Spotted in Scotland: This is a brilliant idea. Why don’t we have media recycling bins where I live?

Spotted in Scotland: This is a brilliant idea. Why don’t we have media recycling bins where I live?

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile (July 2014)

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile (July 2014)

Some Serious Weapons at Kilchurn Castle

View of an old military road at Rest and Be Thankful, Scotland, July 2014

View of an old military road at Rest and Be Thankful, Scotland, July 2014

In my book, Highland Passage, Ciarán and Mac are here during the bombardment of Eilean Donan Castle.

Photos: Covenanters Prison, Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, July 2014.

The Inspiration for Highland Soldiers 1: The Enemy

When I visited here on a previous trip, the following story inspired me to write Highland Soldiers: The Enemy. It appears on a plaque outside the Covenanters’ Prison in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland. Here is the text of the plaque pictured above, which appears to the left of the entrance to Covenanters’ Prison.

Behind these gates lies part of the Greyfriars Kirkyard which was used in 1679 as a prison for more than one thousand supporters of the National Covenant who have been defeated by Government forces at the Battle of Bothwell Brig on 22 June. For more than four months these men were held here without any shelter, each man being allowed 4 ounces of bread a day. Kindly citizens were sometimes able to get some more food.

Some of the prisoners died here, somewhere tried and executed for treason, some escaped and some were freed after signing a bond of loyalty to the ground. All those who were persecuted and died for their support of the National Covenant in the rains of Charles II and James VII are commemorated by the Martyrs Memorial on the north-eastern wall of the kirkyard. The Covenant, which was first signed in Grey Friars Kurt in 1638, promised to defend Presbyterianism from intervention by the crown.

In November 1679 the remaining 257 men who had been sentenced to transportation overseas, were taken to Leith and placed on board a ship bound for the American colonies; nearly all were drowned when the ship was wrecked off the Orkney Island s (where there is a monument in their memory) but 48 of the prisoners survived.

The section of the kirkyard used to imprison the Covenantors lay outside the existing south wall and included the area now covered by buildings on Forest Road. The area behind the gate was laid out for burials in 1705 and contains many fine monuments but these did not exist at the time of the prison.

The plaque has been provided by the Grefriars Kirkyard Trust with the support of the Scottish Covenanter Memorials Association.

Train window photo of clouds touching the mountains on the train from Edinburgh to Inverness, Scotland. July 23, 2014.

Train window photo of clouds touching the mountains on the train from Edinburgh to Inverness, Scotland. July 23, 2014.

Doune Castle: July 2014

Doune Castle: July 2014

It took five trips to Scotland, but I’ve finally met the true love of my life. (I know it’s not from Scotland, but that’s where I had it. Om nom nom.)

It took five trips to Scotland, but I’ve finally met the true love of my life. (I know it’s not from Scotland, but that’s where I had it. Om nom nom.)


Scottish Word of the Week - The Scotsman
SPRUNT is a Victorian-era Scots word that originates from the Roxburgh region. Much as the Cromarty dialect is rich with nouns and verbs of the region’s historic fishing, so the Scottish Borders’ own dialects are redolent of the area’s farming communities.
The extinction of spurt is sad in itself, but it’s an increasingly familiar story of the pace of language. Just as “texting” and “selfies” offer a glimpse into how a technologically savvy Scotland now speaks, “sprunt” takes us back to a much simpler time.
So what does it mean? Basically: boys chasing girls around haystacks after dark. Possibly a portmanteau of “sprint” and “hunt” – such as these escapades may have felt for all involved – it not only reads like an activity straight out of a Boy’s Own manual, but it also suggests that it was done so often that “chasing the girls around the haystack” didn’t really cut it for a quick description.
You do wonder what the girls would’ve called it, though.

Scottish Word of the Week - The Scotsman

SPRUNT is a Victorian-era Scots word that originates from the Roxburgh region. Much as the Cromarty dialect is rich with nouns and verbs of the region’s historic fishing, so the Scottish Borders’ own dialects are redolent of the area’s farming communities.

The extinction of spurt is sad in itself, but it’s an increasingly familiar story of the pace of language. Just as “texting” and “selfies” offer a glimpse into how a technologically savvy Scotland now speaks, “sprunt” takes us back to a much simpler time.

So what does it mean? Basically: boys chasing girls around haystacks after dark. Possibly a portmanteau of “sprint” and “hunt” – such as these escapades may have felt for all involved – it not only reads like an activity straight out of a Boy’s Own manual, but it also suggests that it was done so often that “chasing the girls around the haystack” didn’t really cut it for a quick description.

You do wonder what the girls would’ve called it, though.

The 1980s time-warp of the London-Scotland sleeper train

Every time I go to Scotland, I want to take the Caledonian Sleeper, but don’t for one reason or another. These plans for upgrading sound irresistible, though.

image 

Across Europe, sleeper trains seem more and more of a quaint anachronism, but the UK is overhauling an old and famous overnight route, writes Adrian Quine.

The overnight sleepers running between London and Scotland, are about to get a much needed facelift.

The Scottish Government announced this week it is jointly funding a £100m investment in new trains that promise a four-class service with a bar and bistro, sleeping pods, private cabins with beds, desks, wi-fi - even showers. Michelin-star chef Albert Roux is doing the catering.

Read more.

hierarchical-aestheticism:

This is Leanach Farmhouse in Scotland built between 1721 and 1730 and completely restored by the National Trust in 1960. Just a few years ago a survey of the cottage was carried out by Addyman Archaeology so that future conservation work is in keeping with the original house and natural materials.

hierarchical-aestheticism:

This is Leanach Farmhouse in Scotland built between 1721 and 1730 and completely restored by the National Trust in 1960. Just a few years ago a survey of the cottage was carried out by Addyman Archaeology so that future conservation work is in keeping with the original house and natural materials.

(Source: naturalhomes.org)

New Cover Reveal!

Cover artist/designer Ravven has made two beautiful covers for my Scottish historical romances.

(Source: jljarvis.com)