The term is simply a Scots form for poet or bard. There is some suggestion of "official" as in appointment to the Royal Court in ages past but it is only in recent times that there has been an official "Scottish Makar". Edwin Morgan was the 1st appointee and with his death recently the title has now been conferred on Liz Lochead. This is the Wikipedia entry for Makar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makar
The Academy building is about to host the open exhibitions by the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW), Visual Arts Scotland (VAS), and the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA). Needless to say there are a lot more entries than space to show them and today is the day for collecting the rejected works.
Sticking with theb Docks, this renamed pub is by rennie's Isle. Outdoor facilities are extensive in the summer with a moored pontoon but at least the smokers can get a seat here as they shivver in the cold.
The building in this picture is the National Gallery of Scotland situated on the Mound. The reflection in the window is its near neighbour the Royal Scottish Academy which sits on Princes Street. http://www.royalscottishacademy.org/
Thankfully it has been raining all day and the ice sheets are in retreat. Not much of a day for photos so this post is from yesterdays location. The view back to the city from the top of the Tower in Craigmillar Castle. It is a great pity that the City Fathers have, over the years, allowed many developments which are of little merit, too big and spoil the city skyline.
This late medieval castle is in south Edinburgh about 3 miles from Holyrood. The Tower house dates from the 14th century, the battlements added in the 15th. It was a favourite haunt of Mary Queen of Scots. She would come out from Edinburgh and indulge in her pastimes such as hawking, archery and plotting the death of her husband.
Looking N.E. from the bridge. In the foreground Waverley Station. The Cylindrical object on the left and the large obelisk are in the Calton Burial Ground: the first being the the Enlightenment philosopher David Hume's mausoleum and the second the Martyr's Memorial. Above them, on Calton Hill are the Dougald Stewart Memorial and the old Observatory. Right of this the castellated features are the remains of the "New" Prison. To the right of this the original Scottish Office with Nelson's Monument above this, again on Calton hill. To the right the building with snow on the roof is the old Royal High School. As you can see the snow has returned.
A bit of a departure for the Blog, identifiable people. George Kerr and Kosei Inoue (3 times World Champion and double Olympic Champion) at George's New Year Party. George runs "The Club" next door to me and is President of the British Judo Association. An Olympic Medallist and well known coach he was elevated to 10th Dan last year. In a year of awards he also received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot Watt, the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Government and was made C.B.E. in the New Year Honours List. As well as opponents, he also knows how to throw a good party.