Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Crappit Heid an 'a!

Welcome to my Wednesday post. 

Today was my turn to post at my regular x 2 per month Writing Wranglers Blog. Since Hallowe'en is now over and I have done a post on Scottish Hallowe'en already for them, I decided to post some interesting facts about Scotland.

Here's a bundle of random facts...

Loch Morar is Scotland’s deepest loch. As Loch Ness is home to the famous monster Nessie, Morar’s monster is named Morag. It might be new knowledge that sightings of Morag hit the headlines well before those of ‘Nessie’! I'd love to see Morag since she's said to be a lot more like a mermaid. 

Crappit Heid. They say that Scots are canny with their money and very practical people who hate wasting anything. I’d say that’s true for many and I personally hate waste but I wouldn’t go so far as to make and eat ‘Crappit Heid’. I love fish and seafood, eat them frequently but I’m not keen to try an out of fashion Scottish fish dish of ‘stuffed fish heads’. Like many other subsistence foods of yesteryear crappit heid is as nutricious as the other more edible parts of the fish- it was all about inventing a simple recipe with available staples to make every part of the fish acceptable for eating. BTW – There is a old Scottish word ‘crap’ which means to stuff or fill hence crappit heid being stuffed heads. I won’t offend sensibilities here by showing an  image but click this link if you dare… and see how Crappit Heid looks when ready.

Haggis will soon be available in Canada after a ban of some 46 years (not sure yet about the US regulations). This is because my favourite Haggis producer—Macsween of Edinburgh—have produced a recipe that tastes exactly like traditional haggis but without the banned bits of sheep’s lung. I love haggis and eat it throughout the year with mashed neeps (orange turnip/swede) and tatties. A wee dram doesn’t pass my lips because, would you believe it of me? I don’t like whiskey. However, Scotland also produces some nice gins!

Wikimedia Commons
The tallest and longest  hedge on earth is said to be a European Beech hedge at Meikleour (A 93 road, Perth and Kinross, Scotland). It is in the Guiness World Records as being 100 feet high and about 1/3 mile long. It was planted in 1745 by Jean Mercer and her husband, Robert Murray Nairne on the Meikleour Estate. Some say it reaches the heavens because Robert Murray Nairne and the men who planted it, as Jacobite sympathisers, were killed at the Battle of Culloden. (The hedge is trimmed approx. every ten years and I totally sympathise with that because I used to hate trimming the beech hedge that lined my driveway. That was about 9 feet high and took me a whole week of my school summer holidays!)

Wikimedia Commons
Staying with horticulture: The oldest Yew tree in Scotland  is the ‘Fortingall Yew’. Said to be around 5000 years old, there are many tales associated with the Fortingall Yew and its surroundings. Near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, it has connections with early Christianity in Scotland. In 1769, the circumference was measured at 52 feet but what remains are the relics of the original tree. In the field opposite the village of Fortingall there is an ancient cairn (pile of stones) known as the ‘Cairn of the Dead’. During the 16th century the Great Plague (Galar Mhor) ravaged Scotland and many in the area died. Legend has it that an old woman, unmarked by the plague, carried the plague victims on a horse drawn sledge to a mass grave and placed a cairn there to mark their resting place.

Skara Brae is the oldest village in Scotland inhabited around 3100 B.C. It’s the best preserved Neolithic settlement in Western Europe.
Step inside the reconstructed neolithic house and experience what it was like before you wander the ruins of the village.

The shortest scheduled passenger flight in the world is from the Orkney island of Westray to Papa Westray.  Given good weather conditions the flight is less than ONE MINUTE.

Braveheart was the name given to Robert the Bruce not William Wallace so in the film ‘Braveheart’ Mel Gibson was using a fair bit of artistic licence!

There are approximately 790 islands in Scotland but only c. 130 are inhabited. People pride themselves in Munro bagging across Scotland (climbing mountains over 3,000 feet) but so far I’ve never heard of anyone ‘bagging Scottish islands’!

Scotland may be famous for images of a red stag but the official animal of Scotland is the unicorn. The unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, the coat of Arms seen here the one that was in use from the 12th century (William I) to King James VI of Scotland 1603. 1603 was the year of the Union of the Crowns, when King James VI of Scotland became the ruler of both Scotland and England. In 1604 he decreed he’d be known as King of Great Britain. By 1606 he created a new flag combining the crosses of St. Andrew (Scotland) and St. George (England). It was named the Union Jack, the ‘Jack’ part being a reference to Jacobus the Latin version of James.

The image below was taken on Abbey Strand Edinburgh. 

Wikimedia Commons


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