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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 09/10/14

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

THE ROYAL EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO!


    The commentator - the Voice of the Castle - brings the audience together, cheering individually for their countries but united in an international fraternity.The tunes are echoes of a glorious and often tragic past, of freedom and glory and of suffering and loss ... 'The Garb of Old Gaul' and The Skye Boat Song' and the rousing quick marches, 'Dumbarton's Drums' and 'All the Blue Bonnets are over the Border'.
   The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show in the world, enjoyed by an international television audience of 100 million. There is, however, no substitute for being there in person as part of the 217,000-strong audience over its three-week season on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle who don't simply watch the show but become a part of it.





    In the glowering twilight, Edinburgh Castle slumbers, resting, waiting for nightfall and for the footlights that will transform it into a dazzling stage set for the world's most spectacular show. Down Castlehill, along the Lawnmarket, around the cathedral church of St Giles, through the closes of the Royal Mile and the narrow streets whose setts ring with history, people gather in the dusk of a late summer evening.
    Turning their faces to the great castle rock, where ancient clans first settled the area, which was to become the capital of Scotland and where now stands Edinburgh's mighty fortress, they join a crowd that will soon be an audience, rapt with enthusiasm for the unique spectacle that is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
    Climbing the final rise towards the Castle Esplanade, walking companionably together, eight and ten abreast, eager old hands who come every year but never lose the thrill of a Tattoo ahead, and new folk, many on holiday from other proud nations a world away, who are about to witness the show they will never forget...




    Settling into their seats, the fresh clear air exhilarating, the sky above the Castle deepening first to heather-colours of lilac and purple before darkness slips down and the floodlit castle draws all eyes.
    French shake hands with English, Japanese nod smilingly to Swedish neighbours, native Scots welcome Italians. The Tattoo is family now.
    A hush falls and darkness deepens, the great oak gates of the Castle sweep open and the swell of the pipes and drums cracks through the night sky. As the massed bands march out in their hundreds across the drawbridge, flanked by effigies of William Wallace and Robert The Bruce, emotions run high: this matchless spectacle unfailingly enthrals, symbolising the Scotland that everyone holds dear in their heart.
    Every Edinburgh Tattoo begins with this vivid and intensely emotional display, and may it always be so. For these are Scotland's finest fighting men (pipers and drummers are soldiers first, musicians second) playing the stirring tunes that over centuries have given courage and inspiration on battlefields in every corner of the globe. Lest we forget, we have our pipes and drums.


    Now a dazzling show is spread out on the Esplanade, a whirling and colourful kaleidoscope of music, dance and display. It may be exciting - daredevil motorcycles at speed and the breathtaking re-enactment of battles, or exotic - Turkish music and Chinese dancers, or simply the best of Scottish - Highland dancers wheeling and swirling to a fiddle orchestra.
    Such is the blend of home and international talent that the show is always fresh, exciting and alive, even for the many faithful fans who 'never miss' a yearly visit to the Tattoo. Over some 60 years of the Tattoo they would have seen performers from more than 40 countries - from Australia to Canada, Africa to Fiji, France to Nepal, The Netherlands to the United States.






    International guest performers bring another dimension to a familiar pageant but it is the pipes and drums, which serve as the emotional core, the heart of the Tattoo which Scots, love fiercely and visitors quickly take to their own hearts.
    And above all else the awesome presence of the Castle, great flaring torches lighting its venerable walls and creating mysterious shadow plays on the honey coloured stone.
Now, the audience gather themselves together for the finale. All 1000 or so performers are on the Esplanade, column after column of marchers, dancers, and bandsmen. The audience joins in the great chorus of singing and cheering, and applause and cries of 'Bravo!' before a hush falls for the singing of the Evening Hymn, the sounding of the Last Post and the lowering of the flags.
    And finally, all eyes are drawn to the Castle ramparts, where a single spotlight cues the Lone Piper to play his haunting lament, the high notes echoing across the still night sky and across the dark city, as the flames of the Castle torchlights and the piper's warming brazier flicker and slowly die.






    Fireworks burst out against the black sky, but the spell is not broken for when we sing 'Auld Lang Syne' and shake our neighbour's hand, the emotions linger and the heart is full.
    Tattoo-goers all, united by international friendship, the shared love of a nation, its music and its traditions.

'Will ye no come back again'? says the haunting old song and our answer must be 'oh, yes and very soon'.

Tattoo Fact File


  • The first Edinburgh Tattoo took place in 1950. There were eight items in the programme.
  • More than 12 million people have attended the Tattoo. The annual audience is around 217,000.


  • Each year 100,000 people visit the Tattoo's new attraction at the top of the Royal Mile. The Spirt of the Tattoo - the compelling story of Edinburgh's Military Tattoo, featuring an interactive exhibition, movie theatre and gift shop.
  • The first commercial twelve inch stereo LP record of the Tattoo was released in 1961.
  • 2009 marked the Tattoo’s eleventh successive sell-out season, generating some £6.2 million in box office receipts.
  • Around 35 miles of cabling (the distance from Edinburgh to Glasgow) is required.
  • The event was first seen in colour on TV in 1968.



  • From 1950 to 1991, there were four producers - Lt Col George Malcolm of Poltalloch, Brigadier MacLean, Brigadier Sanderson and Lt Col Dow.
  • Major Michael Parker then took over as producer for the 1992, 1993 and 1994 Tattoos. He was succeeded by Brigadier Melville Jameson in 1995, who in turn was followed by Major General Euan Loudon in March 2007.
  • The first overseas regiment to participate was the Band of the Royal Netherlands Grenadiers. The year was 1952, and there were also performers from Canada and France.
  • The first lone piper was Pipe Major George Stoddart. He played in every performance for the first eleven years. His son, Major Gavin Stoddart, followed his father as lone piper at the Tattoo and became Director of Army Bagpipe Music for 12 years.
  • Hollywood movie producer Mike Todd, the fourth husband of film star Elizabeth Taylor, made a documentary programme on the Tattoo in 1950.





  • Not a single performance of the Tattoo has ever been cancelled.
  • The Tattoo is set up and run for charitable purposes. Over the years, it has gifted some £5 million to service and civilian organisations.
  • At the last official independent count, visitors to the Tattoo contributed an estimated £88 million to the Scottish economy.
  • The Tattoo has always been staged at Edinburgh Castle. Rehearsals take place at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.
  • Over 40 countries have been represented at the Tattoo.


  • The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries - ‘Doe den tap toe’ (‘Turn off the taps’).
  • Around 100 million people see the Tattoo each year on international television.
  • Approximately 70 per cent of each audience is from outwith Scotland. Half of these are from overseas.

HOW TO MAKE A SECRET HOLLOW BOOK!

This was found at www.how2dostuff.blogspot.com .  Really a neat idea to hide something you don't want someone else to know about.  Good luck!



How To Make a Secret Hollow Book:



The first step into making the hollow book is to select a book. Make sure this is a book your own, and not one belonging to the library, or your family. I suggest rummaging through books at yard/garage sales.








Make sure it is a hardback; otherwise you will cut all the way through the other side when you are cutting out the insides.

You'll also need:
  1. Elmer's white glue
  2. a container to hold glue solution (I've chosen a film canister)
  3. X-acto knife, and/or box cutter. Both if you have them
  4. brush to apply glue solution
  5. pencil/pen
  6. ruler, or other rigid straight edge

Select a page that you want to be the first one cut out, and save that page to be cut out at the end. (I'll explain later) Even if you don't want to save any pages at the beginning of the book, you must set one aside for a later step.

Mix a solution of white glue and water. Just enough for the glue to be runny, and absorbed by the edge of the book's pages. 50% to 70% glue (30% to 50% water) worked well for me. - Half a film canister full was enough for this book.

Holding the remaining pages together, brush the edges with the glue solution - enough to soak in pretty well, but not too drippy.








Allow this to dry, but use a spacer so the first couple pages, and the front cover don't get stuck. I spaced mine with post-it notes, and used some old hard disk platters to apply pressure. It dries quickly- about 15 to 30 min





When dry, open the book to the first glued page.




Draw out a half-inch boarder around the edge on all four sides. (Don't forget along the spine too.)








Using a strait edge and knife, cut out along the inside of the line. Try to make the cut as vertical as possible, or else try to tilt so the hole will narrow as you go down.








Continue cutting down through the layers. I found that a box cutter was easier to keep straight. This part takes a long time. I recommend listening to music while you work. Watching TV though could be distracting, and you could also cut a page out of your finger. (no, I didn't.)








The longer you spend on it, the smoother and straighter the inside edges of your book will be. My first attempts at this yielded rough edges, but the fuzz flattens down a little when glued (later).

After a while, you can store some of your tools in it while you take breaks. I did this book in 2 evenings.








When you get to the back of the book, and through the last page, stop. Dump out all the little paper fuzz that inevitably comes from the cutting.

Next, brush the glue solution on the inside edges of the pages. Give it a bit to soak in. A little bit of drippiness is okay, as the glue dries clear. This is also a good time to apply a second coat to the outside of the pages with the excess glue.








Brush the rim of the book with a light coat of glue. This will affix it to that one page we saved earlier (and will cut through later).








Close the book again, this time without any spacers. Give it another 15-30 minutes to dry. Clean up any glue that drips on your desk, like it did mine.








Remember that first page we saved? It’s now glued to the rest of the book. Lets all turn there now.

Cut through this first page with your knife to open it. The insides of the book may still be a little gooey since there was no air inside to let it dry. -So let it dry now.








When it’s dry, you're done!

Fill it with whatever treasured items (or contraband) you choose.





Happy hiding.

SEPTEMBER UNUSUAL HOLIDAYS AND OBSERVANCES!







September 1: Chicken Boy's Day - Buy a chicken suit and wear it all day to commemorate Chicken Boy.

September 2: V-J Day - V-J...Is that like PJ day? Oh, no - I guess it stands for Victory in Japan.

September 3: National Lazy Moms Day (2010) - Are you a lazy mom? Then this day is for you!

September 4: Give the dog a break and carry in your own newspaper for once.





September 5: Be Late for Something Day - This gives you a sound excuse to be late for something.

September 6: Labor Day - Go to work and labor...oh, wait - most people have the day off from work. Never mind.

September 7: Google Day - Google yourself.

September 8: International Literacy Day - This is good news if you don't know how to read; today you will learn how.

September 9: Wonderful Weirdoes Day - For all those wonderful weirdoes out there.






September 10: Swap Ideas Day - Got an idea? Swap with someone!

September 11: Remembrance Day - Be extra careful not to forget anything.

September 12: Video Games Day - Oh, great, now the guys have an excuse to play video games all day...

September 13: International Chocolate Day - Gee, seems like there is a day dedicated to chocolate at least once a month! Must be popular.

September 14: Wild Card - Create your own holiday today.






September 15: Felt Hat Day - Buy felt in your favorite color and make yourself a funky hat to wear.

September 16: Step-Family Day - If you don't have a step-family, create one for the day.

September 17: Citizenship Day - Be a good citizen. Maybe you'll win an award.

September 18: National Respect Day - Hopefully, some of us will learn what the word means.

September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day - Oy, matey! Yes, I'm talking to you.






September 20: National Women Road Warrior Day (2010) - If you are a woman, sign up to become a warrior.

September 21: International Day of Peace - I hope you can have a peaceful day.

September 22: Dear Diary Day - Start each sentence you say with, "Dear Diary."

September 23: Earth Overshoot Day - This means we have used up all our resources for the year; guess you'll have to do without until January 1st.

September 24: Punctuation Day - Make sure to punctuate every sentence you speak.




September 25: National One-Hit Wonder Day - To take the words right out of Holidaypedia's mouth, "Give a little boogie love to all those artists who hit it big once and then faded into oblivion."

September 26: Johnny Appleseed Day - Plant an apple tree in honor of Johnny Appleseed.

September 27: Ancestor Appreciation Day - Make a family tree and list all your ancestors up until 20 generations ago. You thought it was gonna be easy, didn't you?

September 28: World Maritime Day - Research and write a paper on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment for World Maritime Day.

September 29: National Attend Your Grandchild's Birth Day - Since we all have grandchildren being born today.







September 30: Shemini Atzeret Day - Tell me what Shemini Atzeret Day is. In just one word.

NATIONAL FOOD HOLIDAYS IN SEPTEMBER!






    Each day in America is a national food holiday and what better way to celebrate by enjoying those foods. Now, you don't have to wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to enjoy a delicious food filled holiday. In this article you will find a list of national food holidays for the month of September. Along with each day, you'll also find a delicious idea on how to celebrate that particular holiday.






National Cherry Popover Day September 1: If you aren't sure how to make cherry popovers, just skip the popover part and make muffins with dried cherries and chocolate chips.

National Blueberry Popsicle Day September 2: Blueberry popsicles can be so easy to make. Just combine fresh blueberries with vanilla yogurt and a splash of your favorite juice. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set.

National Welsh Rarebit Day September 3: Welsh Rarebit is basically a cheese sauce poured over buttered toast. You can find many recipes online that are made using canned soups. But, you can also find authentic recipes as well.

National Macadamia Nut Day September 4: This holiday is so easy to celebrate. Just buy some chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Or, you could also prepare white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies.






National Cheese Pizza Day September 5: Take it easy on this food holiday and just order a cheese pizza from your favorite pizza restaurant.

National Coffee Ice Cream Day September 6: Coffee ice cream is so delicious and there are so many different companies that make it. But, on this food holiday, I highly recommend the Ben & Jerry's brand. Why not take things a bit further and make a coffee ice cream pie or cake?

National Acorn Squash Day September 7: Acorn squash is a wonderful fall dish. All you need to do is roast the squash until tender and then top with a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and toasted pecans. Top off this food holiday with turkey cutlets and homemade cranberry sauce.

National Date Nut Bread Day September 8: Date nut bread is so delicious and can easily be found in your grocery store. But, if you want to make this food holiday extra special, make a cream cheese frosting to top off the bread.

Weinerschnitzel Day September 9: Weinerschnitzel is a lovely dish of fried veal chops. Of course, you don't have to fry veal. Pork chops can easily be substituted. Top off this delicious food holiday meal with a simple squeeze of lemon juice, which helps to cut the grease.






TV Dinner Day September 10: This is obviously an easy food holiday to celebrate. Just prepare your favorite brand of TV dinner and kick back with your favorite TV show.

National Hot Cross Bun Day September 11: Hot Cross Buns can easily be prepared at home, especially if you have a bread maker. But, you can also find this delicious treat in many bakeries if you don't have time to make them from scratch.

National Chocolate Milkshake Day September 12: Chocolate milkshakes are so fun and easy to make at home. Just take a high quality chocolate ice cream and allow it to soften on your counter. Once the ice cream has softened pour a splash of chocolate milk into the blender and then add two scoops of ice cream. Blend until the ice cream and milk combine. If you want to make an even better milkshake, add crushed peppermints.

National Peanut Day September 13: Peanuts are a yummy snack, but we all know that peanut butter makes some of the best desserts. Enjoy this food holiday by preparing a delicious sweet treat. For example, take a warm tortilla and fill it with peanut butter, sliced bananas, and mini chocolate chips.

National Cream Filled Donut Day September 14: This is another food holiday that is easy to celebrate. All you need to do is hit your favorite bakery, donut shop, or grocery store. I highly recommend Krispy Kreme Boston Cream donuts.






National Linguini Day September 15: Pasta is such an easy meal to prepare. On this special holiday, just combine linguini along with your favorite pasta sauce, meat, and cheese.

National Guacamole Day September 16: Be adventurous and make guacamole from scratch. Serve it with homemade tortilla chips or on top of tacos.

National Apple Dumpling Day September 17: Apple dumplings are so delicious and require very few ingredients. Make a big batch and serve with vanilla ice cream.

National Cheeseburger Day September 18: On this food holiday, take your cheeseburger to the extreme. Try new flavors and new ingredients. For example, add blue cheese and peppered bacon.

National Butterscotch Pudding Day September 19: Sure you can buy butterscotch pudding at the store, but you can also make it yourself with ease. You may also want to use your homemade butterscotch pudding to prepare a butterscotch pie.






National Rum Punch Day September 20: Obviously this isn't a food holiday that everyone in the family can enjoy. If you don't drink alcohol, try adding rum flavoring to one of your desserts instead.

National Pecan Cookie Day September 21: You can make delicious pecan cookies with only a few ingredients, but why not take it easy on this food holiday and purchase some Pecan Sandies instead?

National Ice Cream Cone Day September 22: There are several creative ways to use ice cream cones.

National White Chocolate Day September 23: There are so many different ways to use white chocolate. But, on this food holiday, why not try a recipe you've never made before? Just do a search for "white chocolate recipes" and pick one that sounds irresistible.

National Cherries Jubilee Day September 24: Cherries Jubilee is another dessert that isn't family friendly, but you can make this dessert family friendly simply by heating cherry pie filling and pouring it over vanilla ice cream.






Crab Meat Newburg Day September 25: If you love seafood, this is the food holiday for you. You can serve Crab Newburg over pasta, rice, or even toast points.

National Pancake Day September 26: Go all out with your pancakes and add cherry pie filling and whipped cream.

National Chocolate Milk Day September 27: Is there a better food holiday? Just grab a big glass of chocolate milk and relax.

Strawberry Cream Pie Day September 28: This happens to be my favorite food holiday, because it falls on my birthday. Just combine strawberries with strawberry pie gel. Pour into a baked pie shell and top with a generous portion of whipped cream.

National Coffee Day September 29: Treat yourself to a delicious coffee drink on this food holiday.






National Hot Mulled Cider Day September 30: This is the perfect drink for cool autumn nights. Just heat apple cider with cinnamon sticks and any other spices you enjoy such as cloves and nutmeg.

SOME 2013 HALLOWEEN STATISTICS!!

2013-halloween-statistics