Original flag of the Macedonian Republic
Since the breakup of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, Macedonia has had aspirations of joining the European Union.
However, a bitter naming dispute over the Slavic republic’s insistence on the use of the name Macedonia has continued with Greece for 24 years. Tensions became so high as to effectively close the border between Greece and Macedonia in the late nineties. The border only remained open for those travelling on non-Macedonian passports. Even today, Greece refuses to put Greek visas into Macedonian passports, choosing rather to put then an A4 piece of paper carried with the bearer’s passport. Macedonian born travellers using non-Macedonian passports can also be in for a tough time when trying to enter Greece.
Macedonia has been an ascension candidate for EU membership for sometime now but because of the unresolved naming dispute, Greece has utilised the power of veto to block Macedonian membership.
With Greece out of the Eurozone, which appears inevitable as they default on loan repayments to the IMF, this stumbling block will be removed as Greece as a non-member of the EU can no longer veto Macedonia’s EU membership aspirations.
Welsh police (Heddlu) on scene with sociology student!
A man was questioned by the Welsh police at about 2 am. The officer asked him where he was doing at that time of night…
The man replied, “I’m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late…..I’m just steeling myself for it”
” Oh really” stated the officer derisively, “and who’s giving that lecture at this time of night?”
“That would be my wife”, the man replied.
Only in Wales!!
Persistent little critter but obviously not very hungry right now! Or was the wolf wary of the presence of the human?
This is a time-lapse compilation composed by the Knockendarroch Hotel in Pitlochry. Some 11,500 photos over 4 days have been condensed into a 2 minute time lapse film. Note the lovely weather during the day and the really short nights, getting dark at midnight and the light reappearing by 03:00. That’s about 3 hours of darkness.
source: Knockendarroch Hotel, Pitlochry
Based in Pitlochry in Perthshire, The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band is a competitive grade one pipe band. The band has placed highly in the Major Scottish competitions and the World Pipe Band Championships since the late 1980s.
Adrian Cramb took over the role of pipe major in 2008. Alastair McNab took over the role of lead drummer in 2013.
Here is an example of their work, entitled “Piping Live“.
A pilot of an ultra-light found he had an extra and unexpected passenger soon after take off. The furry feline had decided to hitch a ride on the wing.
It could have had a “cat”astrophic result, but all ended safely.
“Cat”egorically, nothing beats a comprehensive pre-flight check!
Greece will try to bring more to the table in negotiations for a debt deal and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will probably speak with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker by phone on Saturday to try to end the deadlock, a Greek minister said.
Time is fast running out for Greece to secure a cash-for-reforms deal with its international creditors to avoid a default at the end of June that could see Greece removed from the euro zone. Depositors are pulling billions out of Greek banks, leading the government to consider the imposition of capital controls to stop the flow of currency out of the country.
It remains uncertain how far Greece’s leftist government, which won a January election vowing to pull its people out of austerity, is willing to bend in order to secure an agreement or what kind of additional offers it could make.
A young woman walks past a graffiti called ‘Death of Euro’ by French street artist Goin, in central Athens on Friday. Photo: Aris Messinis
While Greece has dug its heels over demands for pension cuts and tax rises, its leaders have continued to sound positive ahead of an emergency euro zone summit on Monday.
“We will try to supplement our proposal so that we get closer to a solution,” State Minister Alekos Flabouraris told Greek Mega television in a morning news show.
“We are not going there with the old proposal. Some work is being done to see where we can converge, so that we achieve a mutually beneficial solution.”
The European Central Bank has kept Greek lenders afloat and on Friday raised the ceiling on so-called emergency liquidity assistance, which the banks rely on to keep their doors open, by 1.8 billion euros.
What Greece can bring to the discussions to assist them to meet their fiscal responsibilities remains uncertain. It seems unlikely that Greece will leave the Euro zone, as this may lead to a knock-on effect to other struggling Euro economies.
Source: Reuters (as edited)
The Edradour Distillery
Found near Pitlochry in Perthshire, Scotland is the smallest distillery in the world. The Edradour distillery is found in a collection of old whitewashed farm buildings set in an idyllic Perthshire glen.
Using the smallest stills allowed by law, the three distillers of Edradour produce only 12 casks of whisky per week. All by hand! Its a cracking malt – ‘smooth and creamy with a nutty, honeyed finish’.
The distillery offers a very interesting tour from 10am-4pm throughout the summer season. Well worth a visit. Check out their website Edradour Distillery found here.
From the car park at Edradour Pitlochry and easily accessible on foot. Great views across the fields to Ben Vrackie from the walk in. Not to be missed on a visit to Edradour.
I have often noted the aircraft VH-UER depicted on the Australian $20, and have wondered what it’s history was.
VH-UER on the AU $20 note.
The aircraft was original registered G-AUER was a De Havilland D50A and was used for general aviation until 1928 when it was refurbished for use as the first air ambulance for the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) – as can be seen by the small Maltese Cross under the pilot’s cockpit. Upon starting service under contract for the AIM, The Rev John Flynn, the famous Flying Doctor, renamed it ‘Victory’.
The AIM was the founding organisation of the now Royal Flying Doctor Service, bringing medical services to remote Australian outback communities.
De Havilland D50A VH-UER
This De Havilland could carry a pilot and four passengers at a cruising speed of eighty miles per hour for a range of 500 to 600 miles. In those days, not much territory was charted, and so pilots were forced to navigate by river beds, fences, telegraph lines and other familiar landmarks. Despite these obstacles, in its inaugural year, the Aerial Medical Service (which changed its name to the Flying Doctor Service in 1942 and the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1955) flew 50 flights to 26 destinations and treated 225 patients. Flynn’s dream had become a reality.