Warning: Haggis on the Loose!

Source: Glenhaggis.com

For many centuries the haggis has stalked the Edinburgh countryside, terrorising locals and unsuspecting tourists alike.

Noted sightings describe the creature as having the beak of a duck, three legs to cope with the Scottish terrain and the shaggy fur of a highland coo.

The haggis is notoriously elusive, so for the less-experienced haggis hunter there are several organised haggis hunts that you can still register to participate in at:


But you must hurry! Only 5 days left to secure your haggis before Burns Night Supper, which takes place on 25th January. Take care, though — the haggis is a tricksy foe; known conspirators include neeps and tatties, who have had roots in the underground for centuries!

Despite this, the haggis remains a much-loved Scottish resident. This national treasure even inspired Burns to write the famous ‘Address to a Haggis’, traditionally recited before eating.

Happy Hunting!

By Emma Stubbs, Kristen Susienka, Amanda Fisher, & Stephen Gaskell


The Perfect Book

Shutterhacks on Flickr. Shared under a Creative Commons Licence

As a reader, the perfect book has to begin with the words. It must be elegant and eloquent. It’s addictive – I can’t help but keep reading. It draws me in and opens doors to new ideas.  I take the characters wherever I go and sometimes they take me with them. Years later I will find something that wasn’t there before. It will be beautiful to treasure, to hold and to own.

But during working hours, I have a different perspective. I see a book written by an amenable, productive author who understands the business. It is topical but timeless. The artwork is a masterpiece in its own right and will become synonymous with this modern classic. It is met by a receptive audience and critical acclaim. It sells. But more than that, I am proud of this book. It will be beautiful to treasure, to hold and to own.

Oliver: Can We Have Some More…(Sales that is!)

Source: Wiki Commons

This year’s Christmas top 10 bestseller list was dominated by celebrity titles. Jamie Oliver showed that he wasn’t just a flash in the pan with a record-breaking 1.2million sales of 30-Minute Meals. Industry professionals have attributed its success to discounts of up to 50%, though it has been the Amazon bestseller ever since it was launched in September. Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen also opened for business at sixth in the chart.

Comedians Michael McIntyre and Stephen Fry were caught bubbling under with sales of their respective memoirs: Life and Laughing and The Fry Chronicles.

Alan Sugar will have been kept sweet and not had to deliver the infamous catchphrase (and pointing finger of doom) to his publishers Macmillan, after achieving a healthy figure of almost 300,000 sales.  Doubtless, he was not pleased that his memoir’s sales dipped be low those of a fictional, car-insurance advertising meerkat.

The Legend of Craighouse

© Emma Sothern

The nervous group of students waited in Turmeau Hall, not knowing the legend that went before them.

In the plague-ridden year of 1528 the Old Craig building was constructed. It was destroyed in a fire only to be later resurrected from the ashes.

In the 1880s, Grant described it as “a weird-looking mansion, alleged to be ghost-haunted”. By this time it was a lunatic asylum and the ghosts from its history are rumoured to lurk in its corridors.

As the shivering students gathered in the winter gloom, Dave recounted the tale of its traumatic past and enforced upon them the dangers of venturing there alone.

In the infamous winter of 2010, the creepy corridors and the strange happenings in the second floor toilet made this story all too believable. Now, the heating may be back on but the chill lingers…

East Meets West

The National

Attempts are being made to strengthen the relationship between arts in India and Scotland in a visit from the British Council. India is host to the Jaipur Literature Festival, Asia’s leading literary festival.

The festival has significant links to the Scottish arts. Scotland-born author William Dalrymple is founder of the festival that this year will host two other Scottish authors: Alexander McCall Smith and Andrew O’Hagan.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said, “The Jaipur Literature Festival provides a unique platform to promote Scottish writers, and Scotland’s contemporary literature scene, to a global audience”.

The Sunday Herald reported that directors from the Edinburgh Festival, also visiting the Jaipur festival, were hopeful of receiving funding for the Scottish arts that would go towards events such as the Edinburgh International Book Festival. This year the festival is set to host a number of Indian-themed programmes.

The Tale of Team C

© Disney

Once upon a time, thirteen aspiring publishers waited impatiently for a titian-haired whirlwind to work her magic. Avril breezed into their midst and struck fear into the hearts of all who thought they were in for an easy ride.

The instructions and assignments mounted and shock became evident on the once-smiling faces of the students. Their quest was to embark on a live publishing project, which would lead them from the safe haven of theory into the challenging realms of practice. Toiling away from Craighouse Campus, they will face countless challenges such as choosing a story, assigning team roles and responsibilities and working within a tight budget to produce the finest book in the land. Still unfamiliar with each other, they will have to form a tight bond to overcome all obstacles.

Follow their story. Find out if their book will reach the shelves on time and allow them the ‘happily ever after’ they deserve!

App Lang Syne

Source: Wiki Commons

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to min’?

There’s an app for that!

The Scottish Government has produced an iPhone app, developed by Storm ID, which contains the complete works of Robert Burns, including a dictionary of Scottish terms and instructions on how to host a Burns Supper.

Fiona Hyslop, Culture Minister, said, “this app uses the latest technology to bring Burns firmly into the 21st Century.”

Released on January 18th, it is already becoming popular. Reviews posted on the iStore website have been generally positive.

“Great idea and is a lifesaver for me for my first proper Burns supper next week.”  – Hugo Bell, iStore user

Although Robert Burns’ works are available elsewhere, this is the first time they’ve been released in this easily accessible format at no charge. A Burns app was released in June 2009, but did not include all the features and cost $2.99.