Tag Archives: Scotland

The End of the Beginning

I’ve always been told that a story must have three parts: A beginning, a middle and an end. I left my last post on a bit of a cliff-hanger. With Máel Coluim discovering that the man he’d rescued was quite some way from home. I left the beginning unfinished, and if you leave a part of the story unfinished then you’re just left with some words that don’t really make a whole lot of sense. Of course you can sub-divide each of these parts along the same lines. Last week I gave you the beginning of the beginning and a bit of the middle of the beginning. Today I give you the rest of the middle of the beginning and the end of the beginning. 

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All Things Have a Beginning

Not so long ago I waffled on about my family history and how I was going to concoct a fictional legend about one man and his really big sword (not a euphemism). It’s been slow work. As with nearly everything I write it oft feels like I’m writing it by smashing my head against a brick wall in the misguided hope that the resulting splatters of blood and flecks of cerebral goo will form some interesting sounding words, or at least something that wouldn’t look too out of place in the Tate modern.

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Of Swords and Legends

My family has its fair share of tales and stories. On my mother’s side there’s the story of one of my ancestors getting the maid up the duff and subsequently being forced to marry her. And there’s the great-great-great-great-uncle who left his illegitimate daughter enough money to buy ten horses. Best of all there’s just the simple fact that I had a great-great-uncle called Septimus, who was a tramp. On my Dad’s side there’s the tale of my Granddad surviving the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1947 thanks to the need to go to the lavatory. And how my Great-Granddad fled to Canada, leaving his wife and son behind for reasons that, to this day, we’re still not entirely sure about. There’s also the delightful fact that my Great-great-granddad (a veteran of the Boer War) had regimental tattoos on his shins, for the delightful purpose of “making it easier to identify the body.” Somewhere we’ve even got the bullet he used when he was forced to kill his horse before his journey back to Britain. Continue reading