At the end of August I went to the Edinburgh Book Festival to see a joint talk by two authors – Dan Boothby and Gareth Williams. Dan Boothby was talking about his new book, ‘Island of Dreams’, while Gareth Williams gave a presentation about his release of ‘A Monstrous Commotion’, which focuses on his research […]
Reviews of interesting stuff... mainly books I'm reading, but when I first started The Hazel Tree I also wrote a couple of film reviews. If you're a film buff, please don't read my film reviews. I said don't!
“And in the battle of Arfderydd my torc was of gold…” From ‘Yr Afallennau’ (‘The Apples’), a poem in the Black Book of Carmarthen I don’t know about you, but when somebody mentions the name ‘Merlin’, an image of a bearded sorcerer pops straight into my mind, quickly followed by King Arthur and several valiant […]
You might remember that, back in the summer of last year, I wrote about the oak woods of Taynish in Knapdale. These are one of the last remnants of Britain’s temperate rainforests, having flourished in the mild, moisture-laden climate of the west coast for around 7,000 years. It’s an enchanting, invigorating place: in spring, as […]
“The tartans are dyed by the blood of a hundred battlefields, as by memories of green braes and purple moors.” One of the presents that I was given for my birthday was a lovely old book called ‘Bonnie Scotland’. Published in 1905, it’s written by A R (Ascott Robert) Hope Moncrieff, an Edinburgh-born author who […]
At a show last weekend I picked up this gorgeous old book from a second-hand book stall. Written by Gertrude Clarke Nuttall, it’s called ‘Trees And How They Grow’ and is dated 1913. Inside are 15 colour plates called ‘autochromes’ and 134 black-and-white photographs. A total of 24 species of trees are described in detail – among them […]