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Friday, 26 February 2010

Buried by books

So, this was my desk this morning...

What's on show here is just some of the books I've been using to research Scottish Miscellany. There's a whole pile not on display here because they've already gone back to the local library. (The eagle-eyed among you will noticed that I've even been using another book I wrote, Match Wits with the Kids, to help me write this one!)

Anyway, the book's coming on apace now, but before I can carry on this afternoon I think I'm going to have to tidy some of this lot up, if only so I can find my mouse again.


Thursday, 25 February 2010

Nessie Online Colouring Game

One for the wee bairns...

Why is Scotland called Scotland?

You may have asked yourself various questions about the Scots and Scottish culture before - such as what is a haggis? Why do Scotsmen wear kilts? And what's with all the bagpipe music? - but have you ever asked yourself why Scotland is called Scotland in the first place?

Well, if you have (or, at least, if you're wondering now) then my Scottish Miscellany is for you, since it answers this question (and the others mentioned above) in detail.

As far as I'm concerned, one of the most engaging legends surrounding the origin of the name of the country and its people concerns this rather striking young lady.

This is Scota, legendary mother of the Scottish people, as realised by artist Clint Langley* in the 2000AD comic strip Slaine.

According to the ancient Irish chronicles (yes, you read that right - Irish!) Princess Scota was the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh and was killed fighting the Formorian sea-devils during her husband's invasion of Ireland. She was buried in Slieve Mish, Kerry, in a place that is still known today as Scota's Glenn.

But as to why she ended up giving her name to another country entirely, you'll just have to wait until the Fall to find out, when Scottish Miscellany is published...

* Who just happened to paint the cover for my first ever novel, The Dead and the Damned.

Weather forecasting the Scottish way

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Thinking of visiting Scotland?

Then you really should visit, and book your trip right now!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Track down your Scottish roots

ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information.

With almost 80 million records to access, your visit will doubtless be enjoyable and may also end up in connecting generations of your family.


Came across this bit of haggis-related fun the other day whilst perusing the Internet and thought I'd share it with you.

To play Whack-A-Haggis, click here.

Welcome to the book of the blog

And, in case you're wondering, that book is Scottish Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scotland the Brave, to be published by Skyhorse Publishing, this Fall, and written by me - Jonathan Green.

Last year Skyhorse published another of my books, called Christmas Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas. It has it's own blog here.

But back to this blog and my new book...

As you have probably worked out for yourself by now it's going to answer all those questions you've ever had about Scottish culture, Scotland and the Scots themselves.

What do Scotsmen wear under their kilts? What is a haggis, really? Why is Robert Burns so celebrated by Scots around the world? Is there really a monster in Loch Ness? And how does Sean Connery get away with using the same Scottish accent no matter what role he's playing?

All these questions - and more! - will be answered in the book (except maybe the one about Sean Connery) which will also include recipes, poems and interesting snippets of factual information from time to time.

So keep an eye on this blog over the coming months as I start to look at all things Scottish and when you drop by, why not leave me a comment and say 'Hi!'?

Until next time...