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Happy Birthday

Not only to the USA but also to Helpless Dancer

Here are the Beatles, sounding incredibly like the Ruttles with Happy Birthday Saturday Cloob!

What’s In a Name?

I’ve been reading the excellent book by Robin Laing, The Whisky River, which is all about the distilleries of Speyside. He spent an arduous time(!) touring each distillery and writes of his experiences. He also has little anecdotes and poems pertaining to each distillery. There are some interesting names on Speyside and Moray. Benromach, Benriach, Glenallachie,Tomintoul, Balvenie are just some of the beautiful names which roll off the tongue as well as sliding beautifully down the hatch. Another of these names is “Longmorn” which according to Google results derives from Longmarnoch or Church of Saint Marnoch. This rather prosaic explanation however is at odds with the one in the book. Even if this does all sound rather unlikely, I prefer the following which is a contribution by Iain Russell.

drunk monk

“One hot day in 625 AD, St, Marnoch set off on the road south to Dalriada. After spending a busy fortnight converting the heathen Picts of Moray. Feeling thirsty, he stopped off at the Thunderton House public house in Elgin and was introduced to the delights of mogan- a whisky distilled from malted oats. Many hours later he resumed his journey in the company of a Briton who was returning to Strathclyde from a business trip. But St Marnoch was feeling decidedly the worse for wear after imbibing too freely, and about three miles down the road he fell to the ground salivating and twitching. The Briton decided to go in search of a monastery for help and so he hailed a passing Pict to ascertain where he was, in order to give the monastic ambulance service directions. “What’s this place called?” he asked. Unfortunately the Pict had a slender command of the Briton’s language and believed that the Briton had asked “What is wrong with him?”. Studying the saint closely he replied “Lan mogan” – which means “Full of oat whisky”.
The Briton hurried off and quickly found a monastery occupied by the local chapter of the Knights Hospitaller. But the monks had never heard of a place called Fullofoatwhisky, and were unable to find the saint for many hours. St Marnoch, alone and denied succour, had expired before they reached him. As a warning to others the spot where he died became known as Lanmogan and over the years it evolved to Longmorn. When John Duff built his distillery in 1894, he called it Longmorn. Because it is….er….full of whisky”.
Longmorn Distillery

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