Monday, 1 January 2018

Angus Castle Fly-by

I was struck by the beauty of a recently posted YouTube video by a Skip Brown featuring the delights of Angus. I waited and waited, would Balintore Castle appear? It did! 

There is a sequence with a number of fortified buildings in Angus appearing starting at 1:35. I have included stills of Balintore Castle, Airlie Castle and Cortachy Castle from the video. It is rare that you see Airlie and Cortachy from the air. 

Drones are certainly giving us a fresh and joyous view of our landscapes, and this is to be greatly celebrated. I have embedded the video at the end of this blog entry. The whole video is worth watching for itself not just for the "fortified buildings".

Balintore Castle from the air

Airlie Castle from the air

Cortachy Castle from the air

I am Lord Fingal

I seem to have found myself an alter ego: "Lord Fingal" of Skye Castle, who is a lovable Scottish Terrier character in the animated BBC children's TV programme "Hey Duggee". I am grateful to a friend (with a small child) for introducing me to "Hey Duggee", which is remarkable, if not unique, for the fact that parental enjoyment does not need to be feigned. 

I am grateful to my scrum master (also with small children) for introducing me to Lord Fingal and insisting that he become my avatar for a variety of professional online purposes.

Lord Fingal

The conundrum is whether Lord Fingal is a Skye Terrier as he lives in Skye Castle? Internet research says "yes and no". Lord Fingal is, to be precise, a Scottish Terrier (Scottie or Aberdeen Terrier), but historically Scotties and other Highland terriers were grouped as "Skye Terriers". Fascinatingly, the Skye Terrier proper is almost extinct, despite the most famous non-fictional dog in the world, Greyfriars Bobby, being of this breed. 

Fingal is voiced by Alexander Armstrong in the style of Billy Connolly, and you will have to decide if there is any resemblance between Lord Fingal and myself. :-) However, before my Mum passed away, and as I was fussing around in her hospital room and sorting things out, she looked at me and I could see she was thinking deeply. "You are like a little Jack Russell terrier." she remarked wisely. It was a time in our lives when we spoke the great truths. I was inwardly pleased as I like to think I have the persistence and activity levels of a terrier, and indeed I have held terriers in great affection, particularly Border Terriers and Jack Russells, before and even more since this incident.

There is no doubt, however, that there is a remarkable resemblance between Skye and Balintore Castles: with a observation turret in the middle, a flag pole, round turrets in the corners, and an arched front door.

Skye Castle
I did upload a very short segment of Lord Fingal to YouTube for including in this blog, but this disappeared after a couple of hours due to copyright infringement: there must be some auto-detection going on. The whole episode was out there on the Web anyhow, so I wasn't sure whether a few seconds would be problematic or not. Anyhow, now we know. :-) If you want to see Lord Fingal in action for yourselves, he appears in Series 1 Episode 17 entitled "The Castle Badge".