Q&A: Aidan O’Rourke

Aidan O’Rourke

Under the auspices of Deveron Arts, Aidan O’Rourke travelled around north-east Scotland visiting abandoned places earlier this year and he has now written and recorded a suite of tunes inspired by these places. Cheryl Livingstone finds out more   FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW YOU, CAN YOU TELL US A WEE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF? I’m... Read Full Story

Celebrate St Andrew’s Day

Bruce Fraser, 5, from Dundee, is shown around Arbroath Abbey by one of the monks from its past (played by Marcus McLeod) to help launch this year’s Ticket Giveaway weekend, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday, November 28 and 29. Photo: Historic Scotland

Monday, November 30, is St Andrew’s Day – Scotland’s national day, designed to celebrate the country’s history, culture and heritage with people at home and abroad. This year, there are hundreds of events taking place, many of them free. Everyone is being encouraged to get involved in the biggest-ever programme of events and special offers... Read Full Story

DVD releases: Ant-Man & Magic Mike XXL

Paul Rudd is Ant-Man

ANT-MAN (12) 4 stars Cat burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is released from San Quentin penitentiary and resolves to go straight for the sake of his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Desperate to pay child support, Scott agrees to a lucrative heist set up by his former cellmate (Michael Pena) and two pals (David Dastmalchian,... Read Full Story

Christopher Bell to be awarded Doctorate of Music from University of Aberdeen

Christopher Bell to be awarded with Doctor of Music from Aberdeen University

International conductor and chorus master, Christopher Bell, will receive the degree of Doctor of Music from The University of Aberdeen today. Mr Bell was one of the founders of the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) and has been its Artistic Director since its inception in 1996. Since then, NYCoS has grown into an extensive... Read Full Story

Cinema releases: Carol & The Good Dinosaur

Cate Blanchett

CAROL (15) 5 stars Love tears good people apart in Todd Haynes’s masterful period drama based on the novel The Price of Salt, by Patricia Highsmith. Adapted elegantly by Phyllis Nagy, Carol charts an unlikely romance between a shop girl and a glamorous housewife against the backdrop of early 1950s New York. The impeccable style... Read Full Story

Book Review: John Le Carre- The Biography by Adam Sisman

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John Le Carre – real name David Cornwall – has for decades enjoyed a status rare among writers: the acknowledged master of a genre whosework is also considered real literature. Hardback by Bloomsbury, £35 (ebook £11.88) Yet, as the years have passed, and despite massive global success and countless film and TV adaptations – we seem to know... Read Full Story

Young starlets set for big stage

Panto stars, from left, Jordan Young, Elaine C. Smith and Alan McHugh outside HM Theatre in Aberdeen. Photos: Jim Irvine

A sighting of Elaine C. Smith in the Granite City can mean only one thing – panto season is nearly upon us. Cheryl Livingstone speaks to four local lads who have bagged the chance of a lifetime and get to share the stage with the queen herself   Prepare yourself for a swashbuckling adventure, for... Read Full Story

Eating out: Fairways Restaurant, Nairn

Full marks for innovation at Golf View Hotel, Nairn

What had been a lovely autumnal day had taken a turn for the worse and as darkness fell so did the rain, hurling itself at the car windscreen like there was no tomorrow. As the wipers cleared, a wonderful sight came into view – the Golf View Hotel in Nairn, a golden glow emanating from... Read Full Story

Friends with benefits in Alberta

It helps to have friends in high places, especially in the Canadian Rockies

The Lake Louise Ski Friends were formed back in 1978 initially by the wives of those working at the ski resort in the Banff National Park, Alberta, who wanted something to occupy their time during the winter months. So a group got together and volunteered their services showing skiers and snowboarders of all ages or... Read Full Story

Book Review: New Words For Old by Caroline Taggart

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Hardback by O’Mara Books, £9.99 (ebook £4.74) Our language had smoke and fog for a long time before we needed to combine them to describe “smog”. And a “folder” only got its name because it’s made by folding a piece of card. Caroline Taggart’s latest lexical offering – her previous books covered grammar, idioms and “words... Read Full Story

‘We’re a perfect balance’

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford

TV presenter Ruth Langsford and her husband Eamonn Holmes are famous for their bickering banter when they co-present on This Morning. Gabrielle Fagan finds out how the couple avoid rows and keep romance alive Ruth Langsford’s known for being feisty, outspoken and characteristically, doesn’t mince her words about her relationship with husband Eamonn Holmes when... Read Full Story

Taste of New York

Have a taste of NYC with Russell Norman’s deliciously comforting dishes

There is little doubt that restaurateur Russell Norman is in the right career. A former head of drama at a girls’ school, for years he worked at restaurants on the weekend, before taking the leap in the late Nineties, eventually going on to set up the popular mini chain of Venetian-inspired Polpo eateries. “I gave... Read Full Story

VIDEO: Highland motor neurone disease sufferer’s emotional plea to safeguard his care


A man “trapped in a burning vehicle” has made an impassioned plea to safeguard the homecare service that guarantees him a smile each day to help ease his private hell. Nairn pensioner Michael Laycock is among 18 people in the Highlands whose lives are slowly succumbing to the incurable condition of motor neurone disease. He... Read Full Story

Christmas tree sales open for business

With the festive season approaching, Forest Enterprise Scotland is gearing up for the start of its annual Christmas tree sales event. Visited by 20,000 people and with 6,500 sales every year, the Tyrebagger centre will have a variety of trees available, including Nordmann Fir, Norway Spruce and Lodgepole Pine. Prices start from £17, and standard... Read Full Story