The News

Don't be a Ramgunshoch Horse-leech! Get the Burns Night app and book, and get ready to party on January 25th

There’ll be no excuses for not celebrating this coming Burns Night in style now that the new Robert Burns Night app and book from Saraband are on the market. Whether you’re a veteran of the world’s greatest birthday party or you’re a Burns Supper virgin, this is the red, red rose of apps – a complete toolkit for your Burns Night celebration, wherever you are.

Available for download now on iTunes and very soon on Android, the Robert Burns Night app, which was featured in iTunes UK's NEW & NOTEWORTHY, The Guardian's apps blog and on BBC 6 Music, has been specially updated for 2013.

‘So whit’s new?’ you might ask. Well, you’ll learn how to cook the perfect haggis with recipes from Jo Macsween, author of The Haggis Bible and director of Macsweens haggis company, and then serenade its journey to the table with our tuneful iPipes, by champion piper, Finlay Johnston. Address the haggis in style, and then – to help you avoid looking like a ramgunshoch horse-leech – use our ‘flyte assistant’ to find the perfect Burnsian insults (or compliments) for your speeches and toasts.

To help you recite Tam O’Shanter with the best of them, listen to how it’s done by a leading pro, and then repeat it yourself with the aid of our autocue. Round your evening off with the best of Burns’ songs, arranged and sung by the inimitable Grace-Hewat-Polwart trio, and then the traditional version of Auld Lang Syne.

So download the app, buy Burns Night: A Freestyle Guide, don your best tartan and have a braw bard’s birthday party on January 25th. Slainte Mhath!

What they said about the Burns Night app on iTunes:

“Chieftain o’ the Burns apps!” – Bonnie Wee Jean.

“A richt wee braw app” – Susan.


Buy the Burns Night app on iTunes

Buy the book, Burns Night: A Freestyle Guide on Amazon



It’s the Saraband ‘End of the World Giveaway’!

Well, here we are – it’s December 21st 2012 and, according to some who *think* they understand ancient Mayan astronomy, we have just a few hours to go before we cease to be.

For something a little more accurate about the Maya, look no further than Clare Gibson’s (@MrsSymbols) Hidden Life of the Ancient Maya, a fascinating and beautiful book that explores the ancient Maya civilisation through the symbolism of its art and artefacts. Here’s an extract from the foreword, which covers the common misconceptions about why some believe this could be our last day.Extract.

Happy reading! (We would say Merry Christmas also, but there doesn’t seem much point.)


Beneath Cold Seas wins prestigious National Outdoor Book Award

We are very excited to announce that Beneath Cold Seas has scooped the Design & Artistic Merit category of the 2012 National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA), an annual awards programme recognizing the best in outdoor writing and publishing.

Featuring remarkable photography by David Hall, Beneath Cold Seas reveals the underwater world of the North American Pacific coast, which contains the most diverse and spectacular marine life of any coldwater ecosystem on the planet.

“The judges were unanimous in their assessment of photographer David Hall’s work,” said Ron Watters, Chairman of the Awards. “He is a gifted artist and has created a masterpiece.”

This year’s National Outdoor Book Awards winners, revealed on Thursday 15 November, were chosen by a panel of judges consisting of educators, academics, book reviewers, authors, editors, and outdoor columnists from across the USA. In their official review of Beneath Cold Seas, the judges said: “This book is a work of art from every possible angle – from the exquisite photographs, to the book’s design, to its flawless printing and production process. There’s no other way to describe it: David Hall has created a masterpiece.

“It’s not something that came easy. His underwater photographic technique had been painstakingly developed and refined over years of work. And what a difficult environment in which to work: diving in bitter cold waters, working in a neutrally buoyant state without a tripod, not having the ability to use telephoto lenses (because of the turbidity of the water), and dealing with a limited amount of time (due to air and nitrogen concerns).

“Hall has everything right in this book. This is a complete and moving immersion in the breathtaking underwater world of the Pacific Northwest.”

Marine biologist Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, who wrote the introduction to Beneath Cold Seas, said that the book would also appeal to British audiences: “The north Atlantic faces issues similar to the north Pacific, such as overexploitation and the need for increased protection. And while our species may differ, I think UK audiences will connect with these images through their familiarity of temperate ocean waters, and through their acknowledgement that we as developed nations must step up to increase marine conservation efforts.”

Buy Beneath Cold Seas at Amazon UK.


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