Happy Old New Year

In Burghead in Moray in the north east of Scotland, a fire festival takes place on 11th January every year to celebrate Old New Year. Back in the mid 1750s, there was a discrepancy of 11 days between two calendars, the older Julian calendar and the more modern Gregorian calendar. Most European countries changed...

Skye August 2019

Really looking forward to giving a talk on the magical Isle of Skye on Saturday 17th August in a stunning venue. I’ll be speaking about the interesting times of 1745-6 and the men and women involved in those. The wonderful and talented Barbara Henderson and I are presenting separate events and then coming together...

World Book Day 2019

Here’s me dressed up as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, photo taken by Kim Ayres for the Wigtown Book Festival a few years back. My favourite book of all time is The Flight of the Heron by DK Broster, the romantic adventure par excellence of the Jacobite Rising of 1745. I’m currently reading The...

Book Week Scotland 2018

  Along with many of my fellow wordsmiths, I was criss-crossing Scotland last week (19th to 25th November) to celebrate Book Week Scotland 2018, run by the Scottish Book Trust. The theme this year was ‘Rebel’.  My first event was at the Brander Library in Huntly in Aberdeenshire, a lovely wood-panelled Victorian building, where the librarians had...