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Archive for January, 2007

Pillar of the Community

It has been a difficult start to the week.   

Imagine a whole primary school turning up on Monday morning to no school crossing lady but a growing floral tribute.     Our local Minister held a special school assembly to ‘begin the healing process’ for the children.    

The press have now largely gone, and we have to pick up the pieces slowly, and move on.

But it is not going to be easy.    We have lost a cornerstone of the Community.

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Car Crash

On Saturday night, there was a particularly nasty car crash just down the road – the sort that makes the national news:    5 dead, 1 injured.     

There were 2 cars involved, one with three 19/20 year olds, and the other with a family in it.    It is a notorious piece of road:   dead straight, but with dips that can hide oncoming traffic.       The two cars hit eachother, and the one with the youngsters in it flipped over and caught fire.      The young driver was pulled out and is in hospital with burns.     His two female passengers did not make it.  

The 3 dead from the other car were from one family in our village.    Allison Melville has been our school crossing lady for 27 years, ran the Cycling Proficiency tests, ran the Girl Guides, was Girl Guide District Commissioner and also ran the Karate Club.    She received an MBE a few years back.     Such people glue a community together.    Her husband and son died with her.     It is a simply appalling shock for our village.

It was a particularly bad weekend on Scotland’s roads with 14 killed overall.

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How late can you plant daffodils, I wonder?  

Last year, I planted some in February, and they came up fine, if a bit late.   We had a very cold and long spring, and all the daffodils were late, but the February planted ones were slightly later.

I have just finished planting 20kg of mixed daffodils and narcissi.   Some of the bulbs were sprouting very slightly – as they were last year.   One advantage of planting them this late is being able to throw out the bad bulbs from the batch – not too many, but a few that would not have grown if I had planted them in October/November like you are supposed to do.    They had been stored cool and dry.

This year, we have had daffodil bulbs peeping out since December, which is very unusual.    The snow and frost last week has slowed them up a bit.

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GNER and VisitScotland have got together to promote Edinburgh on the London Underground.

Bringing in more visitors to Scotland is good, but Edinburgh gets lots of visitors anyway.   GNER also run to Stirling, Glasgow, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness – and all points in between.     Also, there is a year long festival in the highlands called Highland 2007, so it would have been a really good chance to promote stations beyond Edinburgh.

A bit of a wasted opportunity, but perhaps the campaign could be extended.

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Second Life

I have heard about Second Life, but wonder why would I want to devote time and energy to running a virtual life when I am fully occupied with my First Life thanks.     

I did like this First Life page .

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L’Heure Espagnole + Gianni Schicchi was a comedy opera double bill put on by students from the Opera School at RSAMD and the Scottish Opera orchestra, augmented with some orchestral students.

Instead of the small intimate Atheneum Theatre, they moved across the road to the much bigger Theatre Royal.    This had advantages of a bigger stage, bigger pit and so on, but a slight disadvantage for young singers:    it is a big place to fill with your voice (and no, it is not miked), and these singers are young and mostly don’t have huge voices.

But both operas came off with some style.     L’Heure Espagnole was a story about a clockmaker, his wife, and his wife’s visitors who arrive while her husband is away giving the municipal clocks their weekly service.     Gianni Schicchi was about a dispute over a will – an old man dies, and has left all his money to monks.  The greedy family and friends are furious and employ Gianni Schicchi to help them.   Both really good fun.

The singing was all good, as was the playing – held in check slightly to allow for the young voices.

Lots of cheering at the end from the large audience.   What an experience for the student singers, the student players in the orchestra, and the student technical team, who were working alongside the professionals in the Theatre Royal.     Repeated In Edinburgh this week.   Herald review.

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About Tam O Shanter

Bruce Fummey gave a cracking first rate performance of his Edinburgh Festival Show “About Tan O’ Shanter”.    The wee library theatre in Perth was simply packed with folk to hear this show.

The first half was a warm up – little to do with Burns, but great fun, ending with three lovely Burns songs movingly sung by Fummey’s sister.

The main show was inspired stuff – Bruce explained in hilarious detail the story of the poem, and a bit about Burns’ life and times.   He finished with an animated rendition of the piece.   The huge appreciation shown by the audience clearly moved the big man.

Quite a night.

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