This is an old mirror of Nessie's Loch Ness Times.

Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 6th April 2002
Issue No 274

Bolivians Dance Scots Jig at 17,000ft

A bunch of Bolivian dancers have set a world record by doing Highland jigs 17,000 feet up a mountain.

The Scottish country dance group from capital La Paz trekked up a peak in the Andes to shake a leg in sub zero temperatures. A dozen dancers - expat Scots and locals - cleared a patch of snow on the Chacaltaya mountain to smash the record of 13,600 feet set by a group in Colorado, USA. The Bolivians hope their record - for the highest Scottish country dance - will stand for years. They reckon rivals will need an ice axe and crampons to get higher than they did. Dancer John Cooper said: "There are very few places in the world where you could climb to 17,000 feet as easily. "Normally, to reach that height, you'd have to scale a mountain with your kilt and your backpack. "By going up to Chacaltaya, I think we have put the record beyond reach." The group only needed to complete one slow dance, a Dalkeith Strathspey, to set the record. But despite the thin mountain air and bitter cold, they then did two more energetic jigs. The Bolivians are now planning a trip to Scotland next year. Group leader Valerie Black said: "We have told the local dancers about Highland gatherings where you can see hundreds of bagpipe players out there in the mountains. It has really caught their imagination." Valerie ran a recruitment campaign to get local people interested in dancing. One of the Bolivians in the group, Elizabeth Carrasco said: "It would be fantastic to dance in Scotland. We'd love to show the owners of this culture what we can do." The group, who hope to come here in June 2003, was made up of six Bolivians, three Scots, two French and one English dancer.

Marriage in the Glen

Fans of the BBC series Monarch of the Glen are to be offered the chance to tie the knot on the location of the hit TV show. Ardverikie House, near Loch Laggan in Inverness-shire, the setting for the fictional Glenbogle Estate, is to be offered as a wedding location. Strathdon based Candacraig Weddings is giving Monarch fans from around the world the chance to take their wedding vows in the now famous house which dates back to 1878. It is the idea of wedding organiser Penny Thomas Smith, who said: "I have my own small company which has been going for four years and it was just by chance I came across the Monarch castle. "I approached the owners and asked if they'd like to meet up, we got on really well, and they agreed it was a wonderful idea." She added: "Everything's done by me, my logo is from ceremony to the celebrations we do it all right through to the honeymoon - I'm out to promote Scotland." It certainly is a wide market, with the TV programme attracting more than 8 million viewers in the UK alone and being shown in over 50 countries, including Australia, Holland, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta, New Zealand, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Hong Kong.

History of Skibo Wanted

The management of the exclusive Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, are appealing for the public's help to fill in the gaps in the history of the stately home and its estate. Steeped in its own traditions, the castle near Dornoch - where popstar Madonna famously married Guy Ritchie - has been lovingly restored by owner Peter de Savary to the style established there a century ago by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. The Carnegie Club's membership secretary David Richardson approached a local newspaper to ask for the help of readers in piecing together some historical details. Mr Richardson said: "It is over 100 years since the Carnegies first came to Skibo and I am anxious to gather as much information as I can on life in those days before it is lost forever. "That is where I hope the readers of the newspaper will help. If any readers have interesting stories or anecdotes about Skibo Castle and Estate - or know where I can obtain more information - please let me know.

It's a "Dram Come True"

A Highland distillery was toasting a success recently with a wee dram after being declared maker of the world's finest malt whisky more than 12 years old. Whisky experts from around the world agreed the taste of The Dalmore 21 year old whisky was the finest they had this year from distilleries around the world. Outdoing competition from Ireland, France, Japan and many other Scots distilleries has delighted master whisky blender Richard Paterson and distillery manager Drew Sinclair. Staff at Kyndal owned Dalmore Distillery, situated on the banks of the Cromarty Firth, near Inverness, got their first glimpse of their award from the International Wine and Spirits Competition. Winning the award was the highlight of the annual event in London, but other awards, including a gold for the distillery's 12 year old, and silver for their Dalmore Cigar Malt, The Dalmore 30 year old limited edition and the 35 year old limited edition, also went down well.

Ancient Celtic Name In Lochaber

Good old fashioned Celtic names are back in vogue with Fort William's mums and dads. The most popular name selected for a girl during the past year was Niamh, deriving from that of an Irish princess. Top of the list for boys was Alistair or Alasdair, the Gaelic form of Alexander, which is still maintained as a popular middle name. Of the 132 births in the Lochaber capital's registration district last year, 68 were boys with 64 girls - including three sets of twins. This compared with 159 the previous year. The number of marriages was an all time record for the Fort William office which recorded 165. These included 89 religious ceremonies and 76 civil, some of which were couples from abroad who chose the romantic West Coast to tie the know. This year sees Fort William registration district merge with Ballachulish, where there were 11 boys and seven girls born in the past 12 months. The public can access on line indexes for the whole of Scotland, plus register entries for the Lochaber area.

Recipes Go Down a Treat

An Inverness woman collecting information for a new cookbook to help the youth of her local parish was delighted when she began receiving recipes from some of the country's top dignitaries and celebrities. Cherie Blair, MP Anne Widdecombe and Delia Smith were among those who wrote personally to Mo Horne, with their recipes for fish pie, low fat carrot cake and eggs rita. Mrs Horne of Inverness, who attends St Ninian's Church, said she was astonished with the responses she received, after spending time contacting as many well known people as she could think of. She said: "I have been working on the book for a couple of months. I am really pleased with the response. "I am collecting the information, the children in the parish will be responsible for putting the final book together. "It won't just contain recipes, but a number of graces that you would say before a meal, as well as poems and a fiendishly difficult crossword puzzle."

Clan Fraser Society

A Society which aims to bring together one of the largest clans in Scotland has reformed after six months of inactivity, it was announced recently. The Clan Fraser Society of Scotland was floundering after its newsletter editor resigned due to work commitments. However, when prospective member Graeme Fraser attempted to join, and discovered he was unable to, he decided to step into the breach. He said the society had been inactive since last year and he now wanted to forward the organisation into the 21st century. Mr Fraser said: "Recruitment to the society is one of my biggest aims and I am meeting with the treasurer to decide exactly where we are going and what we are doing. Contact between members has been a struggle in the past and I want to make the most of new technology and improve that through email." The retired trade union official said the society had 100 members and he also planned to develop a website to promote the organisation further.

Charity Event

An Inverness car dealer set the wheels in motion recently for a major hill walk in aid of an organisation dedicated to the battle against Meningitis. Neil Lang, sales manager for John R. Weir Ltd, helped raise 4217 when he joined forces with colleagues David Forbes, Murray Gray, Gordon Leslie and Jonathon Weir from other branches around Scotland, to climb Cuillin on Skye.

Political Roundup

Salmond says: "It's Scotland's oil" - 30 Years On

Scottish National Party Westminster leader Alex Salmond stepped up his party's campaign for greater financial autonomy for the devolved Scottish Executive. He put down a motion in Westminster calling on the Government to reverse a decision taken 30 years ago not to set up a Scottish Fund with cash from North Sea oil revenues. Mr Salmond said: "Scotland has been cheated out of the benefits of our own natural resources over the past 30 years, and the SNP are determined to ensure that the oil wealth over the next 30 years belongs to Scotland."

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Dry, sunny after mist has cleared. Cloud building from W later. Winds light S-SE'ly. Temperature 9c to 14c.
Saturday Night
Mostly dry. A clear night with frost and mist patches. Winds fresh variable. Temperature -4c to 2c.
A misty start with patches of fog affecting coastal areas am. These will slowly clear to sunny spells.
Early mist patches along coasts but most places becoming dry with bright spells.

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This is Caledonia ( Caley for short ) A Ness-Scape family member and mascot. She is a White German Shepherd. Caley has decided to take over the editing of Nessie's Loch Ness Times, and she's sure she'll make a good job of it. What do you think?

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