Rutilius and Dante, meeting Brunetto Latini on the lip of hell:
What chance or fate hath brought thee, to this place
Ere thy last day? . . .
Yonder above, I said, in the clear life
I lost myself in a valley, before my years were full.
PART ONE: Lord Justice-Clerk Ormiston was called the Curse of Scotland. And when the Ladies were at Cards, the Nine of Diamonds (also commonly called the Curse of Scotland) was known to them as The Justice Clerk. In the 18th century in Scotland, the nine of diamonds was considered to be the most unlucky card in the deck.
Ormiston was one of the Commissioners promoted to inquire into the Massacre of Glencoe on 28 May 1695, and he became unpopular because of the powers awarded to his position in order for him to reach conclusions in the muderous affair. In February 1699 he succeeded Lord Raith as Treasurer-depute of Scotland, which he retained until the accession of Queen Anne, when he was dismissed from all his offices.
Later however, he obtained a commission appointing him a second time as Lord Justice Clerk, dated 8 January 1705, and was at the same time appointed to succeed Lord Whitelaw as a Lord Ordinary in the Court of Session, a place he retained until his death, in his 79th year.
The connection between Ormiston and the playing card is surely rooted in Glencoe. If you need reminding, John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of Stair was Scottish lowland noble who convinced King William to sign an order to extirpate the clan McDonald in a heinous event known as the Massacre of Glencoe. Extirpate here meaning something like — root out and destroy.
Scotland was outraged, especially when King William absolved both himself and the Earl of any wrongdoing. The Dalrymple coat of arms features nine diamonds arranged like the playing card, so it is very likely that the nine of diamonds became associated with the much-hated Dalrymple.
Now Read PART TWO.
The ruins of Inverugie Castle lie on the north bank of the Ugie, about two miles from Peterhead. Inverugie stands on a slight eminence, with the river winding round it on three sides, the banks being finely wooded.
A legend says that Inverugie's name is properly ‘Pot Sunk Ann’, as it’s said that one of the Earls of Keith married Ann, a daughter of Crawford, Laird of Fedderat and that after a year of marriage, she was warned in a dream to leave the house.
Anne was said to have left the castle in the midst of a fearsome storm, and guided by the same treacherous spirit that visited her dreams, she was drowned in an attempt to cross the swollen river.
In the words of the ballad Old Inverugie:
She screamed for help, but none was near,
No succour to implore;
She floated to the eddie neuk,
Then sunk to rise no more.
And to this day that fatal spot
Is known to many man,
And rustic neighbours point the spot,
And tell you ‘There Sunk Ann’.
Filed under 'Sex Clubs of the Enlightenment', The Beggar's Benison was a drinking club in Anstruther, Fife, which lasted from its establishment in until 1836.
The Beggar's Benison is famous now for the collective masturbation of its members, something that made up a part of the intititaion ceremony. The club's members were basically from the upper classes of Fife society, being landowners, merchants and customs contrololers and the like, and they dined and drank together, and related obscene songs and toasts. Much of their purpose of the club was the discussion of sex and anatomy, and the club had a stock of pornography as well as a habit of hiring naked "posture girls" for the members to examine.
This is a list of the Club's Founding Members, as related in a document titled
RECORDS OF THE MOST ANCIENT AND PUISSANT ORDER OF THE BEGGAR'S BENISON AND MERRYLAND, ANSTRUTHER,
published in Anstruther and PRINTED FOR PRIVATE DISTRIBUTION ONLY (MDCCCXCII)
As a subscribed "Friend of Unst" you are entitled to a regular digest of all the Local Doings on the island as well as a quarterly "fry" of chops (or saucermeat) and all for $59.99 a year.
Since your last visit to Unst we have seen the forced departure of Malcolm and Cassandra Pepys from the 'Bide Awa' in Baltasound, due to a disagreement over boundaries with the North Sea. The eviction of Mr and Mrs Pepys saw scenes of unprecedented English lunacy from Malcolm as he tried, unavailingly, to reform the tidal nature of the oceans with an ornamental arch of Huddersfield Brick. It is believed that the Pepys' have emigrated to Bangladesh "to see how they fu**ing like it". We hope his butchery experience serves him well.
This left a sad hole in the tourism infrastructure and of course in the wife-fighting team of the island, so we were glad that the 'Bide Awa' quickly attracted New Owners (and who wouldn't want to own this gorgeous guest outlet?) Johnnie and Babs Dalrymple, originally of Callander in Mozambique, have brought a great deal of unwonted energy and colour to the island, and indeed the whole place is buzzing with expectation at the thought of having such rhythmic people in our midst.
Elsie Johnson at the Cooked Meats and Frost Fish dealership said that this should give us the edge on Yell in all the sprint finals in this years' Shetland Sports, and we were surprised indeed to find that the Dalrymples are Full Christians and have very few 'extra' dietary needs, though the Special Constabulary are still on Red Alert, just in case.
From The Golden Bough:
"In some parts of Amboyna, when the state of the clove plantations indicate that the crop is likely to be scanty, the men go naked to the plantations by night, and there seek to fertilise the trees precisely as they would impregnate women, while at the same time they call out for "More Cloves!" This is supposed to make the trees bear more fruit."
Which explains no doubt the desperate, guttural cries of "More Lambs!" heard throughout the Spring in Scotland.
More at Gimcrack Hospital
I have always been drawn to this description of the Black Plague in Scotland from Andrew of Wyntoun. Wyntoun was a Scottish poet, a canon and prior of Loch Leven on St Serf's Inch and later, a canon of St. Andrews.
Andrew Wyntoun is most famous for his Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, which contains an early mention of Robin Hood. A striking feature in this description of the plague is the reiteration of the fact that every historian and chronicler repeats about the Black Death, that when it raged, a third of the population died from it. Actually, chroniclers in other countries have stated that anywhere between fifty and ninety percent of the population died.
Though the plague definitely hit Scotland in 1349, it seems to have been less damaging here than elsewhere, perhaps due to the harshness of the winter. Although this changed in 1350, the plague does also seem to have had an effect on English and Scottish relations.
I think I am most drawn in this to the cute word 'barnys' - 'bairns' to you and me. The Book of Pluscarden (Liber Pluscardensis) also talks of a third of the population being wiped out, so the figure must be fair.
In Scotland, the fyrst Pestilens
Begouth, off sa gret wyolens,
That it was sayd, off lywandf men
The thyrd part it destroyid then
Efftyr that in till Scotland
A yhere or more it was wedand
Before that tyme was never sene
A pestilens in our land sda kene:
Bathe men and barnys and women
It sparred noucht for to kille them.
The Trials of Oz by Tony Palmer is as much history as it is literary curiosity. In fact until such time as we return to upholding prejudicial and Victorian attitudes to print and sexual culture, it will only get funnier.
That the judge in particular is prone to question the meaning and relevance of so many things and labels homosexuality for example as a perversion, is simply antiquated. In the teeth of so much evidence, much hypocrisy is revealed.
The character list includes John Mortimer of course, and witnesses such as John Peel, George Melly and Marty Feldman, called to testify upon Oz's artistic merits ('if any').
Some images from my home planet. Each one of us on that planet is unique, even if that uniqueness is explained in terms of their different genes, memes and environment rather than their separate inner consciousnesses, which are all largely constructed the same. All the beings on that planet were in fact created by natural selection, and their creativity operates on the same system, using these memes, which are the units of cultural information, sort of like genes for culture. So you may think that these images represent actual people or beings on my planet, but they are in fact nothing more threatening than memes competing in a pointless universe.
IMAGES TO FOLLOW!
The jury system is something exceptional in the representitive democracies of present day capitalism, the only time when institutionally ordinary people have real power.
All that happened with the Angry Brigade was that it cheered up the relatively powerless for a while.
both from John Barker in a review of 'Anarchy in the UK: The Angry Brigade' by Tom Vague, AK Press
Subsequent to Vladimar Umanets’ Yellowist deface of Mark Rothko’s painting Black on Maroon an excerpt from The Studio Game from Fledgling Press.
■ People destroy works of art for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they believe that a work of art is valued by other people more than they are. Others have had political motives.
cf. Paul Kelleher : The Destruction of the Statue of Margaret Thatcher Abortively with a Cricket Bat and then with a Metal Pole (2002) Criminal Damage on marble, three month sentence.
Sometimes a mania is a personal fixation that carries itself to a violent conclusion, much like a murder — and sometimes it’s an accident — as in the case of Heery the Hippie of Multiple Solitude who built a twenty foot driftwood Ossian, which blew away into the porridge of the North Sea.
The Tesco lager was an almost translucent, yellow colour, with a good amount of carbonation and short-lived, white head. The immediate aroma was of floral hops with some grassy tones, followed by a little graininess, and some faint malt in the background. Shortly after that I was flinging CDs across the room at Tadg, who was trying to play the trombone.
LOSS RATIOS EXPLAINED. As well as depression related shop-lifting, an abyss of deepness opened, distress flowed up through the slough, and our cousins came to stay for the weekend.
This did not effect the overall performance of the Economy, which suffered only a minimal amount despite the high volume of unhappiness.