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Wishing you a Happy Christmas from Fife!

I’m having a wee break now until the new Year and so

Greeting from Fife

Have a special time with family and friends,

whatever you are doing this Christmas

all the best Diana

(ps the photo was mine, taken in December 2013)

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Scottish Author ~ Book Review ~ The Queen’s Grace by Nigel Tranter

I was introduced to the works of Nigel Tranter when discussing Scottish Literature with Alex at The Wee Shoppe in Kinghorn; if fact I borrowed several of Nigel Tranter’s books from Alex.

41GVH5TMS3L._AC_US218_The Queen’s Grace, is but one of those books, which I have recently reread. Tranter was proficient in the skill of weaving credible and nail biting tales around known facts. His novels were always well researched but also so eloquent that they draw us, the readers, back in time as if we were there. This novel is set at the time of Mary Queen of Scots when she was all but captive by her brother, James who plots for her throne. Clansmen swear their allegiance to their Queen but change sides the moment they feel it is prudent to do so. Men’s heads are cut off for crimes they have not committed and yet their honour is their bond.

Alongside these, sometime gruesome scenes are moments of warmth, tenderness and even humour, especially with those surrounding the queen herself. Her loyal subject Patrick Mac Ruary shines throughout the novel and is the constant to the end; his romance with Mary Mackintosh adding a wonderfully human touch, which I enjoyed greatly.

Not only was this an excellent book but it is a wonderful introduction to the intrigues and intricacies of Scottish history, its battles, victories and failures. What a proud nation, justly so, and it has helped me to understand the fractious, almost love – hate relationship between the Scots and the English at times to this day.

The Queens Grace was originally published in 1953 but this edition was reprinted by B & W Publishing House in 1996. It is the first of Tranter’s novels which I have reread, but I doubt if it will be the last.

I met Nigel Tranter on my walk along the Fife Coastal Path and enjoyed a wonderful conversation with him in The Healing Paths of Fife.

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Diana’s Virtual Tour of the Kingdom of Fife ~ Pettycur


Pettycur Harbour.jpg

We are fortunate that Pettycur Bay and harbour are only a few minutes away from where we live. In fact, we lived in a flat at Pettycur Bay back in 2013 with a view over towards The Forth Bridge.

In days gone by it was from here that the ferry took the traveller over the water by ferry to Leith, Edinburgh.


It was at Pettycur that King Alexander III fell off the cliffs and died and a monument commemorates his life and death near to The Bay Hotel on Burntisland Road. (which over looks the bay and towards Edinburgh on the opposite coast)


Kinghorn’s own skiff, built by local boat builders and launched with aplomb, is called Yolande after the late king’s wife.

Pettycur Steps

Witches were said to have met their deaths from the cliff top near the cemetery and on a dark day this is not hard to imagine as you walk up Pettycur Steps, part of The Fife Coastal Path.


For me, it is a wonderful place to walk and the stroll out to Black Rock and back can take well over an hour. Black Rock is also famous for The Black Rock Race where hundreds of runner make their way over to the rock and back. Some even venture at night time later in the year, using lamps on their heads to guide their way.







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