Born in my grandparents’ house in Cardigan in West Wales, I was surrounded by my mother’s family speaking Welsh to each other, with the casual familiarity of the monoglot. Then Dad came home from the war and our little nuclear family moved to their own house and the dominant language changed to English. Dad was … Continue reading I’m glad I’m Welsh!
Shetlandic / Shetlan/ Shetland dialect That subtitle could bog us down in the dreaded question: ‘Is it a language or a dialect?’ And ‘what should it be called?’ Let’s not go there. Shetlanders just say ‘we’re spaekin Shetlan’. Leaving the politics of language aside, Shetlan or Shetlandic is somewhat distinctive, a ‘relic’ as the linguist … Continue reading What’s not to love about mother tongue?
I avoided learning Gaelic earlier because it seemed too much of a cliche for such a fervent Scot as I, especially when all my people were Lowlanders. I finally succumbed to it when we lived in Glasgow from 1992 until 1996. I had known it was nothing like English and was one of the Celtic … Continue reading Suas leis a’Ghàidhlig
It was inevitable – having mastered the basics of photography and having trained as an architect – that I spent a lot of time photographing buildings around the world. For reasons that I mentioned in my previous blog, I had discovered the joy of nature and wildlife photography and when I wasn’t photographing buildings, I … Continue reading Street Photography and Annan Through a Pandemic
As a youngster, I hated having to line up on some special occasion for a family photograph. Once suitably posed, there was the universally understood ‘cheeeeese . . .’ followed by ‘click’. It was in the gap between ‘cheeeeese’ and ‘click’ that I would pull a stupid face that would only be discovered on the … Continue reading Photography: How It Started
Patti Landmann was the winner of our 2021 Autumn Voices Spring Short Story Competition, and we’re delighted to see her back here talking about her creative seasonal crafting and showing us some of the fantastic things she’s made. Hello Autumn Voices Community! I’m Patti Landmann to my friends, but Patricia Landmann officially for my 81 … Continue reading A wonderful Wisconsin woodcarver
About Leslie Knitting is easy. All you need are two pointy sticks (needles), some yarn (wool usually), and you’re away. There are only two basic stitches – plain and purl – and all patterns are a variation of these two simple stitches. The texture of your knitting project depends on the size of the needles … Continue reading Knitting is easy!
Our theme for December is ‘a bit of coorie and hygge’, which frankly we all need at the moment after being thoroughly launched into winter with torrential rain and flooding, then blown away in Storm Arwen and pelted with snow! It’s definitely time to stay warm and cosy, and in our online content this month … Continue reading A recipe for heaven
How is it possible to love someone so much and yet to know so little about them? So asks Fredrik Backman in his book My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises. It’s a question that has popped into my head many times over the last few months – particularly since joining the Devils’ Porridge research … Continue reading Flora Makes the Devil’s Porridge
I never knew my grandfather Joe. He’d been in the army since his teens as a member of the Royal Horse Artillery’s ‘L’ Battery. He was born in 1890 in a tiny house opposite the gasworks in London’s Pimlico (long before it was fashionable), and he was 24 when war broke out. He was a … Continue reading My Grandfather Joe
For those of you who enjoyed Lizzie’s second blog instalment last week, Women Without Men, this recently released book by Lucy Fisher might be of particular interest: Women in the War For those of you who watched or attended Remembrance services this Sunday just past, Lizzie’s third and final instalment of her war poetry and remembrance … Continue reading The World Will Soon Forget
Much of the poetry I found was written by women; there is hardly any need to state the sadly obvious reason for this. They were still alive, and they were still willing to take up their pens to add some postscripts to their war poems. There is much of the grief of bereavement in their … Continue reading Women Without Men
One hundred years ago the world was in a state of recovery. The immense trauma of the First World War had been swiftly followed by a pandemic, as the Spanish flu tore through country after country. The last cases were recorded in 1920, so that for the duration of six years, death, destruction, uncertainty and … Continue reading The Empty World
Abdourahim was born in the Comoros Archipelago on the island of Grande Comoro (Ngazidja) in 1953 into a family of ten and grew up in the capital city of Moroni. There, he received both his primary and secondary education. Following the award of his French Baccalaureate Diploma, he got a scholarship to further his studies … Continue reading Black History Month: From the Comoros to Scotland
On the 1st of December, 1980, I bundled two small boys, two collie dogs and some random bags bulging with essential everyday paraphernalia into my yellow Ford Escort. I loved that car! I was setting off on a journey from Tain up in Rosshire, all the way down to the south to the quiet little … Continue reading A High Street Vet