I take my fact-checking seriously.


Eilean Donan Castle Yesterday, 7/15/14

Eilean Donan Castle Yesterday, 7/15/14

The gentleman at the Eilean Donan Castle ticket booth was so nice when I asked about the tidal times and depth of the water. He assured me that in Highland Passage, Ciarán and Mac would indeed have needed a boat to get across to the castle even at low tide. He checked a schedule inside the ticket booth for the exact time when the tide is the lowest, and then showed me how high the water gets at high tide.

THE BITTEN: Themed Stories Collected by Brandon Hale


All proceeds go toward Brandon Hale’s fight with cancer,  so please consider buying a copy and sharing the link. —JL

The Bitten is the latest anthology from the authors at Raptor Retreat Press, collected by Brandon Hale. 

Whether it’s erotic, horrific or simply bloody, there is an intimacy between the predator and his or her prey, and once bitten, both are never the same again. These 28 tales encompass our most primal fears and fantasies. Stories that are amusing, poignant, sexy or acerbic, the reader, once tempted, will want to return again and again. 

This Vampire and Werewolf anthology contains stories by Trish Marie Dawson, Ana Oru’, Stephen Arseneault, George Wier, John Daulton, Jeanette Raleigh, Robert Thomas, Suzy Stewart Dubot, Randall Morris, Amelia Price (Jess Mountifield), Donna McNicol, John Peters, Randy Ingermanson, Corrie Fischer, Anna J. McIntyre, Lee Burton, Cleve Sylcox, Scott Langrel, Chris Ward, Elizabeth Jasper, WSMT3, Saxon Andrew, J R C Salter, James Rozoff, Alison Blake, Ben Cassidy, Billy Kring & K S Haigwood.

Scottish word of the week: Sprunt – The Scotsman

Scottish word of the week: Sprunt - The Scotsman

Scottish word of the week: Sprunt – 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.

Stirling set for Bannockburn commemoration weekend - The Scotsman

STIRLING is gearing up for thousands of visitors as it prepares to host a weekend of piping, parades, the Red Arrows and the 700th anniversary of one of Scotland’s most famous historic battles.

Bletchley Park: the secret is out at last




After an £8 million restoration, the code-breaking site of Bletchley Park is ready for a flood of visitors – starting with the Duchess of Cambridge

“You would never guess that this small country estate housed thousands of wartime staff and the brains that broke, among many other things, the Enigma codes” Photo: JOHN LAWRENCE

So, they’ve finally cracked it. Bletchley Park, the Second World War code-breaking site in Buckinghamshire, celebrates the completion of its one-year, £8 million Heritage Lottery-funded restoration project today with a visit from the Duchess of Cambridge.

You would never guess – well of course you wouldn’t – as you cross the main road from Bletchley railway station and pass a new housing development, that this small country estate housed thousands of wartime staff and the brains that broke, among many other things, the Enigma codes. Nobody knew about it until the first book about Bletchley came out in the Seventies. Nobody visited until a band of doughty local historians fought its demolition and opened it in 1994 (10 people turned up).

Read more.

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.

The Caledonian Sleeper

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.

One World Futbol

I love this idea so much that I’ve just made a donation. It’s a simple way to bring a small bit of joy to some children who deserve a larger measure of happiness in their lives. Read more about it here: https://www.oneworldfutbol.com/our-stories/company-story/