weather and the snow we see here quite often, as I have to get to Tongue to start my route and the road can be difficult in snow.

HUNT ON FOR RARE JUMPING SPIDER IN BOG NEAR STIRLING…. Conservationists are ‘hoovering’ a peat bog near Stirling in the search for a rare jumping spider. The Bog sun-jumper spider is only found on a few lowland raised bogs around Stirling and a single bog in Wales. The Bog sun-jumper spider. Picture: Chris Cathrinie/Buglife However, in the last 200 years over 80% of lowland raised bogs in Scotland have been damaged or destroyed by drainage for peat extraction, agriculture or forestry. The most effective way to find the tiny (3–5 mm long) spider is by using a modified leaf-blower to ‘hoover’ the bog. MSP Angus Macdonald — the Scottish Parliament’s Species Champion for the spider — recently joined volunteers and staff from Buglife Scotland, Butterfly Conservation Scotland and the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI), to ‘hoover’ a peat bog near Stirling. The Bog sun-jumper spider (Heliophanus dampfi) has evolved to thrive in the wet, acidic conditions found in peat bogs and can’t survive anywhere else. The loss of habitat has threatened many bog-specialist species such as insectivorous sundews, sphagnum mosses, and invertebrates such as the Bog sun-jumper spider and Large heath butterfly.

POLICE HUNT OWNER OF 1K AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS DROPPED AT MUSEUM…. Police are searching for a tourist after more than 1,000 Australian dollars (£605) was dropped at a Scottish museum. Officers believe the cash belongs to an Australian visitor who may be heading to Edinburgh. The money was found by staff at Biggar Museum in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, on Thursday. Police have issued an appeal in a bid to return the cash to its owner. Constable Mark Richardson said: “We believe the money belongs to an Australian tourist and that he or she may have unknowingly dropped it when visiting the museum in the town on Wednesday. “Despite several attempts, we have not been able to get a hold of the owner, who we believe may be en route to Edinburgh, so thought that an appeal on social media would reach far and wide and hopefully get to them. “It’s a considerable amount to lose and I am sure the owner will be, if not already, concerned when they realise it’s gone, however we hope to put a smile back on their face knowing it’s been handed in. “If you’re the person who lost the money, then please contact Biggar police office via 101 quoting reference number 2071/03/08.

POLICE FORCE GO VIRAL AFTER APPEAL FOR OWNER TO COLLECT DRUGS…. A post by a police body has won plaudits online after suitcase containing £6,500 worth of drugs has been handed in to police after someone picked it up by mistake on a bus. Officers in Dumfries have taken to social media urging the owner to “pop in, tell us what’s inside” and claim it. Police seized the drugs. (File Photo) However, their Facebook post warns “you will be arrested and will only get the empty case back after the court case”. The suitcase was picked up by mistake by a man in Dumfries when he got off a bus travelling between London and Belfast on Tuesday morning. When he got home, he realised it was not his and took it to the tourist information centre next to the bus stop.

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY LAUNCHES IN HIGHLANDS…. A NEW festival is set to bring work by acclaimed photographers to the north of Scotland. The Flow Photofest, which opens in Inverness on 2 September, is to take over nine venues across the north, with more to be announced. The event will present a programme of exhibitions and events featuring work by over 40 photographers from, or working in, the the Highlands, from Scotland, Norway, Finland, Iceland and beyond. Festival founder and organiser Matt Sillars said: “Flow festival will give the people of the Highlands a unique opportunity to experience work by internationally acclaimed photographers. “When we invited these award-winning artists to exhibit here in the North of Scotland we didn’t know what to expect. We are overwhelmed by the positive response we received and really excited to welcome such incredible talent to the area.” Another organiser, Roddy McKenzie, added, “Although you might not know the names of these photographers, we encourage everyone in the area to go to see the exhibitions to discover something unexpected and exciting. “Flow really is an exceptionally exciting event with the potential to grow into an internationally renowned festival attracting people from across the world to the North of Scotland.”

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 recently retired Morris Royal Mail Postbus in all it’s glory…

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 Tuesday 29th August 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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