Wee snippets of history


Much of the fun in the penning of a book is in the reading of the final published text. Newspaper articles and magazine features pale into insignificance when your tome makes those dusty and hallowed bookshelves for the very first time. Not that it beats child-birth and not that I have experienced that first hand, although I have a couple of sons and can vividly recall the exhilaration of getting to know them both for the first time. So, yes, a book is different and not quite on the same scale at all. But, and I say this with all sincerity, it is still a big rush to cast an eye over the published product and hold that thought ‘I made this happen.’
Here is the introduction to The A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire in its entirety. On the re-reading, I might have wished for a couple of changes. But hey, in the big scheme of things, it’s not at all a bad piece of writing:

‘The folklore and the history of Aberdeenshire make for interesting reading. Invading armies have come and gone and the boom and bust of oil has changed the landscape forever. Where bloody battles were won and lost, gas pipelines and shiny white windmills now litter the landscape.
Along the way the Romans left their mark and evidence, in the form of long abandoned marching camps, is still being excavated. The Picts, for their part, left a more obvious heritage in the form of symbol stones and hill-forts.
Macbeth, Burns and Inkson McConnochie all played their part in shaping the folklore of the North-east and the monarchs and the lairds, for their part, often took more decisive action. As a sometimes-tearful populace looked on, they variously managed the land and, more often than not, plundered it mercilessly.
Mary Queen of Scots, the doomed Marquis of Montrose and those Jacobite Pretenders ravished the landscape and, in consequence, often exposed the population to the full horrors of civil war and state sponsored vengeance. The castles of old bare witness to the cruelty of the past and the ballads of old record the tumultuous events which shaped the history of the North-east of Scotland.
Inevitably in a work of this kind there will be a few ‘floating’ folk-tales which readers may recognise as belonging elsewhere. Secret tunnels and bottomless pools are typical of the genre. I make no apology for including these and will leave it to the reader to judge the accuracy.
The A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire is a varied collection of tales intended to both satisfy the casual reader and hopefully act as a primer for those, both tourists and locals, who yearn to learn more about the people and the events which have shaped this beautiful part of Scotland.
I hope that these wee snippets of history will both satisfy and enthral the reader. Please dip in to these pages and smile gently at the past.’

Well, and there’s no getting away from it, that’s pretty much exactly what I wrote.
You can buy my tome from the likes of Amazon, or indeed from your local bookstore, for just a few pounds at:
https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/the-a-z-of-curious-aberdeenshire/9780750983792/

As for the image above - it was taken during one or other of my research trips in the making of the book. The zero-drone-policy-sign can be encountered somewhere along the long and winding path to the ruins of Dunnottar Castle. I forget quite where, Janice would probably remember. But, if you survive the 268 steps leading to the ticket-office, I am sure that you will eventually chance upon it.

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