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Big Yin's standing stone

Nine-foot rock in his garden
by Bob Dow (Daily Record)

COMIC Billy Connolly has put up his own three-ton standing stone in his Highland garden. The lump of Caithness granite at Candacraig House in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, is inscribed with the Big Yin's favourite saying: "There's no such thing as normal." Glasgow-born Connolly has a long-standing passion for Scotland's standing stones. He was filmed dancing naked around a ring of stones in Orkney during a televised tour of Scotland. And after buying secluded Candacraig , he was determined to have his own.

Telly pal Michael Parkinson put him in touch with English-based carver Martin Cook, 45, who travelled to Wick to select the stone himself. Martin carved the inscription by hand before transporting the stone to Strathdon and putting it up. Martin said: "I get some unusual requests and standing stones are now very popular for people to have in their gardens with carved words or poetry on them.

"The carving took the best part of a week. Then it was transported to Billy's place and we fixed it on to a concrete foundation. With the help of the gardeners and anyone else around, we hoisted it into place with ropes ."

The stone, which is nine feet high, stands discreetly at the foot of a mound in the 12 acres of grounds. Martin said: "It is not dominating the garden, the idea of standing stones is that they draw an energy to them. It was a lovely commission, very unusual.

"Apparently, it has been admired a lot by all his guests he has had up there but I haven't had any spin-offs from it yet." Martin stayed with Connolly and wife Pamela Stephenson at Candacraig during the work.

He said: "It was fantastic. Billy and his wife are delightful people. Incredibly hospitable and what you see with him on TV is absolutely how he is."
BigSweetie Posted by BigSweetie
8th July 2003ce
Edited 8th July 2003ce

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