Sunday, 9 December 2018

Mother of All Demos 1968

Today is the Golden Jubilee of the "Mother of All Demos" when the computer mouse was publicly demonstrated for the first time.

While it is good to see new charges in Heraldry, nothing seems to date as much as technology-related charges so a hearty "Bravo" to the Canadian Heraldic Authority for giving one of their IT-based armigers a much wittier solution:

Friday, 7 December 2018

Opening of La Scala

Tonight sees the opening of the 2018-2019 season at La Scala. As always, this takes place on the Festa di Sant'Ambrogio. As with the Germans at Bayreuth, Italian politicians are happy to been seen attending this glorious annual event - tonight's masterwork being Verdi's Attila.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

St Nicholas Day

Happy St Nicholas Day! We remember the mediaeval hospital in Glasgow dedicated to the saint and founded by Bishop Muirhead or de Durrisdeer, Only the chaplain's house, Provand's Lordship remains.
The acorns ought to be Or - perhaps lightened by the Scottish weather.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

St Andrewstide Events

What a splendid day Edward organized for us on Saturday. We began with a short EGM to ratify the revised Consitution of the Society and then had a magisterial St Andrewstide lecture from the President, John Malden, Slains Pursuivant, on "The Heraldry and Funeral of Mary Queen of Scots." A scholarly talk was much enlivened by the wonderful images prepared for the talk by Beverly Bergman, who recreated in digital format the long-lost heraldic ceiling of the Great Hall of Seton Palace, and Mark Dennis, Ross Herald Extraordinary, who with his usual artistic finesse brought the engravings of the procession and hearse to life by his beautiful paintings of the coats of arms.

The weekend continued with a splendid dinner for nearly 100 people in the Royal Scots Club. The visual impact of the occasion was hugely increased by the plethora of table-banners and the Chairman's banner, impaling her arms with those of the Society. An additional treat this year was the appearance of a version of the famous Blue Blanket of Edinburgh, marking the presence of our witty and engaging "guest" speaker (although he is of course a member) Ian Robertson, Deacon Convener of the Trades of Edinburgh.

The pretty-poor snaps above were just taken on my mobile phone but thankfully Edward Mallinson has supplied me with some excellent pictures of the next day's event, the St Andrew's Day Festival at St Giles attended by the Order of the Thistle and many members of the HSS.

The Officers of Arms led the procession which included the Secretary to the Thistle, our V-P Elizabeth Roads, the Lord Lyon and Dean of the Thistle, Very Rev. Iain Torrance, Knight.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Happy St Andrew's Day

Happy St Andrew's Day! This year the Lyon Office displayed the arms recorded in 1962 by the Scottish National Committee of Ophthalmic Opticians. Usually nowadays the saltire is only allowed, as here, for a national organization. Quite a spectacle.

Blazon: Erminois on a fess Azure between in chief a Pictish spectacle device (that is to say two annulets joined by a barrulet Azure) and in base an eagle volant Azure claws and tail retracted armed and beaked Gules, a St Andrew's Cross Argent. 

Sunday, 11 November 2018

What the Blazons

There was a goodly turn-out of HSS members at an event called "What the Blazons" at St Cecilia's Hall, run on behalf of the Centre for Research Collections of the University of Edinburgh by Engagement Intern/Masters Student Jessica Secmezsoy-Urquhart. The event was designed to engage the public in heraldry and included talks from our Vice-President Elizabeth Roads and member Dr Gillian Black, as well as former-Committee Member, Dr Bruce Durie.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

350th Birthday of Francois Couperin le Grand

Today marks the 350th birthday of Couperin: his Scottish connection is that he worked as a young man in the exiled court of James VII at St Germain-en-Laye and the heraldic one is that he was granted arms and made a Knight of the now-defunct Order of St John of the Lateran.