Category Archives: Scotland

The man who walked around the world

My friend Zeno just bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky and it reminded me of this ad which I must have watched over a year ago now, but never got around to posting. A fantastic use of Scottish-ness for the purpose of advertising. Includes nearly all the things that make me nostalgic for my second hame.


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Filed under Ad Campaigns, Scotland

David Scott’s images of Scotland

David Scott is a photographer, native to the Kingdom of Fife in the East of Scotland. He produces both portrait and landscape images, but it’s the landscapes that caught my eye. During nearly four years of living here (soon to be over), I have travelled more or less the length and breadth of the country, seeing many of the scenes which he has shot.

I think I like them because they depict Scotland as I want to always remember it.

Leith Harbour

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven

Castle Stalker, Argyll

Loch Leven, Kinross (home of photographer Annie Braithwaite)

(Thanks, Roddy!)

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Filed under Photography, Scotland

The Macallan, as photographed by Rankin

Years ago, the vast majority of people in Britain lived and worked on estates, generally owned by vastly wealthy and powerful aristocrats. Unlike much of the rest of the world, the estate remains, to this day, central to the way property is divided in the United Kingdom, especially in rural areas.

An estate comprises the houses and outbuildings and supporting farmland and woods that surround the grounds of a very large property, such as a country house. It is an “estate” because the profits from its produce and rents are sufficient to support the household in the house at its centre. Hundreds of thousands of people in this country still live and work in the industries associated with estates i.e. farming, fishing, hunting and associated sports. In Scotland, many estates produce whisky.

The Macallan single malt whisky was first distilled in 1824 at the Macallan Distillery near Easter Elchies House in Craigellachie, which lies to the north of Aberdeen, in the shire. As a celebration of its estate and the whisky it produces, The Macallan began the  Masters of Photography commission series. In its first year, the photographer Rankin was commissioned by The Macallan to create a limited edition set of photographs for the first year of the landmark catalogue.

The results are spectacular. Rankin manages to capture not only the stunning natural beauty of the estate and its environs but also the strong community base of the estate and those who work on it. The project is all the more impressive for the medium used: Polaroid.

(Thanks, Atack)

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Filed under Photography, Scotland

Robert Burns and beaut bicycles

The 25th of January is the birthday of the great Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s most famous poets and widely recognised as the nation’s national poet. Burns was a pioneer of poetry written in the Scots language, though he also wrote in English and in a “light” Scottish dialect, which could be understood beyond the Land of the Saltire.

Traditionally, a Burns supper is had on or near the date of his birthday. I’m going to one this weekend with the Aberdeen MedSoc – ceilidh n’ all. In the mean time, having finished my exams, I will now endeavour to dispense of all knowledge recently memorised.

Here’s a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’ care, man?  

…Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man.

Also – it’s a strange place to find beauty but some of these fixed-gear bikes are stunning works of art.

Kudos to Erik  for leading me to these!

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Filed under Aberdeen, Culture, Photography, Scotland, University

Y’know – I was accepted to the University of Montpellier…

So what, dear Lord, am I doing here!?

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A Scottish victory and an Irish WIN!

Disregarding the sub-zero temperatures and bitter wind chills typical of Aberdeen’s current weather situation, a big group of us trudged through the snow to Pittodrie Stadium this afternoon to watch the Scotland vs. Samoa game. Scotland were victorious, 19-16, with a last-gasp penalty by Ruaraidh Jackson.

In other news, an estimated 100,000 people marched in Dublin today to protest the government’s plans to cut €15bn from the national budget over the next four years. I’ve never heard of a protest so big in Ireland before, though it seems to have gone without a hitch. Gardai say no arrests were made, which suggests the atmosphere wasn’t particularly volatile. This makes sense, considering the hilarity of this AWESOME double-sided sign:

Meanwhile, PJ Gallagher compares Ireland to the island on Lost:

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Filed under Current Affairs, Ireland, Laughs, Rugby, Scotland

I didn’t think I’d need a pair of these until after Christmas…

…but it would seem that it’s already started snowing in Aberdeen. Why oh why did I never do the sensible thing and just apply to go to the University of the Balearic Islands?

Snow by Emily Dickinson

It sifts from Leaden Sieves
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road

It makes an Even Face
Of Mountain, and of Plain
Unbroken Forehead from the East
Unto the East again

It reaches to the Fence
It wraps it Rail by Rail
Till it is lost in Fleeces
It deals Celestial Vail

To Stump, and Stack and Stem
A Summer’s empty Room
Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,
Recordless, but for them

It Ruffles Wrists of Posts
As Ankles of a Queen
Then stills its Artisans like Ghosts
Denying they have been

Here’s hoping I don’t end up like this unfortunate:

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Filed under Laughs, Poetry, Scotland