The second weekend of the Six Nations is upon us, with today's action headlined by a clash between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield. The defending Grand Slam champions arrive in Edinburgh a wounded team after seeing their exceptional run of form and formidable home winning streak ended with a brutal 32-20 defeat to England in which they failed to match the visitors' physicality and intensity. They face a Scotland team that began their campaign with a bonus-point win over Italy but will have been alarmed by a lack of concentration that saw them concede three tries in the final 10 minutes. Saturday's late afternoon action comes from Rome, where Italy, who have now lost 18 successive matches in the competition, will look to build on that late flurry against Wales at the Stadio Olimpico. Warren Gatland has made 10 changes to the side that remarkably overturned a 16-point half-time deficit in Paris on Friday night thanks to some inexplicable French errors. … [Read more...] about Six Nations 2019 LIVE! Scotland vs Ireland, Italy vs Wales
National flower of scotland
0 Have your say On the steep climb to his home, which sits just below the television transmitter at Burntisland, Billy Steele wonders why I’ve come to see him. He doesn’t think there’s much of a story in his rugby career and this feeling of anti-climax is compounded when we reach the handsomely converted steading and thick mist prevents him from showing off the panoramic view across the Forth. “Lucky to win my first cap for Scotland, even luckier to win my second,” he says. This was an opinion expressed by others, although Steele seems to believe it himself. He was a “skinny wee bugger”. He was a bundle of nerves before every game. But, from the Muckle Toon of Langholm via RAF bases to the South African veldt before retiring to Fife, there is a tale here, for sure.Steele was a hero of 1971’s unforgettable wham-bam: two victories over England in a week. First there was our first Five Nations triumph at Twickenham for … [Read more...] about Interview: Billy Steele on turning Flower of Scotland into our anthem
St. Andrew’s Day is celebrated on November 30 – that’s Friday of this week in 2018 – a Scottish Bank Holiday. It’s a day when we have an excuse to drink rather more than we would on a normal Thursday, become maudlin and pontificate, glass in hand, “Wha’s like us? Damn few – an’ they’re a’ deid”. Yet many Scots have little or no idea of why St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and why our national flag is … no, not the lion rampant … the saltire, a white cross on a sky-blue background.In the eighth century, the Pictish King Oengus I built a monastery on the east coast of Fife to house some bones which were said to have come from the body of Andrew, one of Christ’s original twelve disciples, who was crucified on a saltire-shaped cross - a cross like a multiplication sign. King Oengus II, son of Oengus I, is said to have offered prayers to the saint before a battle against English forces from … [Read more...] about Sandy’s Garden … Flower of Scotland
Could the timing of a religious pilgrimage to Israel have worked out any better for Billy Grier, Jim Mackay and Joe Nolan? Well, maybe only if Scotland ’s national football had emerged victorious here Thursday night. As soon as the three East Kilbride -area men learned that the team would be playing in Israel, they hatched a plan to break away from their 35-member tour group from St Vincent de Paul Church. And so it was that, following a day’s visit in Jerusalem to churches and the Western Wall, the trio rode a bus and two trains to reach Haifa’s Sammy Ofer Stadium in time for the match. “It’s wonderful. It’s another miracle in the Holy Land. We call it an ‘enhanced pilgrimage,’” said Mackay, a retired teacher now working as a tour guide at Hampden Park’s Scottish Football Museum. “Do you have a romantic interest? We have had a romantic interest in football since we were two years old,” said Grier, a retired … [Read more...] about Why would you break from religious pilgrimage to watch Scotland?
0 Have your say Toulouse-Lautrec and the emerging nightclub culture of late 19th century Paris were made for each other. As a new National Galleries of Scotland exhibition shows, once there the artist captured its wild appeal and helped create a generation of celebrity performers. By Susan Mansfield In 1882, a young man arrives in Paris. He is immaculately dressed, but he is short in stature and walks with a cane. He is here to train as an artist, having secured a place at the studio of Leon Bonnat in Montmartre, the throbbing, bohemian heart of the city. Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa is about to begin a new life.Raised in an aristocratic family in southern France, plagued by ill-health and cossetted by an over protective mother, Toulouse-Lautrec, alone in Paris at the age of 18, breathed the air of freedom. Soon, he would have his own apartment in Montmartre where he would host an eclectic crowd of artists and bohemians. A regular at the cabaret … [Read more...] about New NGS exhibition shows how Toulouse-Lautrec captured the essence of fin-de-siècle Paris