Ancient word of the day: Bóithrín

The word bóithrín comes from small (ín) Cow (bó) path. This is a path can either be man-made or created by cow meandering. Bóthar for road and botharín for small road – in the diminutive form. This became boreen or bohereen in Hiberno-English.

Ancient word of the day: Hedgehog

The ancient word for today is hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus. In the Middle Ages, writers didn’t make reference to hedgehogs, but to urchins. A term still favoured in some English dialects. It’s also associated with the sea urchin, which is literally a sea hedgehog. The word urchin came over to England with the Norman invasion andContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Hedgehog”

Travel: A visit to Eileann Donan Castle

Eileann Donan Castle is near the Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland. I went there once in winter and once at the end of autumn. This place is steeped in ancient mystery, wonder and a sense of the densely lived past. When peering over the loch and the pristine quiet wilderness, you are peering into the deepContinue reading “Travel: A visit to Eileann Donan Castle”

Explore the cosiest bothies in the Scottish highlands

There’s something uniquely Scottish about bothys.  These tiny mountain shacks are normally found in remote parts of the Scottish highlands and islands. They can be found in all kinds of conditions – some with running water and a fireplace and even electricity! Other’s don’t have more than an old fashioned hearth where you can throwContinue reading “Explore the cosiest bothies in the Scottish highlands”

Travel: The ruins of Duntulm Castle on Trotternish

I visited Duntulm on the northerly most point of the Trotternish peninsula on the Isle of Skye back in 2010. Many many moons ago, perhaps several thousand years ago, the now mostly ravaged and ruined castle was originally a Pictish fortress, forming one of a chain of duns or forts stretching along the north coastContinue reading “Travel: The ruins of Duntulm Castle on Trotternish”

The Gloaming Part 4: Tam O’Shanter

When chapman billies leave the street, And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet; As market days are wearing late, And folk begin to tak the gate, While we sit bousing at the nappy, An’ getting fou and unco happy, We think na on the lang Scots miles, The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles, That lie between us and our hame, Where sits our sulky, sullen dame, Gathering herContinue reading “The Gloaming Part 4: Tam O’Shanter”

Book Review: Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg

*Contains no spoilers Born and brought up in Sweden, Karin Altenberg moved to Britain to study in 1996. She holds a PhD in Archaeology and is currently senior advisor to the Swedish National Heritage Board and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Island of Wings is her first novel. It’s the dazzling andContinue reading “Book Review: Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg”

Travel: A weekend trip to the medieval town of Linlithgow: History through the mists of time to today

The beautiful burgh of Linlithgow charmed the pants off me when I went there a few years ago. The town sits astride the Forth and Clyde Canal (which I’ve written on extensively) which is around half way between Edinburgh and Glasgow. There’s a train link on Scotrail which goes between cities that takes you there, andContinue reading “Travel: A weekend trip to the medieval town of Linlithgow: History through the mists of time to today”

How Old Norse Became English: A Viking Epic

Now I can’t take credit for this one, I found it here on Babbel, but it was just so so so amazing that I needed to share it with all of you bookworms. I’ve written about Vikings before and I also love that Vikings drama series on History, soon be coming into its third season,Continue reading “How Old Norse Became English: A Viking Epic”