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An Honorary Son? (and Daughter)

I see some overprivileged bloke who got married today has been granted the somewhat unlikely title of Earl of Dumbarton, which means his wife will be Countess of Dumbarton.

My first reaction on hearing this was that the local earldom was surely that of Lennox; but it seems they are still going, only elevated to Dukes, so that title wasn’t vacant.

A quick piece of Googling showed that there have in the past been two Earls of Dumbarton (see upper link above) but the last of them died in 1749 so making the title available.

I wonder what the new Earl and Countess will make of the place should they ever deign to visit.

And does his title make the new Baron Kilkeel (not to mention Duke of Susex) an honorary Son of the Rock? Or his wife, Lady Kilkeel (and Duchess of Sussex,) an honorary daughter thereof?

I look forward to them turning up at the Rock for a game, but I shan’t hold my breath.

Pedant’s corner:- On the (utterly sycophantic) BBC television coverage of said nuptials I heard Huw Edwards refer to “Lord Lieutenants”. Tut, tut, Mr Edwards. Standards at the BBC used to be so much higher. Lieutenant here is an adjective descriptive of the Lord concerned. The plural you were so vainly seeking is “Lords Lieutenant”.

More from Doune

Somebody still hopeful in Doune. Yes and EU flags. They had a Catalan flag too the next time I passed.

Still Yes

Willows Deli, Doune. We’ve had lunch there a few times. They do evening meals as well:-

Willows Deli, Doune

Cautionary Sign, Princes Street Gardens Christmas Fairground Ride

Princes Street Gardens Christmas Fairground Ride

Cinema Rules

On the wall of the cafe at The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy:-

Aberfeldy Cinema Rules

I like the rustling comment.

The other notice is less unusual:-

Rules, Aberfeldy Cinema

Pedant’s corner:- I note independant above (independent.)

Duirinish, Highlands. Free Roaming Cattle

On the way back fom Skye we took a detour to go to Plockton on Loch Carron. The road took us through the village of Duirinish.

The locals think nothing of letting their livestock roam the (one, very narrow) street.

Duirinish, Highland

Both Highland cattle and sheep made driving through it a little precarious. In the link above is a great photograph of the village with cattle in the burn.

After Plockton and on the way back to our hotel we encountered a family of highland cattle more or less blocking the road. They seemed to be going home for the night. The woman in the other car had stopped for a photo opportunity.

Highland Cows on Road!

I tried to nudge past them but had to stop sharpish as the female cow didn’t take too kindly to me getting near her offspring.

Highland Cattle 2

The joys of rural driving!

Highland Cattle 2

Mathematical Time Travel

According to this post from The Daily Galaxy, time travel is mathematically possible.

Not by a time machine as such but in “a bubble of space-time geometry which carries its contents backward and forwards through space and time as it tours a large circular path.”

Ben Tippett from the University of British Columbia has created a formula that describes the method. Unfortunately that formula the does not figure in the post. The method also requires bending of space-time by exotic matter – which hasn’t been discovered yet/ Might as well be Science Fiction.

The bubble is described as a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time. The acronym spells TARDIS. Ha very ha.

Seething Hatred?

I discovered yesterday that poet W H Auden spent some time (two years) in Helensburgh – eight or so miles from Dumbarton – teaching at Larchfield Academy.

This information came to me via a review in the Guardian of a book Larchfield by Polly Clark.

The book, a novel, deals with Auden’s time there but there is also apparently (I’ve not read it, only the review) a present day section featuring Dora, an incomer to the town, who finds herself ill at ease there as it is “seething with hatred of outsiders.”

Really? Helensburgh, in my youth at least, was a tourist town and has had a fair number of incomers over the years what with the Faslane base just up the road. Is it really seething with hatred to such outsiders who bring – or brought – money into the town? Is it unwelcoming? No more so than anywhere else I’d have thought.

Or is Clark unfairly traducing it for literary purposes?

(It is entirely possible of course that a few incomers might “play the English” – as an English writer acquaintance of mine who now lives in Edinburgh depicts some of his compatriots who come to Scotland and moan about why it isn’t English and try to throw their weight about – and suffer adverse comments as a result.)

Groningen Glass, Plus

Good glazing on a shop in Groningen:-

More Groningen Glass

There was interesting detail above the window’s centre. I’m assuming this was once a butcher’s:-

Groningen Shop Detail

Curved glass on different shop:-

Groningen Curved Glass

This shop’s owners are not much into tech it would seem. There’s something to be said for the old-fashioned virtues.

Notice in Shop Window, Groningen

Dutch Curiosities

This is a converted windmill in Marum, Groningen Province, The Netherlands:-

Ex-windmill, Marum, Groningen, The Netherlands

This one’s for you, Denis. A Monkey-puzzle tree – or Araucaria to give it its botanical name – also in Marum:-

Monkey Puzzle Tree, Marum

Falkland Then and Now

Falkland is a village a few miles away from where we now live. (Its name is connected in a roundabout way to a certain set of islands in the South Atlantic but it’s more famous for its Palace, the country residence of the Stuart monarchs.)

We go there quite often – usually to visit the Library but also to have a stroll as there’s an estate and burn you can walk beside. The Palace gardens are wortha look as well, especially if you area National trust for Scotland member.

In February we found its main street festooned with no parking cones and notices of restriction for four days.

Falkland  in Fife

Falkland in Fife

It turned out they were going to be filming scenes for the new series of Outlander and they’d mocked it up supposedly as if it were the 1950s.

The Community Hall had been daubed with a “Free Scotland” grafitti and a saltire which strikes me as being unlikely for the 50s but there you go:-

Falkland  in Fife

This is how it looks restored to more normal circumstances, in April this year:-

Community Hall, Falkland, Fife

This shop was made to look like a furniture and hardware store:-

Falkland  in Fife

And its “real” incarnation is a gift shop/café, Fayre Earth:-

Fayre Earth

This “fruit shop” took me back:-

Falkland  in Fife

In the 2010s it’s another eatery, Campbell’s:-

Café/Eatery Falkland, Fife

I’m not quite sure what this was supposed to be. A B&B I think. Unfortunately people were hanging around:-

Falkland in Fife

It’s actually The Covenanter’s Hotel:-

Covenanter's Hotel, Falkland

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