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Newsletter for 17th November 2023

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  • Newsletter for 17th November 2023

    Electric Scotland News

    I was watching a video podcast this week by Sean James of Ontario which I found really interesting. It was featuring Chris Gilmore. You can find his web site at:

    Wild Muskoka Botanicals is the producer of artisan wild foods and cocktail mixers. Our ingredients are locally foraged in a sustainable manner, and then hand-produced on a small scale in an effort to maintain our focus on providing high quality products made with ecological integrity. Wild Muskoka Botanicals is based out of our health certified production kitchen and Wild Spirit Permaculture Homestead on the western edge of Algonquin Park. It exists to reconnect people with the natural world and to promote health and wellness through incorporating wild plants and traditional herbal medicines back into people’s modern lives.


    I note there has been some snow in Ontario this week but none is forecast for the next two weeks in Chatham although it is forecast to get colder.


    Got my car serviced and prepared for winter but it did cost me around CAN$1400.00 as my breaks needed replaced which was the expensive part.

    I also got my furnace checked and while it probably needs replaced it should last me another year so fingers crossed.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers

    I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time. Here is what caught my eye this week...

    Remembrance Day Palestine protest: Explosives hurled at police with 126 arrested
    Police have swooped in and arrested at least 90 people staging a so-called counter-protest in central London - but around 150 pro-Palestinian protesters were also intercepted later in the evening.

    Read more at:

    SNP's bonfire of their OWN promises
    All new NHS, road and rail projects ‘under review’ as Humza’s government admits it is running out of money

    Read more at:

    Conrad Black: Lessons from Australia's the voice referendum
    We should consider why Canada is so susceptible to these tropical fevers of guilt

    Read more at:

    These Islands: An Inconvenient Fact
    Today, These Islands has published a remarkable coda to this story. After spending nearly a year coming up with an updated estimate (which is 6-7%) the Scottish Government tried to bury the replacement figure.

    Read more at:

    Scottish American History Forum featuring Marjory Harper
    Speaker: Dr. Marjory Harper, Professor and Chair in History, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, King's College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

    Watch this at:

    Chicago Scots & Caledonia Senior Living
    Scottish Church History, An overview from medieval times to the present

    Watch this at:

    The best of British
    From Arthur Balfour to Alec Douglas-Home, former Prime Ministers returning to government is a great British tradition. David Cameron's elevation shows a better political culture is possible one where ex-leaders can continue to serve their country, however imperfect their record.

    Read more at:

    Cut to the bone. Is this what Scotland’s culture is worth?
    Culture is our identity; it’s how we see ourselves, how we see our place in the world and how we relate to others.

    Read more at:

    Goodbye, Mr Gibb
    Amid the noise surrounding Suella Braverman’s sacking and David Cameron's reappointment, it was easy to miss the resignation of Schools Minister Nick Gibb. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Gibb can look back at his achievements with pride and know that he transformed our children's education for the better.

    Read more at:

    Pavement parking banned in Edinburgh from January
    Cars are to be banned from parking on pavements in Edinburgh from January.It will be the first city in Scotland to implement the ban which could see drivers who mount the kerb facing a £100 fine.

    Read more at:

    David Cameron makes promise to Volodymyr Zelensky in first Ukraine visit in new role
    The new Foreign Secretary pledged Britain will support Ukraine for however long it takes.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Trans Canada Trail
    Made To Be On


    The Blairmore Enterprise
    Christmas Number, December 21, 1945 (pdf)

    You can read this newspaper at:

    Angus William Rugg MacKenzie
    Founder of the Gaelic College in Cape Breton

    You can read this short bio about him at:

    Colaisde na Gàidhlig | Gaelic College
    Added a video which features Doug Lamey and Sarah MacInnis, live from the Inverary Inn, Baddeck for Doug's CD release!

    You can watch this at:

    Doug Lamey
    Journey to True North by Matt Merta (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Gleichen Call Newspaper
    Claim in this issue is that Scotland originated the sending of Christmas Cards despite the fact that at this time Scotland didn't celebrate Christmas. January 9, 1929 (pdf)

    You can read this newspaper at:

    Scottish American History Forum featuring Kevin James
    Victorian travellers in Scotland

    You can watch this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 12th day of November 2023 - Remebering
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    Cities in the Suburbs
    By Humphrey Carver (1965) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Electric Scotland

    Plain Cookery Recipes
    From the Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy Ltd. (1908) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    The Most Epic Scottish Food Tour You've Ever Seen! | Edinburgh + Isle of Skye + Glasgow
    Added this 1 hour video to the foot of our Food page along with another video showing how to make a Scottish Beef Stew. and also The Incredible Foods & People Of Remote Scotland by the One Armed Chef.

    You can watch these videos at:

    Eachdraidh na H-Alba: anns a'bheil gearr-iomradh air na nithibh is cudthromaich' a thachair 's an rioghachd, o na ceud linnibh, gu meadhon an naoiheamh linn deug / le Aonghas Mac Coinnich
    Title translated "A history of Scotland in which there is a short mention of the important things which happened in the Kingdom from the 1st century to the middle of the 19th." (1867) (pdf)

    This is in the Gaelic language so if you can't read Gaelic you won't be able to learn anything from it but if you can understand Gaelic then you can get to this at:

    The Annals of Scottish Natural History
    A Quarterly Magazine with which is incorporated the Scottish Naturalist edited by
    J. A. Harvie-Brown, F.R.S.E., F.Z.S., Member of the British Ornithologists Union, James W. H. Trails, M.A., M.D., F.R.S., F.L.S., Professor of Botany in the University of Aberdeen, and William Eagle Clarke, F.L.S., Mem. Brit. Orn. Union, Natural History Department of Science and Art, Edinburgh, (1901) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Foods and Culinary Utensils of the Ancients
    Compiled from standard historical works by Charles Martyn.(pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Scottish American History Forum featuring Kevin James
    Victorian travellers in Scotland

    You can watch this YouTube video at:

    The Farmer's Magazine
    Remarks on the Agriculture of Aberdeenshire
    By Thomas Sullivan No. III Farm Servants (1846) (pdf)

    You can read this article at:

    Remarks on the Agriculture of Aberdeenshire
    By Thomas Sullivan No. IV Implements (1846) (pdf)

    You can read this article at:

    Remarks on the Agriculture of Aberdeenshire
    By Thomas Sullivan No. VI Drainage (1846) (pdf)

    You can read this article at:


    I thought I'd bring you a video this week as well as a story so here is a long video on Alberta Canada which I hope you'll enjoy.

    Spirit of Alberta

    From tranquil countryside to urban excitement, Spirit of Alberta captures the diversity and natural beauty of this vast, extraordinary land. Spending a summer on the roads of Alberta, KSPS Public Television photographed its splendor from the Waterton Lakes National Park to the Peace-Athabasca Delta and beyond.
    Produced in 1999. (1 hr 17 min)

    MURRAY, ALEXANDER, D.D. (1775–1813), linguist, was born on 22 Oct. 1775 at Dunkitterick, Kirkcudbrightshire, where his father was a shepherd. Up to 1792 he had little more than thirteen months of school education, but he had learnt the alphabet in a crude way from his father, and by his own efforts he had mastered English and the rudiments of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, knew something of French and German, and had begun the study of Abyssinian. Meanwhile he had been engaged, partly as a shepherd and partly as a tutor to children remote from school like himself, and the small funds accruing from these sources helped his literary needs. He translated Drackenburg's German lectures on Roman authors, and when he visited Dumfries with his version in 1794, after unsuccessfully offering it to two separate publishers, he met Burns, who gave him wise advice (autobiographical sketch prefixed to History of European Languages). The father of Robert Heron (1764-1807) [q. v.] lent him useful books, and James M'Harg, a literary pedlar from Edinburgh, proposed that Murray should visit the university authorities. His parish minister, J. G. Maitland of Minnigaff, gave him an introductory letter to Principal Baird, which led to an examination, in which Murray agreeably surprised his examiners by his knowledge of Homer, Horace, the Hebrew psalms, and French. Admitted to Edinburgh University as a deserving student, he won his way by class distinctions and the help of private teaching. Lord Cockburn remembered him as a fellow-student, 'a little shivering creature, gentle, studious, timid, and reserved' (Memorials of his Time, p. 276). He completed a brilliant career by becoming a licentiate of the church of Scotland.

    Murray early formed the acquaintance of John Leyden (Leyden, Poetical Remains, p. xvii), and among his friends were Dr. Anderson, editor of The British Poets,' Brougham, Jeffrey, Thomas Brown, Campbell, and others. Through Leyden he became a contributor to the 'Scots Magazine,' and he edited the seven numbers of that periodical from February 1802, inserting verses of his own under one of the signatures 'B,' 'X,' or 'Z.' He was meanwhile diligently studying languages. From the spoken tongues of Europe he advanced about this time to those of Western Asia and North-east Africa. His latter studies led him to contribute to three successive numbers of the 'Scots Magazine' a biography of Bruce, the Abyssinian traveller, which he afterwards expanded into a volume (1808). Constable the publisher, struck with his knowledge and thoroughness, engaged him in September 1802 to prepare a new edition of 'Bruce's Travels' (7 vols. 1805, new edit. 1813), to which he did ample justice, despite hindrances due to the stupid jealousy of the traveller's son, James Bruce, and his family (Archibald Constable and his Literary Correspondents, i. 222). At the same time (1802-5) he worked for the 'Edinburgh Review,' and his letters to Constable mark a writer with an easy, humorous, incisive style, and keenly alive to the importance of literary excellence and a wide and generous culture. Almost from the outset, as De Quincey says, he had before him 'a theory, and distinct purpose' (De Quincey, Works, x. 34, ed. Masson).

    In 1806 Murray was appointed assistant to Dr. Muirhead, James (1742-1808) [q. v.], parish minister of Urr, Kirkcudbrightshire, whom he fully succeeded at his death in 1808. He married, 9 Dec. 1808, Henrietta Affleck, daughter of a parishioner. He soon became popular both as a man and a preacher. His interesting, frank, and sometimes sprightly letters to Constable mark steady social development, patriotic spirit, and literary and philosophical earnestness. He hailed with enthusiasm Chalmers's 'Caledonia,' and Scott's 'Minstrel' and 'Marmion.' Among his own literary projects for a time were, an edition of the classics, suggested by Constable, and a history of Galloway, which he seriously contemplated, and about which he had some correspondence with Scott (Constable and his Literary Correspondents, i. 267). His chief interest, however, centred in comparative language. He thought of writing a philosophical history of the European languages (ib. p. 289). In 1811 he translated, with approbation, an Ethiopic letter for George III, brought home by Salt the Abyssinian envoy, whose familiarity with the revised edition of Bruce's 'Travels prompted his suggestion of Murray to the Marquis of Wellesley as the only capable translator 'in the British dominions.' On 13 Aug. 1811 Murray wrote to Constable that he had mastered the Lappish tongue, that he saw 'light through the extent of Europe in every direction,' and that he trusted to unite the histories of Europe and Asia by aid of their respective languages. He added his conviction that the day would come when 'no monarch, however great and virtuous, would be ashamed of knowing him.'

    In July 1812, after a keen contest involving some bitterness of feeling, Murray was appointed professor of oriental languages in Edinburgh University. His interests were materially served by the advocacy of Salt, and the active help of Constable (Scots Mag. August 1812; Constable, ut supra). He received from the university on 17 July the degree of doctor of divinity. He entered on his work at the end of October, publishing at the same date 'Outlines of Oriental Philology' (1812), for the use of his students. He lectured through the winter, against his strength, attracting both students and literary men to his room. His health completely gave way in the spring, and he died of consumption at Edinburgh 15 April 1813, leaving his widow and a son and daughter. Mrs. Murray survived about twelve years, supported by a government pension of 80l., which had been granted to her in return for Murray's translation of the Abyssinian letter. The daughter died of consumption in 1821, and the son, who was practically adopted by Archibald Constable, qualified for a ship surgeon, and was drowned on his first voyage (ib. p. 336). A monument to Murray was erected near his birthplace in 1834, and it received a suitable inscription in 1877. A portrait by Andrew Geddes, formerly in the possession of Constable, is now in the National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.

    Murray's wonderful promise was not equalled by his performance. But he proved himself an ideal editor and biographer, and his impulse, method, and style had a permanent influence. To the 'Edinburgh Review' of 1803 Murray contributed a review of Vallancey's 'Prospectus of an Irish Dictionary;' to the number for January 1804 he furnished an article on Clarke's 'Progress of Maritime Discovery;' and in January 1805 he discussed Maurice's 'History of Hindostan.' His 'Letters to Charles Stuart, M.D.,' appeared in 1813. His great work, the 'History of the European Languages, or Researches into the Affinities of the Teutonic, Greek, Celtic, Slavonic, and Indian Nations,' was edited by Dr. Scott, and published, with a life, by Sir H. W. Moncreiff, in 2 vols. 8vo, 1823. The Life includes a minute autobiographical sketch of Murray's boyhood, in the form of a letter addressed to the minister of Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire. He figures as a lyrist on his 'Native Vale' in Harper's 'Bards of Galloway.'


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.