Thursday, 19 May 2011


My copy of Ian Edwards' Woodlanders arrived yesterday. It is beautifully produced, only marred by a very silly, because uncharacteristic, photograph of Sitka spruce on page 11, a typo describing Sitka spruce as growing on a '100km' instead of '10km' wide coastal strip of the American north west and the absence of a chapter on our delicious and refreshing Zacharry's Spruce Beer and Scottish spruce essential oil. This curious, unfair and unscientific slant, to judge from Ian's comments on Sitka spruce during our walk at Corehead last Saturday (May 14) does not reflect his personal opinions and must therefore be due to some other hidden editorial hand. If Sitka spruce were an ethnic minority instead of a hard-working introduction this would be frowned on, and not be allowed. A propos: I am now fixed up to go with Susan Garnsworthy, director of DGarts, to Auchinleck on Sunday, to hear Alistair Moffat talking about his new book on Scottish DNA and (her suggestion), Candia McWilliam on hers. I confess, as chair of Moffat Book Events, to being green with envy to see that the Boswell Book Festival at Auchinleck is a) being held in a beautiful Landmark Trust building, James Boswell's former family home, and b)funded by LEADER and a local mining corporation. I now subscribe to Senchus, Tim Clarkson's blog about medieval and Dark Ages Scotland which yesterday focused on the Kingdom of Strathclyde and a major new research project to cast light on who was doing what and where in the area where I have been growing my commercial forestry business for 28 years and made my home for the past 17 years.

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