Monthly Archives: February 2017

Clava Cairns

The Clava Cairns, deep in history and the highlands….

The Hazel Tree

We came across Clava Cairns as the sun sank in the winter sky, glinting through the branches and leaving deep shadowy hollows still thick with frost from the night before.

abernethy-jw-jan-2017-125It’s a place that you have to seek out, taking a few turns down narrow country roads, past fields and woods until a long stone wall and a brown road sign tell you that you’re there.  Pulling into the small car park alongside, you’re still not really aware of the place until you step out from the trees and into the grassy area that they seem to be so intently guarding.  Then you see them:  three wide circular mounds topped with rounded cobbles, each one apparently surrounded by its own ring of standing stones.

abernethy-jw-jan-2017-94abernethy-jw-jan-2017-84Long shadows radiated like fingers, blurring the edge between reality and imagination.  Sunlight caught random patches of moss and stone, while on the lee side all was…

View original post 736 more words

The First Blast of the Trumpet: Marie Macpherson

The Idle Woman

John Knox made a brief cameo appearance in my GCSE History course, mainly to demonstrate that many people in the 16th century thought female monarchs were A Bad Thing. As part of a monstrous regiment of my own, in my girls’ school, I never had the chance to learn much more about him than the title of his most famous work, which naturally made me regard him with slight disapproval; and now, fifteen years later, it’s time to finally redress the balance. Marie Macpherson’s novel – the first in a proposed trilogy – turns him from merely a name on a history syllabus into a much more rounded and appealing figure, set firmly in his time.

View original post 1,359 more words