A very big thank you…

Today, my stats show that The Hazel Tree has reached 100,000 views.   What a fantastic total!   What this means to me is that this blog is being read and enjoyed regularly, attracting new visitors, and giving lots of pleasure and interest to thousands of people.  That is something I never thought I would be able to say!

Skipness CastleOne of my first posts was about Skipness Castle in Kintyre

I would never have dreamed, when I started off in July 2011, that I would get so involved with it, find so many new friends, and have such a ball.   Doing this has transformed my confidence, and shown me quite clearly where my interests and passions lie.  I still have a hard job trying to describe exactly what I do write about.  “History, geology, wildlife and one incredibly nosy little cat” – either you’re going to think I’m crazy, or you’re going to take a look!

If you are one of my friends and followers – and if you’re reading this, I’m sure you are! – this is a very big ‘thank you’, for liking, commenting and sharing my posts so regularly, and for helping The Hazel Tree to flourish.  I’ve had so many nice comments, both here and on Twitter and Facebook.  Thank you, because they mean a lot!

Glen DochartGlen Dochart

I was delighted to be contacted last month by a lady called Maggie McNab who is compiling a history of the McNab clan in Australia;  she had come across my post about the McNab graveyard in Glen Dochart purely by chance.  A couple of weeks later, I had an email from another lady, Moira Goodman, whose McKinlay ancestors are buried in that beautiful little graveyard of St Bride’s, near Callander, which I wrote about recently.   Mrs Goodman was kind enough to send me a photo of the same graveyard, taken in 1910, and I have updated that post with the new image.   How wonderful, to have such a lovely place in your family’s heritage.  I was absolutely thrilled to hear from her.

Callander graveyard (1)St Bride’s in September 2014

St Bride's in 1910, courtesy of Mrs M GoodmanSt Bride’s in 1910, courtesy of Mrs M Goodman

And there have been lots more people who have written to me over the last few years, saying that they have a family connection with Kintyre, or Islay, or Lismore, or Skye… and they have been able to find out more, through The Hazel Tree.  This is a blessing that I never foresaw at all!  If you have a link with any of the places that I write about, I would love to hear from you.

As for Purdey, she now has the worldwide following of a true celebrity, which is why she’s asleep on my office chair and I’m making do on any old chair that I can find.  I can truly say that stardom hasn’t gone to her head, because she already had all the aristocratic self-assurance of Downton Abbey’s Lady Grantham.  The Dowager Countess, I mean.

Purdey  11 (1)“Well, of course, these days, servants are very hard to find.”

I hope you’ll stay with me and Purdey for many years to come!


  1. Congratulations Jo, I love your blog, it’s so fresh, positive and interesting, I’m glad so many other people think so too 🙂

  2. Congratulations, and a lovely post too!

  3. Congratulations, you totally deserve it and you should be very proud! I can’t wait to see where else it takes you! x

  4. Diana Vandiviere says:

    Wonderful news, and well-deserved!

    • Thank you, Diana! That’s kind of you to say so! And I know that you are one of Purdey’s many ladies-in-waiting. She sends her warm regards to your own fabulous felines! 🙂

  5. Definitely well-deserved! I thoroughly enjoy reading the posts and looking at the gorgeous photographs. Thank you for all the hard work!


  6. Jim Cunningham says:

    Jo – I rather feel it is us who should be thanking you! Your magnificent photographs and commentary takes us, if only by whimsy, to each place you choose to share with us and the reward is most assuredly ours. Thank you for taking us along, we look forward to many more fun and informative trips with you.
    God bless
    Jim Cunningham
    California, USA

  7. Congratulations Jo. I’m a newbie, but that means I have a lot of old posts to explore! The numbers speak truth, it’s a great blog. Looking forward to lots more.

    • Thank you! 🙂 Very kind of you, and I’m delighted you’re following the blog. I have lots more up my sleeve too, and a long list of places to visit.

  8. On the contrary, it is we, your readers, who owe you thanks for the beautiful blog!

  9. Susan Abernethy says:

    Congratulations my friend!! Wonderful news. Looking forward to your next adventure and article. 🙂

  10. Brilliant Jo! Well done! Your lovely pictures & clear words are a great way to enjoy the landscapes you visit encouraging the reader to get out there & do likewise. I look forward to receiving many more of your posts.

  11. Wow thats a lot, and is lovely to think that you are helping some people with their family history as well as take us lot on your lovely tours and all the other items that you blog about which are all so interesting. So really just to say thank you and a bigger thank you for all your likes and comments which make you a very special lady. Well done Jo 🙂

    • I know, it’s incredible. I have been really touched by all the comments on here, including your own! Thank you, Lynne, and I’m so glad that I have found your own blog, too! 🙂

  12. Congratulations Jo! Your success is well deserved and I wish you even greater success in the years to come!

  13. Don’t remember getting much Scottish history when I was @ school, so learning & enjoying now. Ta, much.

  14. Thank you, Jo, for all the wonderful passions you share with us. And for all the Intelligent, thought provoking & sincere words you pen.

  15. Congratulations Jo! You write so eloquently about the many facets of beautiful Scotland. As an American who has visited Scotland many times, but, sadly I’ve not been back in nine years-your blog brings me back to a land that is quite special to me. I feel as if I’m a bit closer when I receive ‘The Hazel Tree’ in my inbox! Thank you for creating this blog, and wishing you continued success. 😊

    • Thank you, Laurie, that’s so kind! It’s what I love doing most. When I started out, I never realised that I would be bringing people closer to Scotland in this way, and it’s such a pleasure to do so.

  16. Congrats! and thank you for a great blog!

  17. WHOOOPEE! A well deserved congratulations to you from afar!

  18. It’s an excellent blog, I’m not surprised! Well done! (Post more history articles please!)

  19. christinelaennec says:

    Many congratulations on that milestone. Your blog is always so finely crafted, and interesting. Thank you for all the work you put into it, for us your readers!

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