Category Archives: Scottish authors

Never believe the weather report ~ The sun shines in Scotland too, you know!

Friends from down south come to visit us in Fife, or travel with us further north or west, but we often hear the phrase ‘We don’t come to Scotland for the weather.’ We get phone calls invariably asking, ‘what’s the weather like?’ We can almost hear the disappointment or lack of belief when we say ‘Oh, it’s a lovely afternoon,’ or ‘it’s sunny here today,’ or ‘it’s a beautiful evening.’

I cannot quote a poem by Pauline Prior-Pitt for copyright reasons but I’ve written one of my own, inspired by reading her lovely book of poems ‘be an angel.’

 

Do You Remember the sun my friend

White sandy beaches stretching far away, as froth tipped rollers race in.

Layers of blue, purple and green ~

sea, cliffs,

lochs, headlands,

inlets, islands,

out to the misty beyond.

Sun kissed onyx rocks, blackness gleaming after rain.

Blue sky

piercing greyness, 

 framing mountain peaks,

dispersing wisps of cloud.

The stillness in that sheltered place where all our being glows with warmth.

 

Do you remember the wind and rain my friend

or do you remember the sun.

 

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I’m excited to share with you a Scottish Poet ~ Pauline Prior – Pitt

Having just returned from a memorable trip to the Outer Hebrides ~ the island of Barra via Oban, then on to South Uist and back from Lochboisdale to Mallaig ~ I am excited to share with you Pauline Prior – Pitt.

South Uist

I bought ‘be an angel’ in the new Kildonan Centre. This is an interesting and thoughtfully displayed museum, where you could while away a morning reading the detailed boards alongside displays of artifacts and memorabilia. There’s a coffee shop for fresh lunches, soup, cakes, scones or just tea or coffee and also a local arts and crafts shop, where I bought ‘be an angel’.

I leafed through a couple of poems in the shop and was struck immediately by the notions ‘Pauline knows me personally! How did she know that? She has an amazing ability to describe, word for word, what goes on in my home, my relationships and in the depths of my mind in such a succinct but powerful way. There are some surprises however and twists at the end. Pauline seems to grip the heart of every conceivable human emotion ~ especially women’s.

I cannot quote a poem in case of infringing copyright but some of the titles may give you a taste of Pauline Prior-Pitt’s humour, as well as her understanding of humanity:

Leaving South Uist

be an angel, amnesia, sisterhood, together, crumbs, company of women, just, and when, a woman’s prayer …

‘be an angel’ is a collection of Pauline Prior Pitt’s poems inspired by the lives of women. Click on the link to go through to the publishers, Longstone Books. It does not appear to be available on Amazon.

If you love poetry, but also wish to have a flavour of life in the Outer Hebrides, (Pauline was born in North Uist) then I highly recommend this book.

Maureen Lipman says:

‘Everyone needs a Pauline Prior-Pitt in their lives and on their bookshelves.’

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Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Scotland, Scottish authors

A Salt Splashed Cradle by Chris Longmuir

I met Chris in the craft tent at Glamis Castle Vehicle Extravaganza and after a chat I bought a signed copy of this book.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable read, all the more so because I am gradually exploring Scotland and will be heading to Montrose in a few weeks.

Chris’s colourful description of the fisherfolk, especially the women, quickly draws the reader into this close knit community and and encourages empathy for Belle, the outsider, who neither fits in due to her looks and build or her manner and expectations of life. The fear is palpable as she is lured into circumstances which could lead to her downfall when the women turn totally against her. Her saviour comes from the most unexpected source and the novel leaves you wondering what Belle will do next.

The relationships in A Salt Splashed Cradle are complex as they are simple. The reader grapples with the trauma of Belle’s daughter Sarah, the strong mother in law and Matriach Annie, as much as with Belle herself. The sea is never far away, with its dangers, both fishing in local waters and further afield as Belle’s husband Jimmie heads off to the far north in a whaling ship.

A well crafted novel and a pleasure to read.

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Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Historical Fiction, Reading a novel, Scotland, Scottish authors