After a bit of a break , all explained this week, we are back in the pod. Trying to catch up on all the events of the month we were away. This involved some notable passings, and some great Celtic Connections gigs. We also wander into current affairs and the 1p tax rise proposal. It is a long and emotional podcast. Next week, we will be talking more land reform and Europe.
Posted at 02:30 PM | Permalink
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I posted one comment yesterday on twitter and Facebook about the lack of books by Scottish writers in the brand new WH Smith at Edinburgh Airport and have been a bit surprised by the reaction from Edinburgh Airport PR folk and some of the tweeting public. The Edinburgh Airport folk tweeted pictures of books by Scots authors in a small bookshop en route to Gates 1-5 -- there's a great spread and it's great that has changed. Their Comms Manager also called to tell me they've got Scottish artists on display and were given an award recently for the use of Scottish food in their restaurants. That's also appreciated and good news. I got some fabulous, locally made tartan earrings from the craft shop in there just before Christmas. My comment was about the relatively huge new WH Smiths smack bang opposite the security entrance which is a matter for WH Smith rather than Edinburgh Airport. Far more folk will go there than the wee bookshop -- especially folk heading for gates to the right of the entrance. This new store does stock books - just not any with specifically Scottish content that I could see. It would be great if they could make some space for a Scottish section. Writers and publishers who live here find it hard to get their work in front of the Scottish public because big outlets like supermarkets & transport newsagents don't stock em. And I'd chuck in Scottish musicians since I've been to so many brilliant Celtic Connections gigs lately. I'm not sure why this observation has prompted such very nasty remarks. You don't need to be a "raving Nationalist" to want to celebrate your own culture and realise visitors might have come to sample it too. The same problem occurs within Scotland where some Tourist Information Centres in remote areas are stocked with material about Edinburgh rather than the Highlands or Islands. I imagine that's also down to a "one size fits all" approach which means the same material is found everywhere. Surely we can do better than that across Scotland?
Posted at 07:09 PM | Permalink
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Great wee prog coming up for everyone living in our neck of the woods or interested in the history, wildlife & people around Newburgh in Fife. Open Country is on Radio 4 this Thursday 7th at 3pm and repeated for early risers on Saturday 9th at 6am.
The prog info reads thus ; The Tironesian monks of Lindores Abbey were forcibly removed by Protestant firebrand John Knox in 1559 but they've left an extraordinary legacy for Tayside. The orchards they planted with native French varieties of pear, plum and apple were subdivided as the nearby town of Newburgh took shape. Every autumn the locals set out their stalls and sell purple pyramids of unusual plums and cartloads of the apples that can ripen on the trees beyond Christmas.
The monks are also credited with the creation of the first Scotch Whisky. There's certainly documentary evidence of them supplying potent quantities of aquavitae to the Scottish Court in 1494.
Caz Graham follows the tracks of the Tayside monks and meets the local man aiming to create the first Lindores whisky for 500 years and
Further up the River Tay Caz explores Britain's biggest reed bed in search of the desperately shy Bearded Tit and meets the last of the salmon net fisherwomen, our neighbour Nan Jarvis. Now 80, Nan and her husband caught salmon by net at the point where the Rivers Earn and Tay meet. She is a fabulous talker -- Ill be listening.
Posted at 02:43 PM | Permalink
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This week there is a theme of bridges in the podcast. Whether it is the land owners offering land to communities, Jeremy Corbyn needing to build some, the Forth Road and that Nordic TV series; bridges seem to be the idea of the week. We also manage to weave in the regeneration of South West Norway, The Last Kingdom and the usual banter.
This week we manage to talk about the proposed bombing in Syria, more Labour problems, tax credits , the Scottish Climate Chaos march, Mary Barbour, Andrew Stoddart and Shooglenifty.
If you are looking for the link to the live streaming of the Nordic Horizons event on Tuesday - it's here.
At long last there's a settlement for East Lothian tenant farmer Andrew Stoddart. It's not a total victory but Andrew leaves with some compensation and two more months to sell stock and farm equipment. There's a full statement below from the Our Land campaign. We've called off this weekend's action in Haddington and want to thank everyone who signed the 38 degrees petition, lobbied MSPs and particularly those who pitched up at very little notice for the Holyrood demo, including members of the Holyrood Rural Affairs (RACCE) Committee who also lobbied for Andrew behind the scenes.The Our Land campaign will be active again before Christmas I suspect if the RACCE Committee report on the Land Reform Bill is published quickly prompting a debate in Holyrood before the Christmas recess on Dec 19th. So watch this space folks and/or follow @lesleyriddoch or #OurLand on twitter.
The Our Land campaign for land reform in Scotland has given a guarded welcome to the announcement that Andrew Stoddart, the tenant farmer who faces eviction from his East Lothian farm, has reached a settlement with landlords the Coulson Trust. The agreement was signed yesterday and will allow the family to remain in the house until the end of January 2016. The other details of the agreement cannot be revealed. This follows a campaign by Our Land and 38 Degrees which involved a series of protests outside the Scottish Parliament and in Andrew Stoddart’s home town and a petition in which 20,000 called for action to be taken.
Andrew Stoddart made the following statement:
"Following eleventh hour mediation, we have come to a settlement with the Colstoun Trust. This has been done to protect my family from further anxiety. A short period of occupancy has been agreed to allow us to remove our animals and dispose of our equipment to better advantage.
Posted at 12:03 PM | Permalink
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This week we follow up on Lesley's National column on the BBC and the pool of talent; including Nick Robinson. We stray into Alex Bell's comments about the White Paper.
There is a lot of good news from Applecross and the success of the fund raising for their hydro scheme. We obviously touch on some of the lessons learnt and the challenges which now face every community scheme.