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Jan 31, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Modern day vikings

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Shetland Islands, Scotland

By David Moir

Vikings, they’re not what they used to be.

No more do we see horn helmeted warriors pillaging and plundering everything in sight, striking fear into villagers with the stories of their wickedness. No, now they sing and dance when visiting community centers, hospitals and shopping centers. Basically cheering everyone up who sing along and join in the fun on a cold wet Tuesday in January.

I have just returned from covering the Up Helly Aa festival in Lerwick, in the Shetland Islands, Britain’s most northerly set of islands. More than 100 miles north of the Scottish mainland and closer to Bergen in Norway than London.

Jan 23, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

The water of life, the spirit of Scotland

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Craigellachie, Scotland

By David Moir

Scotch whisky is big business. With sales well over 5 billion pounds per year it’s an industry that has gripped the growing middle classes around the world. Including in countries where sales previously struggled and with drinks industry companies eager to quench that thirst with huge modern computer run distilleries being built around the globe producing more and more of the liquid.
But one thing still remains true in its production, oak casks.

Whisky isn’t Scotch Whisky unless it has been distilled in Scotland and matured for a minimum of three years in an oak cask which comes in various capacities from a Pin to a Butt. ‘Cooper’s’ are the tradesmen who build and repair the oak casks and barrels, their skills passed down from generations show no signs of entering the hi-tech world. They use tools such as a dowelling stock, flagging iron, inside shave and a hollowing knife to name a few.

Aug 25, 2011
via Photographers' Blog

World War Z goes to Glasgow

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By David Moir

The post-apocalyptic horror novel, ‘World War Z’, by Max Brooks, has been adapted into a film starring Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos and directed by Marc Forster. It has started filming in Scotland. The set is mainly on the streets in and around George Square in Glasgow, with its open space and architecture, substituting for Philadelphia.

Road signs have been put up telling you 16th Street, J F Kennedy Boulevard and Ben Franklin Bridge are just around the corner so hopefully you feel like you are in Philly, certainly some of the tourists from the U.S. I’ve spoken to seem to give it the thumbs up.