Thousands took part in the raucous festivities which ended in a fiery climax with the burning of a Viking longship on Tuesday night.
Europe‘s biggest fire festival has been hailed as a success after nearly 1000 costumed “guizers” carried flaming torches which would set the 30ft Viking galley alight.
Don’t miss the video report on the same page! Meanwhile, here are some pictures of this stunning event.
Strange Random Viking Quote:
Go you must.
No guest shall stay
in one place for ever.
Love will be lost
if you sit too long
at a friend’s fire.
- The Havamal or Book of Viking Wisdom
- The Wiccan Book of Day for Jan. 30th – Up-Helly-Aa (witchesofthecraft.com)
- Vikings celebrate Norse heritage in Europe’s biggest fire festival (telegraph.co.uk)
- Photos: Shetland Islanders celebrate Viking legacy (vancouversun.com)
- VIDEO: Shetland celebrates Viking heritage (bbc.co.uk)
- Best pictures from the past 24 hours (theglobeandmail.com)
- Welcome to the Shetlands: Up Helly Aa (flyfarandfast.com)
“Our first customer was an Adelaide plastic surgeon who bought a bottle at a charity auction and paid $500 for it in February this year,” co-owner Ian Schmidt said.
The surgeon has been back to buy more, and the single malt batch 002, lauded as liquid gold by Mr Murray, has sold out at $110 a pop.
The company established a website this year and is receiving increasing numbers of purchases online. Most hits are from Australia, followed by the US and Ireland. It also has won medals through the Malt Whisky Society of Australia.
Strange Random Whisky Quote:
“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.” – W. C. Fields (American Comic and Actor, 1880-1946)
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Whisky (Which I Learned from Glenfiddich) (ginosblog.com)
- Whiskey, Scotch & Bourbon: What’s the Difference? (italianenglishblog.wordpress.com)
- Scotland’s Old Pulteney takes 2012 Whisky of the Year title (100gf.wordpress.com)
- Whisky, Japan’s Next Big Export? (blogs.wsj.com)
- Wick malt ‘world’s best whisky’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Rare bottle of 55-year-old single malt whiskey fetches £46,000 to set new world record (dailymail.co.uk)
- Indian Companies Passing Off Alcohol As ‘Scotch whisky’ (aussiecigars.com)
- Spirits of The Times: Whisky From Islay, Scotland – Spirits of The Times (nytimes.com)
- Whisky Blender (uncrate.com)
Bye, bye England? SNP plans closer Scandinavian ties after independence – UK Politics – UK – The Independent
An independent Scotland would shift much of its attention away from the UK to become a member of the Scandinavian circle of countries, with its own army, navy and air force modelled on its Nordic neighbours, according to detailed plans being drawn up by the SNP.
Senior SNP strategists are compiling a “prospectus for independence” which they hope to use to sell the idea of separation to Scots ahead of the referendum in 2014 or 2015.
The document is not due to be published in full for another year but SNP insiders have disclosed key extracts.
They reveal that SNP leaders want an independent Scotland to look north and east in Europe for partnerships, trade and key defence relationships, rather than continuing to focus on western Europe and the Commonwealth, as the UK does now.
Senior Nationalists, including Alex Salmond, have made several trips to Scandinavia over the last couple of years, meeting ministers and officials in an attempt to pave the way for greater co-operation if Scotland becomes independent, particularly on energy. Indeed, initial plans have already been drawn up for an electricity super-grid between Scotland and Norway.
Strange Random Independence Quote:
- SNP ‘is ignoring eurozone crisis’ (guardian.co.uk)
- It’s the economy, stupid! : Scottish business and independence (politicsontoast.com)
- Scotland Calling (ansionnachfionn.com)
- How Scandinavian is Scotland? (bbc.co.uk)
- Scottish nationalists look to Scandinavia (upi.com)
- Independence support rises to a six-year high – Scotsman (scotsman.com)
- Curiouser and curiouser (charioteers.org)
If you’re in the UK right now and dreaming of a White Christmas (just like the ones you used to know), then you’re very much in luck, although ironically there’s no money to be made this year. Life’s like that …
William Hill has slashed the odds against a white Christmas in every UK city. A month ago, the bookmaker was offering odds of 8-1 in most cities; now it rates a white Christmas as odds on in Scotland. The odds around the nation are: Aberdeen 8-11; Edinburgh 4-5; Glasgow 4-5; Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, York, all evens; Belfast 11-10; Birmingham, Liverpool, evens; Cardiff, Exeter, London, Cambridge, Bristol, Lincoln, Norwich, Oxford, all 5-4.
Strange Random Snow Quote:
There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor’s. – Clyde Moore
- Bookmakers slash odds on white Christmas in Manchester as new cold snap looms (menmedia.co.uk)
- Britain comes to standstill as winter storm hits (mirror.co.uk)
- Arctic blast brings prospect of white Christmas (independent.co.uk)
- Forecasters predict white Christmas (mirror.co.uk)
- Frozen Britain: Coldest December on record causes chaos on roads and at airports (dailymail.co.uk)
- UK snow: white Christmas ‘forgone conclusion’ as big freeze hits December 25 (telegraph.co.uk)
“Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station.”
You can listen to people from a specific country or browse by native language, which may be more useful if you’re a language student. To give you an idea of the possibilities, compare the following native speakers (all links open in a new window):
- english14, male, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
- english24, male, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
- english106, female, Los Angeles, California, USA
- english196, female, Suva, Fiji
- english270, male, cape town, South Africa
- english274, female, Sydney, Australia
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Strange Random Accent Quote:
I shouldn’t be saying this – high treason, really – but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren’t fooled by our accent into detecting brilliance that may not really be there. – Stephen Fry