Friday, September 18, 2009

In the wee small hours

Finally arrived and I must say after a 14 hour leg to Abu Dhabi and another 7 hours to Heathrow London, the longest leg seemed climbing the five flights of stairs to my room in the cheap and cheerful Jubilee Hotel in Ecceles Square in Victoria, Central London.
Of course I’m still on Ozzie time and after collapsing on my bed when I arrived, I woke up and flicked on the television in the wee hours of Friday, to see what time it was in London.
It was 2 am, and I was glued for the next hour or so to a documentary hosted by Peter C ( A Scotsman who starred in my favourite movie of all times, Local Hero) talking about Scottish Identity and artists.
Some of the names I need to explore when I connect to the internet. Oison./Oisson?, he started to define a Celtic, Scottish sensibility, way before Burns or Walter Scott. A contemporary artist called John Byrne worth investigating and others whose names I didn’t catch.
One of the things that struck me was the romantic notion of Scotland that was created around the time Balmoral Castle was rebuilt for Queen Victoria. This ideal attracted wealthy English tourists to travel to the Highlands but of course nothing was said of the highland clearances and the poverty and hard times endured by the local Scots.


Irish warrior-poet of the Fenian cycle of hero tales. The name Ossian became known throughout Europe in 1762 – 63 when the Scottish poet James Macpherson (1736 – 96) published the epics Fingal and Temora, which he represented as translations of works by the 3rd-century Gaelic poet Ossian. The poems were widely acclaimed and influential in the Romantic movement, but their authorship was later doubted, notably by Samuel Johnson (1775), and they were eventually determined to have been written largely by Macpherson.

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