This week saw a combination of Midsummer and the 689th anniversary of the
Scottish victory over the English army of King Edward 11 at Bannockburn.
The victory of Robert 1, The Bruce, holds a special place in Scottish
hearts, as it represented not only our greatest victory over the 'auld
enemy' but gave the Scots the upperhand in the long Wars of Independence.
Bannockburn, alone, did not ensure Scottish Freedom but it did ensure that
fourteen years later the English would recognise Scottish Independence in the
Treaties of Edinburgh and Northampton. Bruce on his deathbed in 1329 knew
that his lifetime ambition had been achieved although he also knew that
English aggression would not cease.
However the battle for Freedom led by The Bruce rings down through the
centuries and the tactics that he employed at Bannockburn are still
studied by military people seven hundred years on.
For those of connected with the Scots Independent, Bannockburn has a
special place for it was at a Bannockburn Rally that the call for a
'Scottish National Party' by this newspaper came to fruition. On 23 June
1928 at the inaugral Bannockburn Day demonstration organised by the
National Party of Scotland in the Kings Park, Stirling, a large crowd
(much larger than this years) was addressed by, amongst others, Robert
Bontine Cunninghame Graham, Lewis Spence and Christopher Murray Grieve
(Hugh MacDiarmid) and pledged support for the new political party and its
aim of achieving Independent National Staus for Scotland. Since that day
the National Party of Scotland, which merged with the Scottish Party in
1934 to become the present-day Scottish National Party, has rallied every
year to remember Bannockburn and the formation of the National Party.
Over the past few years another tradition has been established by Alistair
Walker of the Bannockburn Branch SNP of holding a celilidh following the
speeches. Last Saturday in the Tartan Arms, Bannockburn, Alistair's
efforts were rewarded by another capacity crowd who enjoyed the music and
song provided by folk group Cairdies Brig and Scotland's premier folk duo
Gaberlunzie. But as the battle was a two day event, Alistair is running
yet another ceilidh with Gaberlunzie in concert this Saturday (28 June
2003) at 8pm in the King Robert Hotel, which sits in front of the
National Trust for Scotland's Bannockburn Heritage Centre, at Whins of
Milton. Tickets are only £6 and can be purchased at the door on Saturday -
please phone Alistair Walker on 01786 814523 to make reservations.
Midsummer has been blessed with fine weather which hopefully will continue
and ensure that we can continue to enjoy salads for a while yet. This
week's recipe for Cottage Cheese Salad should prove to be very popular and
is enough for two, but easy to make in smaller or larger quantities.
Cottage Cheese Salad
Ingredients : 1 hard red apple; 1 teaspoon lemon juice; 8 oz (225 g)
cottage cheese; 1 tablespoon seedless raisins; 1 oz (25 g)
coarsely-chopped walnuts; choped chives; chopped parsley; salt; black
pepper; lettuce leaves
Quarter and core apple but do not peel. Cut up into small pieces and toss
in lemon juice. Combine apple with the cheese, raisins, walnuts, chopped
chives and parsley. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Spread out
lettuce leaves and pile cheese mixture on top.