17 Nov 2010

Winter is here with a cuddle and a quiz

The cold is drawing in. It’s like we skipped autumn and have gone straight into winter, complete with biting winds and the feeling that at any moment it could start to snow.

Some time ago I was visiting a art exhibit and fell in love with two teddy bears which sat sturdy and cozy in their full-body woollen jumpers. This was my first introduction to Burra Bears, a small company started 13 years ago by Wendy Inkster.

It all began when Wendy decided to salvage the fabric of a worn-out, hand-knitted Fair Isle patterned Shetland woollen jumper and turn it into a bear for her sister. The response she got from the people who saw it was so dramatic that Burra Bears was born.

They come in three sizes: original Burra Bear, the Peerie Burra bear (Peerie means small in the Shetland dialect) and the six-inch high Peerie Oolet (Oolet means naughty - a small naughty one). No two bears are the identical and they are all given names inspired by Shetland.

I find this to be such an inspired way to recycle and celebrate the heritage of Shetland wool. Do I want one? Oh yes.

To learn more about Burra Bears you can visit Wendy’s site here.

Quiz time: How much do you know about Edinburgh?

Now, if you are also feeling the cold and can do what a lot of folks do during the dark season and stay in playing quiz games. And wouldn’t you know it, I happen to have one, particularly if you're an Iphone user. It was sent to me by Dan, an iPhone software developer with GPSmycity.com, which focuses on self-guided city walking tour applications.

One of their more recent additions is a tour guide application for the city of Edinburgh and they are sponsoring a wee quiz for Scotland lovers. Quiz masters who email correct answers to quiz@gpsmycity.com will be awarded three city walk iPhone applications to cities of their choice. At the moment there is no deadline for entries so no need to rush your answers.

Here we go…good luck!

1.Scotland has some 790 islands, from which 130 are:

A. Haunted
B. Inhabited
C. Slowly sinking

2. Edinburgh ws the first city in the world which had its own:

A. Police Department
B. Beauty Parlor for Pets
C. Fire Brigade

3. One of the most popular cures for baldness in the 17th century Edinburgh was the application of the burnt excrements' ashes of a:

A. Cat
B. Dove
C. Rabbit

4. The first animal to be bought by Edinburgh Zoo, which now appears on the crest of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland was a:

A. Gannet
B. Pinguin
C. Racoon

5. A difficult time for dogs in the 1700s came as the result of an Edinburgh butcher’s dog going mad. Magistrates ordered then all dog population be:

A. Slaughtered
B. Burned to ashes
C. Stuffed and displayed for the public

6. General John Reid tried to combat the stress of military campaigns in the 18th century by:

A. Dressing in women's clothes
B. Composing flute sonatas in his tent
C. Hiring a French cabaret

7. In the 16th century, a disease raged in Edinburgh which was mysteriously called "The New Acquaintance". Now thought as an old acquaintance, the mysterious disease is nothing else but:

A. Pneumonia
B. Tuberculosis
C. Influenza

8. Edinburgh minister Rev. John McQueen caused a scandal in the 1600s when he became so besotted with local beauty Mrs. Euphame Scott that he stole her undergarments from the washing line and had made from them:

A. A waistcoat and drawers
B. A robe for his mistress
C. A dress for his little niece

9. Crowds lined the streets of Edinburgh in 1650 to see the arrival of Oliver Cromwell, victor of the Battle of Dunbar. The talk in the High Street hostelries was predominantly about the size of his:

A. Ears
B. Feet
C. Nose

10.Which was the the most popular sport in Scotland in the 18th century, especially knowing that it was banned from the streets of Edinburgh because huge crowds were bringing traffic to a halt?

A. Kickball
B. Cockfighting
C. Cheese rolling

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