A museum in Cromarty.
Published: Tuesday, 08 March 2011 11:14
The Herald, Editorial Notebook, 29 Jan 1993.
The museum of my youth was a dead fish on a plate. The visitor was invited to stare at inanimate objects behind glass. Fustian prose described them. Cromarty Courthouse is as much state of the art as its resources permit: it is animated and animating. But it is not trivialised a la Disneyland: it imparts a great deal of information elegantly and painlessly.
The first surprise, after you have negotiated the narrow steps, is an animatronic figure of Sir Thomas Urquhart (1611-1660). He was a bigwig who lived in Cromarty Tower. He was a royalist, a soldier, a scholar and, above all, an eccentric.
Read more: A museum in Cromarty.
On plans to charge for the Botanics in Edinburgh
Published: Wednesday, 02 March 2011 13:03
FOR a blessed half hour this week I sat on a bench at the herbaceous border in the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Myriad plants were in bloom below the high hedge marching gracefully above them; their subtle colours soothed the mind and emptied it of care.
I have been coming here, on and off, for most of my life. We played childhood games on the daisy-strewn turf and ran about the magically mysterious rock garden, occasionally to the kindly rebukes of the keepers.
Read more: On plans to charge for the Botanics in Edinburgh