this week’s Scottish Quotations (see above) Sir Sean Connery remind us of
the importance of reading – books upon a window to the world. It exercises
your imagination as does my favourite media – the wireless. Like Sir Sean, I
have been a life-long reader as well as being a radio addict, with a
wireless in every room! Television, in spite of being invented by a Scot
(John Logie Baird) has never had the same attraction, until now. Since 19
September 2008 and the launch of the first-ever Gaelic television digital
station – BBC Alba – I have finally found a television channel I can relate
to. Scottish programmes made by Scots for Scots but encompassing a Scottish
window on the wider-world with an excellent breadth of subjects. Sport,
music and song, comedy, news, discussion programmes, cookery, crofting news
are all to be found on BBC Alba, with English sub-titles for non-speakers of
the language of the Gael.
Scottish football fans there is the added bonus of seeing a full Scottish
Premier League on a Saturday night only hours after the final whistle, but
more importantly for those of us who follow the lower leagues is the new
channel’s backing for the Challenge Cup. Not only is the channel sponsoring
the Challenge Cup but the first live game shown on BBC Alba was the
semi-final of the Alba Challenge Cup from Firhill as Partick Thistle did
battle with Airdrie for a place in the final. Airdrie won through 1-0 and
this Sunday (16 November 2008) face Dingwall side Ross County in the final
which will be broadcast on television for the first time. The programme on
BBC Alba starts at 2.45 pm with a 3 pm kick-off at Perth’s McDiarmid Park.
should be a close gnd exciting game and although strictly neutral, I did
wish the Ross County players good wishes for the final when they played East
Fife in a Reserve League Cup game earlier this week!
there are only some 60,000 Gaelic speakers in Scotland, a survey of the
first week of the new channel’s viewing found that some 600,000 people tuned
in to BBC Alba. As digital television spreads throughout Scotland, I am sure
that many more Scots will find and enjoy this splendid channel.
recipe - Simple Shortbread – makes an ideal accompaniment to a cuppa whilst
watching BBC Alba (or indeed listening to Radio Scotland). Do try and catch
a programme or two on the new channel – you won’t be disappointed.
Ingredients: 12oz (350g) plain flour; 4oz (110g) cornflour; 4oz (110g)
caster sugar; 8oz (225g) butter
Sift the flours together. Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly and then
work in the flours. Knead until smooth and without cracks and shape into a
round onto a baking sheet. Pinch the edges and prick with fork.
Alternatively, press the mixture into a flat tin, or mould, and prick with
fork. Bake in a slow oven, 325F/160C/Mark 3 Gas for about 45 minutes. Cut
into wedges or fingers, and sprinkle with caster sugar.