Wee Magic Stane

The Stone of Destiny movie is out now and I am really looking forward to seeing it. From my primary school years i can remember the below poem by John McEvoy.

Wee Magic Stane
O the Dean of Westminster wis a powerful man,
He held all the strings of State in his hand,
But with all this great business it flustered him nane,
Till some rogues ran away wi’ his wee magic stane.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Noo the Stane had great pow’rs that could dae such a thing
And withoot it, it seemed, we’d be wantin’ a King,
So he called in the Polis and gave this decree–
“Go an hunt oot the Stane and return it tae me.”
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

So the Polis went beetlin up tae the North,
They huntit the Clyde and they huntit the Forth,
But the wild folk up yonder just Kiddit them a’,
For they didnae believe it wis magic at a’,
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Noo the Provost o’ Glesga, Sir Victor by name,
Wis awfy pit oot when he heard o the Stane,
So he offered the statues that staun in the Square,
That the High Churches’ Masons might mak a few mair.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Whan the Dean o’ Westminster wi’ this wis acquaint,
He sent for Sir Victor and made him a Saint,
“Now it’s no use you sending your Statues down heah,”
Said the Dean, “But you’ve giv’n me a right good idea,”
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

So he quarried a Stane o’the very same stuff,
And he dressed it a’ up till it looked like enough,
Then he sent for the Press and announced that the Stane,
Had been found and returned to Westminster again.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Whan the reivers found oot what Westminster had done,
They went aboot diggin up Stanes by the ton,
And fur each wan they finished they entered a claim,
That this wis the true and original Stane.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Noo the cream o the joke still remains to be telt,
For the bloke that wis turnin them aff on the belt,
At the peak o production wis so sorely pressed,
That the real yin got bunged in alang wi the rest.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

So if ever you come on a Stane wi’ a ring,
Jist sit yersel doon and proclaim yersel King,
Fur there’s nane wud be able to challege yir claim,
That you’d croont yersel King on the Destiny Stane.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

What would happen if…..

… you stepped into the beam of a particle accelerator:

Somebody actually did it by accident. In 1978, Russian researcher Anatoli Bugorski performed a high-energy physics version of the old ‘looking into the hose to see why it’s not working’ slapstick staple. Believing that the accelerator at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino was turned off due to a fault, he looked in to check on it – and was hit by a proton beam. His faced swelled up, his skin peeled off and all the nerves on the left side of his face burned away over the course of a few years. However, he survived – albeit with a half-paralysed face and a tendency toward seizures as a memento of his brush with the particle beam.


What interesting information for a sunday morning!

Farewell to the legendary QE2

Last December my best mate introduced me to the amazing experience that is QE2, the worlds most famous, and last, ocean going cruise liner.  The weekend cruise that we went on was triggered by the news that QE2 was to be sold to Dubai to become a floating hotel.

Well this past weekend was QE2’s last ever visit to her home river, the Clyde. It was over 41 years ago the Queen Elizabeth II launched her and today the Clyde, and it’s people, showed QE2 a magnificent time as she came home.

My mate had booked tickets to do several cruises on the MV Balmoral; a morning trip to sail down the river and lead QE2 up to Greenock, a daytime trip to sail past while she was berthed and then an evening cruise to escort QE2 from the Clyde. I was really glad when he offered me one of the tickets for the morning and evening trips.

Sailing out of Greenock early on Sunday morning and going down the Clyde we knew that it was going to be a glorious day. For the last couple of weeks it has left that autumn had well and truly arrived in Scotland, but for one last day, the day QE2 was coming home, we had a final day of glorious summer sunshine.

My mate has made a complete page on his website for the day, I was using his video camera so all the shaky handed movies are my work, but his photos are amazing.

The flotilla of boats that were out there to meet QE2 was incredible, and included HMS Manchester, which gave the liner a military escort up the river, and at one point put the pedal to the metal (can you do that in a ship?) and showed some impressive charging through the water.

At Greenock, in fact all along the coast, the crowds came out to welcome and cheer QE2, lots of saltires and lion rampants were flying, from both ship and shore. I think it is fair to say that a lot of people around the Clyde, who remember the ship being launched or perhaps even worked on it, still that she belongs to them.

The evening sailaway was another amazing scene; fireworks going off over QE2 and still a fair few boats were out on the Clyde to escort her down past Toward and watch her sail off.