Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2017 – From Strength to Strength

The week beginning April 25th had started with snow and finished with some sparkling Spring sunshine on the Spey. Both Craigellachie and Dufftown were buzzing and the already limited parking options shrank with cheerful abandon by the day. It was the best of times, and it was the best of times. David Mckenzie of Speyside…

Alan’s Autumn Almanac 2016

Have a bit of a spring in my step this autumn, owing to me buying my first Canon dSLR camera. It’s an entry level rig that should come in handy for my daughter’s Scottish Higher in Photography and day to day business in web design. These were taken during the last week of October in…

5 Common Web Mistakes Made by Moray Business Owners

 01. I didn’t have thousands of pounds to spend, so I did it all myself. First off, a basic 5-page website could cost you as little as £350. Depending on the size of your product catalogue a reasonable web designer could even add a Paypal shopping cart to the site for £150 or so. Whilst…

Death of Umberto Eco: Never Leaving, Always Arriving

He provided signposts in a world of infinite junctions, a road map in a world of infinite signs. Discovering Umberto Eco at University was a bit like discovering sex. During the long bleak months of winter 1990 I’d read his novel, The Name of The Rose back to back with Travels in Hyperreality — a witty…

Mobile Friendly Web Design For Moray: Latest Google Annoucement

Latest announcement from Google confirms that mobile-friendly websites will be given preferential treatment in Google web results from April 2015. Be responsible – get ‘responsive’. Well, we have been speculating about this for a while now, but it seems that ‘mobile-friendliness’ is going to be an increasingly major factor in how websites are going to…

Victor Grayson MP Timeline Biography

Timeline September 1881: Victor Grayson is born in Liverpool. Just a few months previously the Grayson family had been living on Sidney Street in the Poplar district of London. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the area was home to the largest Russian émigré community in the UK. Lenin and Stalin would later hold…

Craigellachie Hotel – History of the Resort

The following report from the Aberdeen Press and Journal, dated 24 May 1899 shows how the Craigellachie hotel has lost its original charm — despite the custard reboot (feature photo dated 1921). THE DEVELOPMENT OF CRAIGELLACHIE ITS HOTEL, ITS SCENERY, AND ITS INDUSTRIES A party of Aberdonians spent e delightful week end at Craigellachie Hotel where…

Secret Terrorist Societies Unearthed – Lloyd’s News May 9th 1920

As Toplis made his getaway north, Lloyd’s Sunday News reported that Scotland Yard were making progress with their investigation into a number of alleged anarchist groups infiltrating the higher echelons of British civil society. Police believed a ‘special order’ had been given by the new Bolshevik leaders in Moscow to ‘foment unrest’ on British Soil…

Textploitation: Getting the Most Out of Content Marketing and Social Media

Slate columnist, Farhad Manjoo asked Josh Schwartz, a data scientist at the traffic analysis company Chartbeat, to explore the scrolling habits of its readers; just how far down the page would users scroll before hitting the exit button? For Manjoo, the data that Chartbeat pulled out wasn’t reassuring; the vast majority of readers scrolled no…

Victor Grayson: The Curious Case of the Disappearing MP & the Etaples Mutiny

  In November 1916 former Colne Valley Socialist MP and would-be revolutionary Victor Grayson enlisted with the 1st Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment in New Zealand. On September 9th the following year, he and his regiment arrived at Etaples Camp just as riots were taking place by New Zealand and Scottish Troops. What part if any…

Not all design is art and not all art is achieved by design

My daughter has discovered Pixlr, a cloud-based photo-editing tool and photo-sharing device designed for non-professional users. I suppose this is another example of the democratizing nature of the web. It levels the playing field for storytellers everywhere. It used to be the case that ‘art’ was a studied discipline that attempted to capture the spontaneity…

James Cullen – The Scottish Mutineer at Etaples

Unlike Percy Toplis, there is  no doubt whatsoever that Glasgow’s James Cullen took part in the Etaples Mutiny. We have his service records to thank for that, and his service records show that he was sentenced to one year imprisonment for refusing to obey orders at the time the riots at the camp broke out…

Textploitation Part III: The Digital Exchange Mechanism

I started this series of articles by looking at how Slate columnist, Farhad Manjoo tackled an increasingly thorny issue: users of websites were scrolling no further than halfway down the page and often ‘re-tweeting’ posts with barely a glance at their content. On the face of things, Manjoo just wasn’t willing to tolerate the user…

Detective & Secret Service Days – Edwin Woodhall

“Percy couldn’t have been at the Mutiny in Etaples because that month he was on the troopship, Orontes heading to India with his regiment”. Or so the story goes. It was used to undermine the whole pretext of John Fairley and William Allison’s book, The Monocled Mutineer and it’s been repeated by journalists ever since….