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Issue 76 - Star Struck

Scotland Magazine Issue 76
August 2014

 

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Star Struck

Roddy Martine welcomes the bonds created by Edinburgh's festivals

As this is the time of year when our Capital city hosts no less than seven festivals, it is to be expected that the content of this particular edition of Scotland magazine centres on Edinburgh and the Lothians.

It is the season when there is something going on in virtually every nook and cranny of the region, be it the sound of pipes and drums from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the castle esplanade, classical music and opera, experimental theatre , late night cabaret, visual art experiences, or literary indulgences at book events both in and out of town.

Now I have personally been engaged with the Edinburgh International Festival since I was a schoolboy, arrogantly publishing a weekly magazine with a group of teenage friends and selling copies for six pence, which gives an embarassing indication as to just how long ago that was.

In that other century, I interviewed the great violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin and had breakfast with the late Sir David Frost. Marlene Dietrich signed one of her album covers for me. I encountered Charles Aznavour shopping in Princes Street; discussed the Kennedys with Gore Vidal in the Assembly Rooms; spent an afternoon talking to Rudolf Nureyev who was dancing at the Playhouse Theatre, and I met Princess Grace of Monaco when she gave readings of her favourite poetry at St Cecilia's Hall.

For a star struck, perhaps rather gauche, aspiring journalist, it was a baptism of pure warmth, and one that I can safely acknowledge set me off on the paths which led me to where I am now. However, if anything, it taught me just how welcoming and internationally loved, respected, and culturally versatile is the land that I call my home.

But notwithstanding this vibrant explosion of colour and fun, right here on my doorstep, this edition of Scotland magazine also features a classic Scottish Borders mansion house which has recently been saved by the local community; an exploration of Scotland's maritime heritage; the newly completed and inspirational Diaspora Tapestry; a guide to Scotland's most picturesque fortified castles; an insight into Dumfries & Galloway, voted Scotland Magazine's 2014 Destination of the Year, and for our golfing readers we are naturally flagging up the biennial Ryder Cup tournament which returns to the Gleneagles Hotel in September.