Some of Buckland's adventures might have been frowned upon by the ecologists of today. He once fed brandy to an ailing porpoise in a doomed effort to revive it. That he had already administered what he hoped would be a restorative dose of ammonia may have had something to do with the unfortunate creature's subsequent demise. As a child he was given a dead alligator to play with, and eating Japanese sea slugs was another of his quirks.
But Buckland was also an important pioneer in the fields of fisheries conservation and aquaculture. The Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther is currently hosting an exhibition on the man and his legacy. This weekend is your last chance to see it.
As The Weird and Wonderful World of Frank Buckland exhibition draws to a close, the Winter Words Festival gets underway in Pitlochry this weekend. From Julia Donaldson speaking about the Gruffalo to Christopher Brookmyre reading from his new novel Pandaemonium, there's something to suit all tastes. However, if you like your literature to have a late-night flavour to it, consider two events taking place tonight and tomorrow evening.
The Ben-y-Vrackie bar is the venue for tonight's session of Faerie Tales. Comprising ghoulish tales submitted to the festival, it attracts work from professional and novice writers. The unifying theme is that the stories make the skin creep, heart leap and bar do a steady trade in nerve-settling single malts.
On a more chilled rather than spine-tingling tip, poet Don Paterson hosts an event called the Words and Music of Cool America in the Winter Words foyer tomorrow evening. The words will be those of hep cats Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara and Louise Gluck, while the works of Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Gerry Mulligan will soundtrack the groovy ideas. Extravagant facial hair is not a requirement of entry.
Just as hip but more contemporary will be tomorrow's Chemikal Underground night at Celtic Connections. Celebrating the Glasgow record label's 15th birthday is a stellar line-up of artists who are, or who have been, connected to the influential label. The Phantom Band, former Delgado and Underground stalwart Emma Pollock, Ex-Arab Strapper Aidan Moffat and lovely indie-folksters Zoey Van Goey are among the heroes who will be rocking the ABC sixways to Sunday.
www.scotfishmuseum.org; www.pitlochry.org.uk; www.celticconnections.com
This article was first published in Scotland on Sunday, January 31, 2010