Robert Burns in Irvine

Robert Burns and his younger brother Gilbert were encouraged by their father to grow acreage of flax on the family farm at Lochlea. There was also some level of encouragement from the government to raise the crop, though the viability of the crop would subsequently be challenged by imported cotton from America. The treated flax… Continue reading Robert Burns in Irvine

On the Trail of the Elgin Marbles

A Portrait The collection on display at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland is like a treasure trove of things that were and which very likely are still with us. Take for example, what is referred to in the United Kingdom as the ‘Elgin Marbles’. For being constantly in the limelight of international… Continue reading On the Trail of the Elgin Marbles

Modern Art #1 Edinburgh

In the line of chasing up some family relations living in Edinburgh, there was time to call in at one of the sites of modern art in the city  – Modern Art #1.  Driving by car, I seemed to navigate with ease, perhaps emboldened by Google Maps to check progress. The gallery is essentially on… Continue reading Modern Art #1 Edinburgh

The Robert Burns Memorial in Irvine, Scotland

It was a blustery, overcast day with threatening rain, but the gathering at the Robert Burns memorial in Irvine in Scotland recently on Sunday 28th January  was in fine fettle.  The mood could be described as ‘canty’. Essentially organised by the Irvine Burns Club which was founded in 1826, the memorial itself was unveiled in… Continue reading The Robert Burns Memorial in Irvine, Scotland

The Scottish Play in Edinburgh

There are very few plays that written over 400 years ago  succeed in enthralling an audience consistently and with heights of engagement. The recent production of Macbeth staged in Edinburgh and due for onwards productions in London and Washington DC,  forges an abiding memory. A keynote of the production  can be described as ‘never a… Continue reading The Scottish Play in Edinburgh

Waking up the Burrell

Trying Harder In the modern era there is a certain challenge of waking up historical artefacts in major collections to an increased level of perception. This process is quite evident in the recent makeover of the Burrell Collection housed in Glasgow, which first was opened in an imposing modern building in 1983 and which after… Continue reading Waking up the Burrell

First Folio at Mount Stuart

The 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s first folio has been marked in various ways wherever such volumes exist.  This typically has  carried a celebratory tone, by way of remembering a notable work as Ben Johnson confirmed in his dedication in the first folio that the Bard’s work was  ‘for all ages’. Around 50… Continue reading First Folio at Mount Stuart