Reviews (8)

Friday, 23 June 2017 14:21

The Maw Maw Bible Teeny Tips for Teenagers

Written by

The Maw Maw Bible

Teeny Tips For Teenagers!


 Marjory Muir

(with a lot of help from Barra Bear, Carly Cat and Friends!)

We were thrilled to receive a copy of Inverness Author and Fundraiser Marjory Muir’s newest publication which she was persuaded to write by her son Jason and his friends. 

Mission Possible 3 is all about – How do you get through the teenage years with a smile on your face? 

Be inspired by Marjory’s wise words for all teenagers and their parents! 

(Illustrated with fun, colourful photographs of her wee buddies - Barra Bear and Carly Cat)

In her new book Marjory gives some guidance on how to survive the Teenage Years and still be your Maw Maw’s best friend.  Marjory’s Teenage Tips range from advice on Healthy Eating, Partying, First Love and even the University of Life! 

We’re sure you won’t be surprised at how demanding Teenagers can be, or maybe you know already and you’re looking for some advice?  Either way you’ll just love Marjory’s words of wisdom and guidance.  You’ll certainly have a smile on your face!

Please contact Marjory at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and purchase a copy of this very informative Maw Maw Bible Teeny Tips For Teenagers as soon as possible! 

Also on Facebook: Barra Bear and Carly Cat and Twitter: @BarraAndCarly

All profits from the sale of the book will go to The Teenage Cancer Trust 

Note from the Author – Marjory Muir:      “Enjoy our wee book, smile a lot and be happy on your journey through the University of Life!”


See also - Barra Bear and Carly Cat's Teeny Tiny Tour of Scotland  and Barra Bear and Carly Cat's Teeny Tiny Tour of the Highlands


Photograph courtesy of Author, Marjory Muir & copy via Buzz Scotland

Monday, 18 January 2016 15:56

Robert Burns in Edinburgh!

Written by


28 January - 7pm

At the D.I. Library, Kilmarnock


Jerry Brannigan, John McShane & David Alexander … … …

In November 1786, Robert Burns arrived in Edinburgh to find a city at the height of the Scottish Enlightenment. It was an Edinburgh that was home to great philosophers, economists, engineers, scientists, writers and poets.  Enterprise and industry were flourishing and Burns was to find himself thrust into the midst of this social and academic whirlpool which forever established him as a vital part of the Scottish Enlightenment.

This book chronicles the places he visited and the brilliant, eccentric, but always fascinating people he met during his stay.

Join authors Jerry Brannigan & John McShane with illustrator David Alexander in the D.I. library Kilmarnock, as they present a side of Robert Burns you possibly didn’t know existed.

Copy & Image via EA Leisure

Barra Bear and Carly Cat’s

Teeny Tiny Tour of Scotland

“The Further Adventures of Two Best Friends”

 By  Marjory Muir

 Barra Bear and Carly Cat’s Teeny Tiny Tour of Scotland – The Further Adventures of Two Best Friends is Inverness born, Scottish Author Marjory Muir’s second book. 

   Read Marjory’s new book about Barra Bear and Carly Cat’s recent adventures in  Scotland ……….and you’ll be smiling from ear to ear!!    

In this book, Barra Bear and Carly Cat explore new Scottish places and meet lots of new people.  The two best friends have been given a “Mission Possible 2”.  What is their “Mission”?  Follow Barra Bear, Carly Cat and friends on their amazing adventures around Scotland and you will find out!

On a visit to the Kelpies they touch the lucky horseshoe – did that help their favourite football team win The Scottish Cup?  Was that their “Mission”? 

This is a really colourful book filled with lots of  fun photographs of the two Star Characters on their travels to different places and towns around Scotland which any child (or adult!) will enjoy!! 

Buzz Scotland Interview with Marjory Muir

BS: Hello Marjory - thanks for joining us.  First of all, can you tell us a bit more about Barra Bear and Carly Cat? How did you come up with the names and style of the characters for your children’s books?

MM: It all started with a Ginger Cat that fancied a wee jaunt in my nephew’s van.  He hadn’t noticed it had made itself comfortable in the front seat until he was a few miles down the road and nearly jumped out of his skin when he realised it was there.  It wasn’t this that was so funny but the way he recounted the story over a family Sunday lunch, we were all roaring with laughter and he didn’t seem to get why we were all laughing so much.  My son kept the joke up for months afterwards with lots of comments about cat encounters and the ideal Christmas present for my nephew, Tango the Ginger Cat!   Tango proved so popular that I was inundated with requests to make cats in all colours.

I then made a crocheted bear for another of my nephews and surprise, surprise, requests poured in for my bears!   Barra Bear and Carly Cat then came along as my own cat and bear, with the names chosen as I just thought they suited them.

My son who was doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award had chosen photography as his skill and opted to create a Scottish Scenery Calendar of his favourite local touristy places and I suggested he could include Barra and Carly in the pics, nobody would have a calendar like that! He initially thought this was a great idea until we started getting strange looks and comments from people wondering what on earth we were doing.  “Art Project” was the response and everyone went past smiling away to themselves.

I jokingly said to my son that I could write wee stories about what Barra and Carly got up to at all the places we visited.   He and my husband thought I was bonkers but this made me more determined to do it.  To my amazement a local publisher decided our first book was good enough to publish and we even reached 5th best seller on Amazon in children’s e-books on bears, above Goldilocks and the 3 Bears! 

I wasn’t sure whether to write a follow-up book but I have been persuaded to by all the lovely people who have bought and enjoyed our first book so much, so here we are with Barra and Carly’s second book of adventures, their Teeny Tiny Tour of Scotland. 

BS: Do you make your own characters, crafts?  Can these be purchased by the general public?  If so, do you donate the profits to Highland Hospice?

MM: Yes, I make all the characters in my books myself, they are all cousins of Barra and Carly.   Barra Bear and Carly Cat are a Registered Trademark and all their cousins I make have a special tag with their name to confirm that they are handcrafted by myself and are indeed cousins of Barra and Carly.   Many of Barra and Carly’s cousins have emigrated to Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand, lots more place to visit when Barra and Carly go on their world tour!

The cousins are handmade to order and can be made in any colour.  The profits from the cousins are also donated to Highland Hospice.   I also make the wee smiles and big smiles that are featured in our second book and 100% of the proceeds from these are donated to Highland Hospice.

BS: Inverness is said to be the happiest place to live in Scotland – do you agree?

MM: Inverness is definitely a very happy place to live but everyone makes their own happiness wherever they live.  Perhaps Barra and Carly help to make Inverness the happiest place to live in Scotland!    We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of Scotland where everyone is so friendly and welcoming.  Barra and Carly are excellent tourism ambassadors for the whole of Scotland, there are so many wonderful places to discover and adventures to create.

BS: You donate the profits from the sale of the books to The Highland Hospice.  Can you tell us more about The Highland Hospice (e.g. what the money you raise goes towards?)

MM: Highland Hospice provides palliative care to improve the quality of life for people throughout the Highlands with life limiting illnesses and also does a wonderful job of supporting families and carers too.   I have personal experience of Highland Hospice being very good to my father and our family in his final weeks 25 years ago and several of my friends have also been very well looked after by their wonderful staff.  

We are raising money to purchase bricks for Highland Hospice’s Project Build Appeal, a new extension to provide improved facilities and support to both their in-patients and those who use the services of Highland Hospice on a day to day basis.   We raised £585 from our first book and we are hoping to raise as much, if not more from our second book. 

Profits from the sale of the books go to The Highland Hospice. 

Purchase a copy of the book from Amazon UK at


Buzz Scotland would like to thank Marjory for the photo and for such a great interview!  Please give Highland Hospice and Marjory your support by purchasing a copy of this lovely book - Thankyou!

Thursday, 27 August 2015 00:00

Lang Lang at Edinburgh International Festival

Written by


Lang Lang in Recital

The audience waited ….. Lang Lang did not disappoint! 

He came on to the stage at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall to thunderous applause which he acknowledged and then sat down to begin his Debut Piano Recital at Edinburgh International Festival.  The theatre had earlier announced his first piece would be The Seasons by Tchaikovsky – a change to the printed programme which showed the first piece he played would be the Italian Concerto BWV971 by Bach.

Lang Lang immediately took command of the Steinway Piano and slowly began to play the first piece of music from The Seasons by Tchaikovsky.  The audience settled down and quietly followed the maestro’s hand movements on and above the piano keys.  His whole body moved in time with the music as he played through the classical pieces. 

Next was the Italian Concerto BWV871 by Bach which Lang Lang played with lively intensity.  His head moved in time with the piano.

After the interval Lang Lang again mesmerised the audience with his lively playing of the Scherzos by Chopin.  Leading to a grand finale Lang Lang proved to the sold out audience at the Usher Hall that he is indeed a great maestro.

Lang Lang returned to the stage to play first of all a Chinese tune called Seaweed – enjoy!  Followed by a lively piano piece, he said was from Cuba. More here

After a floral presentation and many more standing ovations, Lang Lang finally said farewell to Edinburgh and Scotland.

Barra Bear and Carly Cat’s

Teeny Tiny

Tour of The Highlands


Marjory Muir

Barra Bear and Carly Cat’s Teeny Tiny Tour of The Highlands is Marjory Muir’s first book which we are delighted to review.  Marjory has not only brought the wonderful local places to life, but also the book’s characters! 

If you want directions or information about a place, ask someone who lives there!

These two best friends take you on a tour of the Highlands.  They visit some of the places you may not be aware of, as well as some familiar spots, meeting local people along the way.  This is a great book for children.  The stories are short and each one is different and fun.  The book would also bring a smile to any adult’s face!

Did you know that Nessie (the Loch Ness Monster) plays Hide and Seek?  It’s all in the book!

Even if you are not planning to visit the Scottish Highlands we are sure after reading Barra Bear and Carly Cat’s Teeny Tiny Tour of The Highlands, you will want to visit very soon.  Enjoy the photographs of the wonderful Highland scenery.

The profits from the sale of the book will go to the Highland Hospice.

Note from the Author:  “Marjory had great fun writing her wee book and hopes that it will make her readers smile and encourage them to get out and about exploring our beautiful country to create their own adventures”.

Follow/Like Barra Bear and Carly Cat on Facebook.



Wednesday, 03 September 2014 00:00

Edinburgh Festival

Written by


BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Usher Hall


The Usher Hall celebrated 100 years of music and entertaining audiences in 2014.  What better venue to host the final concert of the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival.  It is an incredible concert hall and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra plus singers of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus really took up all the space on stage.  The Conductor for the event was Ilan Volkov.

Edinburgh International Festival’s Director and composer Sir Jonathan Mills’ oratorio, Sandakan Threnody, was the first piece to be performed with Andrew Staples, Tenor.  The piece was selected to honour the 2,500 British and Australian prisoners of war who lost their lives in North Borneo during the Second World War.  Sir Jonathan’s father, Frank Mills, was incarcerated in Sandakan and Kuching as a prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945.  He was a surgeon in the Australian Army.  The threnody was also written as a tribute to his father’s experiences in North Borneo.  This was a very lively and versatile piece of music and singing.

The second half was an upbeat and joyous piece of music by Janacek – Glagolitic Mass.  The wonderful sound of the organ played by Thomas Trotter filled the Usher Hall.  Hibla Gerzmava, Soprano, Claudia Huckle, Contralto, Simon O’Neill, Tenor and Jan Martinik, Bass accompanied the Orchestra and Chorus. 

Sir Jonathan Mills leaves his post of eight years as Director at the Edinburgh International Festival on a high.  In his farewell speech he thanked everyone for supporting him and for giving “an inch of time” to support the Festival.  He also thanked the many talented performers who have entertained the audiences during his time in office.  Finally, he offered his successor Fergus Linehan, every good wish for the future.

Monday, 11 August 2014 00:00

Edinburgh Festival

Written by



 Ladysmith Black Mambazo  Saturday 9 August 2014  The Playhouse

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a fun a cappella all male South African talented vocal group.  A young South African farm boy called Joseph Shabalala established the group in the early 1960s.  Their name is taken from his home town of Ladysmith; Black refers to the oxen; and Mambazo is the Zulu word for a chopping axe – a symbol.  Members of Joseph’s family are in the group to this day.  Check out their website

Their one-off concert at The Edinburgh Playhouse took place the day before the start of ‘Inala’ (see below). With no background scenery, no supporting dancers and no instrumental accompaniment, LBM sang to the audience of 3000 in their native South African strong voices enhancing the rich sounds of their country. The audience was invited to join in with the singing which they did with great enthusiasm.  LBM’s own style of dancing and energetic acrobatic moves, added an exciting and fun flair to the evening’s performance.  A brilliant night out listening to the sounds of these wonderful South African male singers! 

Inala  Sunday 10 – Tuesday 12 August 2014  The Playhouse

Inala (described as a Zulu Ballet) was billed as a “World Premiere” and it certainly was world class with the first night audience giving the production a standing ovation - Inala means ‘abundance of goodwill’! Lady Black Mambazo were also starring in the show with their strong South African singing and this time they were accompanied by a small band. 

Choreographer Mark Baldwin included traditional Zulu song and dance with more modern day classical ballet and dance. The dancers performed such incredible leaps and thrilling moves. Their animal styled costumes helped to enhance their animal dance movements. 

LBM remained on stage throughout the performance and even joined in with their own dancing and acting skills.  The performance was constant and fast flowing. 

The audience seemed disappointed the cast didn’t come back out for another curtain call……A first-class performance!

The James Plays at the Festival Theatre  (Photo of the Ceilidh shown above)      

When you go along to an event at The Edinburgh International Festival you do expect to see “something a bit different”.  Rona Munro has certainly provided something new in her portrayal of the history of the Stewart Kings.  She has also given us a different, and at times, fun outlook of the people in the 15th century!  The cast was excellent. They performed their roles with ease, fun – loved the ceilidh - and plenty of fighting spirit. 

James l:  The Key Shall Keep the Lock  The opening scenes with King Henry and his prisoner James l take you by surprise and that wasn’t just their use of language!  Some of the modern day comments had the audience laughing and right away you were engrossed in the story and the type of character James McArdle was portraying as James 1.  His young wife was also very entertaining…well done!

James ll:  Day of the Innocents  James ll played by Andrew Rothney was crowned King at a very young age and the use of a puppet King added a different take.  At times the puppet and handlers distracted as you struggled to focus on the real James ll and/ or the puppet.  The first half of this play was quite dark with less of a story line.  The arrival of his young wife brought the play back to life.

James lll:  The True Mirror  Jamie Sives as James lll played quite a diverse, fun-loving character whose wife ultimately took over his role for Scotland.  Sofie Grabol was excellent as his loving wife Queen Margaret.

We saw the three plays on the one day.  Quite a marathon as they were on for 2.5 hours each but well worth it.  In summarising, James l and James lll could be stand alone plays, however, the weakest story was that portrayed in James ll.  Well done to the musicians and the beautiful singer in James l. 

Could the James Plays be a Hollywood or perhaps Scottish movie? Should we watch this space? It would be great if it was filmed in Scotland!




Friday, 08 August 2014 00:00

The Book of Beasts

Written by

The Book of Beasts


John and Carole E. Barrowman


The Book of Beasts is the third book in John and Carole Barrowman’s Hollow Earth trilogy.  The book is well illustrated with a very informative Glossary, in case you haven’t read the other books in the series.

Take your imagination on a journey – “May you never forget imagination is the real and the eternal.  This is Hollow Earth” – quote from The Book of Beasts.

Follow adventurous twins Matt and Emily Calder on their mysterious journey on the island of Auchinmurn in Scotland.  Read about them as they travel through different centuries, the demons and beasts they face and how they use their amazing talents.

Not giving too much away, they also have really unusual parents – well their mum seems fine – but their dad is a bit….was going to say strange…but don’t think that’s the right word to use – you have to read the book and make your own judgement!

As you turn the pages of the book, the pace of the story heightens and different characters continue to fire your imagination.  The Book of Beasts is filled with lots of excitement, mystery and some bursts of humour – an excellent read.