Douglas MacQueen's blog

Scotland celebrates St Andrew's Day

St. Andrew's Day (Scottish Gaelic: Là Naomh Aindrea) is Scotland's official national day celebrated on 30th November. St Andrew has been the patron saint of Scotland from at least the mid tenth century and legend says long before. He was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee in the early 1st century and is the brother of St Peter. According to the Gospel of St John, Andrew was a follower of the preacher John the Baptist and then became a disciple of Jesus who he recognised as the Messiah. The name Andrew is Greek in origin.

Dog found after days lost in snow and freezing temperatures of Glen Coe in Scotland

A dog named Kobe that had been lost for days in snow and freezing conditions in Glen Coe (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Comhann) in the Highlands of Scotland has been found. His owner, David Parry from Glasgow (Glaschu), had been with friends in the glen along with Kobe and another dog, Echo, when Kobe went missing. They are part of Scotland's Team AKobE Marathon Community. This a group that encourages and provides access to free marathons for solo runners and canicross teams. Canicross is a sport involving cross country running with dogs, which are attached to a person and run in a team.

Viking harbour in Scotland's Loch na h-Airde designated as scheduled monument

Rubha an Dùnain is a peninsula to the south of the Cuillin hills on the island of Skye (An t-Eilean Sgitheanach) in Scotland. The headland rises to a height of over 98 feet (30 metres) above sea level. To the east of the peninsula is the freshwater loch of Loch na h-Airde. The peninsula has a variety of archaeological sites dating from the Neolithic period onwards.

Scottish ferry operator CalMac appoints a Wildlife Officer

Caledonian MacBrayne (Scottish Gaelic: Caledonian Mac a' Bhriuthainn), usually referred to as CalMac, operates passenger and vehicle ferries, and ferry services, between the mainland of Scotland and 22 of the major islands on Scotland's west coast. Now CalMac has seconded a full time ORCA Wildlife Officer to help educate crew and passengers about marine life across the west coast of Scotland. 

Lost teddy bear makes it 200 miles back home from Edinburgh to Orkney

Four year old Summer lost her teddy bear at Edinburgh Airport on Monday. So her mother Donna posted a plea on Facebook to help find the lost teddy. Scottish regional airline Loganair cabin crew member Kirsty Walter saw the appeal and came to the rescue and a search was organised. There were rumours that the teddy was seen lurking around the fine Scottish whisky section of Edinburgh Airport duty free shop. In any event the missing bear was found and was given star treatment by the airline on its flight home to Orkney in the Northern Isles of Scotland.

Scottish island of Barra raises the green and white Nordic cross flag

The Scottish island of Barra (Scottish Gaelic: Barraigh, Eilean Bharraigh), is an island in the Outer Hebrides (Na h-Eileanan Siar). The area of Barra is approximately 23 sq ml (60 square kilometres), 11 miles long and 6 miles wide. The main village is Castlebay (Bàgh a' Chaisteil). Now Barra has joined many other places in Scotland with its own flag. Although the island has used the the green and white Nordic cross for many years, now after a community campaign the flag of Barra has secured official recognition.

Cailleach the great Gaelic Goddess of Winter

In Gaelic mythology (Irish, Scottish and Manx) Cailleach is a creation goddess. She is commonly known as the Cailleach Bhéara and in Scotland also as Beira, Queen of Winter.  In partnership with the goddess Brìghde, they rule the seasons. Cailleach governs the winter months between Samhainn (1 November ) and Bealltainn (1 May), while Brìghde rules the summer months between Bealltainn and Samhainn. It is said that Cailleach carries a staff that freezes the ground.

Scotland's Loch Ness Monster has a busy year

In 2017 the Loch Ness Monster has had more official sightings than any other year this century. The most recent sighting was on 2 November 2017. Dr Jo Knight from Lancaster University and her nine-year-old son photographed  what appears to be a fin or similar at 11.25 am from a cruise boat on a visit to the Loch.

Commemorations to take place in Scotland celebrating achievements of Dr Elsie Inglis

This month Elsie Inglis (16 August 1864 – 26 November 1917) will be honoured for her achievements during World War One at events planned by the Scottish Commemorations Panel. Elsie Inglis was an innovative Scottish doctor, suffragist, and founder of the Scottish Women's Hospitals. The centenary of the death and funeral of Dr Elsie Inglis will be marked on 26 and 29 November respectively in Edinburgh. There will be an Act of Remembrance at Dean Cemetery on 26 November and a Service of Thanksgiving at St Giles Cathedral on 29 November, where there is a plaque to commemorate her work. 

Toy pirate ship launched from Scotland continues on its remarkable journey

Peterhead (Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Phàdraig) is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Peterhead was founded by fishermen and became a significant fishing and trading port. Given its history it was an appropriate place for the launch of another ship at the end of May 2017. This time it was a toy Playmobil pirate ship launched by two brothers Ollie and Harry Ferguson, aged eight and five. It carries a message asking anyone who finds the boat, named Adventure, to put it back into the sea.  

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