8 January 1861
The Robin Redbreast
In the winter of 1858, a robin flew into the shop of Mr Batchen, shoemaker, High Street, Elgin, and after remaining some weeks went out to see the great procession at the Burns Centenary. Robin took some days to see what was doing about the town, then returned, and lived among the shoemakers till spring, when he took his departure. He came several times last winter, and sat on the fountain opposite the door, but could not get a chance of entering. This winter, however, he has been more fortunate, for some days ago he flew into the shop, then in at another door to his old quarters, and went to the very spot where he was wont to sit two years ago, from whence he descended in a few minutes, and took a hearty meal in the very middle of the workmen. To the foregoing trait of character, we may add that a robin at Orton Station had grown so tame during the storm as to come and pick crumbs from the hands of the officials.
9 January 1888
Arrival of the first of this season's jute fleet
Yesterday the London ship Rockhurst, the first of this season's Dundee jute sailing fleet, arrived from Chittagong. She has a cargo of over 10,000 bales of jute, and has made the passage in 120 days. From the time the vessel left Chittagong until the Western Islands were reached, the weather was very stormy. Off the Cape of Good Hope an easterly wind blew with terrific force, accompanied by a heavy sea, but fortunately she escaped without sustaining any damage. After passing the Western Islands a fair wind was met with, and she came spinning along the coast at a rapid rate, only five days having elapsed between the sighting of the English land and her arrival in the Tay.
9 January 1875
The New Year holidays
Saturday last was a bleak thawing day, which damped the ardour of those bent on following up the routine of making two New Year's Days instead of one when a Friday happens, as it did this year, to be the real New Year's Day. Work was not generally resumed on Monday, and lingering parties of holiday-makers were abroad for one or two days afterwards. The duties of the police force appears to have been unsually light, the cases being very few that were brought up at the Police Court compared with previous years.
St Andrews Citizen
9 January 1892
Consolation for ugly girls
There is a crumb of comfort for ugly girls in Mr F A Doughty's article on this subject. He writes: 'Ugly girls, however, generally carry their consolation with them in a blessed unconsciousness of their want of good looks; have we not all seen them stand before a mirror noting the effect of a colour or a new fashion, with an undisguised expression of admiration on their faces? – very much like the ugly young man who ties his cravat and smiles at his image in the glass with the comforting mental comment, "Not handsome, but devilishly fascinating!" The statement that "ugly girls are generally left to run to waste as unappropriated blessings" is not supported by evidence; who has not met wives as ugly as any old maid in his list of acquaintances?
It is safe to make the broad generalisation that an ugly girl, all other things being equal, is likely to have fewer offers than a pretty girl, but quite as likely to receive the one offer which will make her a happy wife. It may be doubted whether a plurality of lovers is an unmixed advantage to a girl; one good lover, the elect man, attracted to her by affinity in its highest sense, is for ever enough. But all other things (save the gift of beauty) seldom are equal between the ugly and the pretty girl; by the natural law of compensation the ugly girl has either some inherent or some acquired quality that is lacking in the other, which asserts its charm as acquaintance progresses. Beauty only has the start in the race.'
12 January 1889
A gravedigger buried alive
On Wednesday afternoon, while two men, both named James Johnstone, father and son, residing at Woodend, were engaged in Tollcross U.P. Church Cemetary laying the foundation of a headstone to be erected above a newly-made grave, the sides of the excavation, which was 14 feet in depth, collapsed, entirely covering the eldest of the two men, while the young man had a miraculous escape. Part of the foundation had been successfully laid, and Johnstone had taken out two of the staying boards in order to proceed with his work, when the sides gave way as stated. Considerable excitement prevailed in the village when the occurrence was made known, and plenty of willing and experienced hands were found who volunteered to try and reach the buried man. They succeeded in getting sight of the body, but all their endeavours to raise it failed, as it was tightly jammed between the boards, and any further attempts had to be abandoned till the following day.