Twelve Great Scots and their Roots brings together People - the Great Scots, Place - where they were shaped and flourished, and Fame - their legacy.
None of the Great Scots was born great. There is no Robert the Bruce here, no Mary, Queen of Scots. (Although Robert III and James I get a mention). There are four knights in the list, but they all came from modest beginnings and made their way up the greasy pole by native genius and hard work. Two of the Great Scots are still alive, and it is particularly satisfying that Dr Jim Swire and Lockerbie are given close attention.
The Great Scots selected may be celebrated in their own fields and internationally, but some may be new to some. All are interesting in their own way, but one or two pose a puzzle. Who turned geology upside-down? What has number 38 in the Periodic Table of Elements to do with a little Highland village? What is a thrum? What do a great Canadian city and an obscure hamlet in Mull have in common?
Familiar or not we have twelve interesting places with twelve interesting – and sometimes unlikely – stories behind them.
A feature of the book is its emphasis on first-hand observation and thinking for oneself – based on evidence. Consequently, each chapter has a trail, so that the reader can check the veracity of the author’s stories and even be inspired to cover the ground.
This book will take you into the lives of the six Brontë children who were raised in Haworth Parsonage on the edge of the West Yorkshire Moors. Discover the world of a Victorian childhood and how the children dealt with isolation, the harsh education system and death. Read about how the children used the graveyard surrounding their garden as a playground and how they found solace in making up stories of imaginary islands, kingdoms and people. Reality and imagination mingled and spread so that they lived in a fantasy world of ghosts, horror, religion, disease, war, scientific discovery, love and humor; here anything could happen. Learn about the background to the childhood of those who were to become such remarkable authors. This book is as accurate in its factual content as it is fascinating in its fantasy.
Born in Durban in 1950, Fiona Ross grew up in the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal, one of four girls of a dysfunctional family in paradise. White Zulu tells her story in easy prose inviting the reader to ride the veldt, share her formative years with her wonderful Zulu nanny, Evalina, and share her family home with her imposing father, her headstrong mother and her sisters who constantly snipe as most sisters do.After sundry romantic adventures she finally finds her man, everything a parent could wish for. But it comes at a price, because eventually she will have to leave her beloved South Africa to emigrate to her husband's home in Scotland.White Zulu is an intimate portrait of South Africa and a girl growing into womanhood. It is a delightful read.
Sheridan has no time for anger or regret. She often says that life is moving forward, not looking back, that is why our eyes are in the front of our head, not buried in hair on the back of our skull. She often felt, when dealing with her mother’s anxieties and her father’s absences, that she was the grownup in the relationship.After you have read the way her father and mother treated each other, you might rethink your own relationships.Sheridan has captured the essence of being a child with humour and pathos.Enjoy the ride. It’s a rollercoaster!
It deals with true migrant stories. Following long years of Nazi occupation and a bleak outlook in post WW2 Groningen (Netherlands), this encompasses the exciting six-week travel to the Great Southern Land via the Panama Canal, with exotic pit-stops on the way, unorthodox education of a newly-arrived child, pioneering days in Oxford Falls and the discovery of 'cosmopolitan' Manly. This is followed by close encounters with pigeons and adolescent exploration on floating old mattresses upstream on the toxic Curl Curl Lagoon. Follow the author through his university days and further adventures here-and-there in the 'sixties'. Read some behind-the-scenes stories of the world of architecture: The Stockman's Hall of Fame, including arm-wrestling with R.M. Williams and a personal encounter at the extravagant opening of the author's building in Longreach by Queen Elizabeth, who flew in especially for the occasion. Read about Bouman's collaboration with Ted Mack in their quest for some urbanity in North Sydney, travels with Ted Egan on the road in the real outback and difficulties with Sir Garfield Barwick as co-designer and supervising architect of The High Court of Australia, Canberra. Then, return to the old country with Bouman, on a re-discovery of his mother tongue as an adult. A time to check out what his contemporaries in Groningen had been up to during his casual 60-year absence.It is a chronicle, only mildly haphazard; a kind of memoir.
This book is part memoir and part case studies drawn from the author’s working life as a medical student, general practitioner, counsellor and psychoanalytical psychotherapist—a career made even more difficult than usual by ill health. Kidney disease started in her 20s, sight loss in her 30s, so that she was unable to carry on with clinical medicine and had to retrain as a psychotherapist, and heart disease in her 40s. In spite of all that, she battled on with great determination and humour, and became a loved and respected member of staff in a great teaching hospital. She worked extremely hard on ‘my book’, as she always called it, and finished it just two months before her final illness started.
There are many adventures and epic challenges that people of all ages can aspire to complete. In The Wind Has Weight, Patricia Gogay shares her memories and reflections of fifteen years at sea aboard Imago, the trustworthy steel cruising yacht that she and her husband built. From the inception of the ship, throughout the duration of their global travels, and through the ups and downs of her husband's medical crises, Mrs. Gogay illustrates the triumphs and tragedies of the exciting yet difficult life on the seas.
As husband and wife, as skipper and 'admiral', the Gogays endured much in their goals to travel around the world. They scraped and saved to put their effort and resources into building their ship. They learned and were advised as they met colourful friends and foes at multiple ports in countries around the globe. Facts and observations about wildlife, government, politics, poverty, wealth, and nautical pleasures and woes are presented with each stop of their journey. With her husband's medical challenges, we learn that their adventures are not simply dreams or goals, they are labours of love, at sea, on land, and in the heart. The knowledge that, inexperienced though they were, the Gogays set sail on this adventure reinforces the notion that people of all ages can aspire to realise a dream.
Short stories, anecdotes and poems revealing the extremes of perception of a manic depressive.A glimpse into the psyche of a modern mystic.A witty, fun, feel good book of practical wisdom.Every page is surprising and full of dry humour.
The reputations of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the artist and poet, together with his sister, the poet Christina Rossetti, were zealously guarded by their brother Michael and the Rossetti family in general. Any whiff of scandal was to be strictly avoided, concealed or otherwise written out of history. But according to family traditions handed down to Dr Powell, the author of this book, her great-grandfather was Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s illegitimate son. Based on the evidence she has unearthed, Dr Powell tells the story of Rossetti’s secret love affair and the son that resulted.
A man, an amputee, a dual amputee, wanders the West alone on half of a foot to discover what life has to offer. He takes off, running the only way he still knows how, in a car. A car procured from selling his prosthetic leg (the expensive one) on eBay.This true tale follows him on an adventure to angelic views in Zion National Park, to the top of the world in Death Valley, to mingling with the rainbow people, to pushing himself around in a wheelchair on the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada. The story turns back to how he found himself ‘hopping’ about and the drug addiction which caused it.While purposely estranged from his family, he learns mingling with others to accept differences and to resist judgement. Also, the deep importance of family. And most importantly that ‘we are not defined by our mistakes’.
This enlightening book, The Ghost Within, explains some of the questions man has been looking for. There are clear and precise examples – some of which are hypothetical and others based on personal experiences. Also, there are simple and more complex explanations to which you will find how the flesh and the double-sided sword of the spirit are connected. Dermoth Alexander Henry, known as the ‘Scribe’, takes us on a journey of how the Creator also has a plan for our inner man and woman.
You know that shy, quiet boy? The one with the knobbly knees, bobbly elbows and a silly haircut? Well, that was me. I was an intelligent child and a decent enough sportsman. I had plenty of friends but I didn’t smile a lot. I’m not a boy who had a tough upbringing. To all intents and purposes, my childhood was idyllic. I was afforded every opportunity and never wanted for anything. I was born into a loving family and grew up in leafy suburbia, a far cry from anything that could be seen as deprivation or hardship. I lacked a little confidence but really the world should have been mine to make of it what I wanted. I should have been full of excitement and enthusiasm for my life ahead, but unfortunately happiness continued to elude me and I became preoccupied with one obsession. My desire to be dead.