A Sense of the Past

Too much time on my hands?

Well possibly. But surely isn’t that what retirement is all about, being able to do things never previously thought possible.

What started out as an occasional rambling developed into a blog, which proved I could at least write, and somehow out of this has come a book which has now found its way onto the Amazon shelves. Don’t expect to feel the crisp edges of fine paper here since this is purely for eBook readers, but in creating this thing I have taken a new direction, delving into fiction, and gone further than I expected. And yes, there is a sense of achievement.

So what is it all about? Well this is a synopsis…

This is a story within a story, an account of the enlightening process of writing an ancient tale and how the author becomes engaged with the characters in such a way that they came to life, describing each event as it unfolds, a tale that comes leaching out of the faint remains which are still present in the landscape in which it is set.
The book begins in the modern day with a bus journey from the tiny village of Carradale on a road which winds its way southwards towards Campbeltown. The travellers, most of whom are well acquainted with each other, gaze out at the stunning scenery as it rolls by or engage in friendly chatter to pass the time, noticing but not commenting upon the beautiful landscape around them.
We are then transported into the lives of a young man called Drustan and a girl called Ailisl (who might be called Alice in the modern day), both of whom lived some 4000 years ago in the same remote part of Scotland, what is now Kintyre in Argyll. Considered remote today, in Ailisl’s day it would have been much more so and the impact of the arrival by boat of a group of strangers into her fragile, isolated community forms the basis for the tale. The narrative deals with issues which resonate clearly into the modern day; how we deal with strangers whose language and customs are foreign to us, how we judge our fellows and learn to place our trust in them and how communities can come together in times of adversity. It draws much inspiration from the author’s love of this part of the world and from the lives of its present day inhabitants.

To find it on its bookshelf just follow the link.

Angus the alpaca

Just spent a lovely afternoon walking with the alpacas. Highly recommended. more…


In this country it is during the month of November that we hold ceremonies during which we pause our lives to remember those whose lives were lost in conflict and we to try to understand the futility of war. We particularly focus on the lives of those lost in the last century, those whose relatives are still living with us. The passing of one hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War is […] more…

Home life

I sit around at home trying to commit to memory the words for my part in the Christmas pantomime, learning my prompts and wondering how much of it will be acting and how much just me. The humour in the part I play requires me to act a little stupid, so nothing difficult there then. (More than this I cannot disclose at this stage for fear of revealing the plot prematurely and spoiling the show […] more…

Favourite people and places

If ever I were asked for a list of my favourite places then Newton Bay is one that would be very close to the top. It is part of Northumberland’s North Sea coastline and is a place given natural shelter by a rocky reef, where the sand is soft, the sea is invariably cold and the light has a special quality about it. Some years ago, with our young children on board and just as […] more…

Next Page »