I've been afforded the treat of reading an advance copy of Michelle Pillow's upcoming romance from Virgin Books, ALONG FOR THE RIDE.
Please excuse me for a few seconds while I chant "Neener neener neener!" to everyone who is waiting patiently to get their hands on this book! Trust me, folks, it's worth the wait! Here's the blurb:
Meet Megan Matthews, a detective who is cursed with always being right. Her instincts are good, her deductive reasoning even better. But she’s that most men find her intimidating, so she’s given up trying to find Mr. Right and has settled, perversely, for arresting Mr. Wrong.
Crime scene photographer Ryan Andrews has had a wicked crush on the sexy detective since he first took her photograph by accident at a crime scene. That picture became headline news, and she hasn’t talked to him since. He’s tried everything to get her attention, and when nothing works he’s left with only one option. But is blackmailing a cop into marriage really a good idea?
ALONG FOR THE RIDE has all the sexy sizzle you expect from a Michelle Pillow book, but you know what? Sexy, sizzling books are a dime a dozen these days. What makes Michelle's work outstanding is the warmth and emotional depth of her characters, from the main love interests to the secondary characters. The interaction between Megan and Ryan, and especially between Megan and her eclectic family is funny, heartwarming, and thoroughly engaging. You fall in love with the entire cast of characters, making you root all the harder for Megan and Ryan to find their HEA.
28 September 2007
26 September 2007
Thursday 13 – A Crystal Kit Primer
Thirteen tips for putting together your own basic crystal healing kit. First, a list of assorted stones and the chakras associated with their colors. You don't have to run out and get all of these! One or two from each catetory is fine.
1. Black – Root/Earth Star Chakra – Grounding, protection, releasing fears/limitations. Stones: Obsidian (Apache Tears), hematite, black tourmaline.
2. Red – Root Chakra – Courage, personal power, manifesting ideas. Stones:
Bloodstone, aragonite, garnet, petrified wood.
3. Orange – Sacral Chakra – Sex drive, physical energy, creativity, motivation, compassion, mental concentration. Stones: orange calcite, orange, aventurine, carnelian.
4. Yellow – Solar Plexus Chakra – Self discipline, will, abundance, imagination, optimism, weight control. Stones: Citrine, topaz. yellow jasper, yellow calcite, yellow aventurine, tiger eye, amber.
5. Green and/or Pink – Heart Chakra – Unconditional love, sensitivity, harmony, balance. Stones: Aventurine, malachite, jade, serpentine, moss agate, peridot, ruby, rose quartz.
6. Blue – Throat Chakra – Communication, verbalization of feelings, public speaking, release from old vows. Stones: Sodalite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, blue lace agate.
7. Violet – Third Eye Chakra – Vision, psychic gifts, wisdom, insight, intuition, universal consciousness. Stones: Amethyst, purple fluorite.
8. Clear/White – Crown Chakra – Higher consciousness, connection to spiritual energy. vision into psychic worlds. Stones: Clear quartz, clear agate, milky quartz, howlite.
Additional useful stones:
9. Flourite – Comes in clear, purple, green white, or combination of all these colors. Protects you from the negative energy generated by computers. Keep a chunk between you and your monitor, or wear a crystal around your neck.
10. Kyanite – Extremely effective for clearing/cleansing other stones. It doesn’t hold negative energy and never needs clearing, itself. The same is true for citrine, and it’s much cheaper!
12. Shapes are myriad, but here are four basic ones you’ll see a lot of:
Points – Single terminated or double terminated. Point a single-terminated crystal away from you to pull energy out of the body, and toward you to direct energy in. Double terminated: Place on third eye to enhance telepathy.
Spheres – Scrying, of course!
Tumbled stones – Usually small and easily portable in a pocket, purse, or medicine bag.
Clusters – Radiate energy to the surrounding environment. Good for clearing a room of negative “crud”.
The simplest and easiest way to clear a crystal of negative energy is to rinse thoroughly under cold running water. You can also use salt water, or bury stones overnight in salt. Don’t leave colored quartzes like citrine, amethyst, etc. in the sun – the colors will fade. Moonlight is fine, though.
WARNING: You may have heard of making “stone elixirs” with different crystals, and ingesting the liquid. DON’T try this unless you know exactly what kind of stone you’re dealing with – many stones get their colors from toxic heavy metals.
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
Abundance Through Reiki by Paula Horan
Visit other Thursday Thirteens!
Hi folks, I've been MIA for a couple of days while I finish up this (dare I say, the last?) round of revisions on BEAUDRY'S GHOST.
May I just say, the problem with having a VSE (Very Sharp Editor) is that they make you work. Yes, that was a whine!
The benefit? If you're open to constructive criticism, a VSE can push you to grow your skills as a writer. Beaudry won awards in its first life as a Dreams Unlimited eBook. A couple years and another edit/revision later under the LTDBooks banner, it won another award, from the Independent Publishers of America.
And now, with Samhain Publishing, I have yet another chance to go back and revisit this book of my heart, this time with an editor who doesn't know its history and who could look at it with complete objectivity.
Let me tell you, it's not a comfortable process to have what you thought was your best work at the time picked apart and analyzed, exposing every flaw! I learned a lot about how much my writing style has changed; things I used to be oblivious to are now some of my biggest pet peeves. I head-hopped. I let my plot wander down tangents that didn't move the story forward. My characters' motivations were unclear at best, and at worst, changed from chapter to chapter. I didn't think deeply enough about how to set up the sequel. I basically spent most of my time making sure my historical research was on target - and I forgot to give the same attention to the rest of the book.
I was a writer with a measure of raw talent, but without the technical skills to make the story as effective as it could have been.
Now as I cluck and wince over this manuscript, it makes me wonder what readers and awards committees saw in it! LOL I can only conclude that my love and passion for the time period, the characters, and the setting somehow found its way through the obvious mistakes. I poured my heart and soul into this story, and it must have showed.
It also proves to me that no matter how good you think a story you've written is, there is always, always room for improvement. I've learned that for the good of the story, absolutely nothing about your writing can be sacred or set in stone. You must be willing to be ruthless in your quest to improve and hone your craft. If you allow yourself to relinquish control to that degree, you leave the door open for wonderful things to happen.
I feel blessed and grateful that Samhain set Lindsey McGurk the task of guiding me to make this story the absolute best it can be - based on my skills at this time in my life. How many authors get a chance to do that?
I know she thinks I'm saying that so she won't be so mean to me next time. But I have no illusions. She is already limbering up her whip to stand over me until I've turned in the sequel, which I'm sure she will dissect with the same diabolical cheer with which she deconstructed Beaudry.
Lindsey, darling... bring it on.
23 September 2007
Welcome back to Scotophile Monday! All sources credited. Enjoy!!
Final Farewell to QE2
The luxury Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (known more usually these days as "QE2") was launched on the Clyde on September 20, 1967 at John Brown's shipyard at Clydebank. As of September, 2007, the QE2 has travelled 5.6 million nautical miles, including 25 circumnavigations of the globe, 801 transatlantic crossings, 705 calls at New York, and 697 at Southampton. 2.5 million passengers have sailed on the ship. So it was fitting that exactly 40 years after its launch, the venerable lady of the seas should call in at the Clyde - for the last time. Read more
Scots Call to Save Delta Queen from Scrap HeapThe Dumbarton-built Delta Queen, above, has for the past 60 years plied her trade on the Mississippi, although strict safety laws have forced similar boats made largely of wood off the river. Read more
Fire and Flood Threat to Scotland's Literary Heritage
It contains Scotland's greatest literary treasures, including the last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, a historic Gutenberg Bible and Charles Darwin's letter proposing the origin of species. So when the National Library of Scotland (NLS) was hit by a flood in the dead of night on Thursday, there was consternation among archivists and academics. Read more
Scots Teachers Among the Best Paid in the World
A report by the UN's OECD has revealed that Scottish teachers are the 5th best paid in the world, ranked five places higher than England and ahead of the United States in 12th position. Read more
Aberdeen Wins 40th Beautiful Scotland Title
Aberdeen lifted the top prize in the "City" category in the UK-wide Britain in Bloom competition, the results for which were announced this week in Dundee's Caird Hall. That was the 40th consecutive win for the Granite City in that category. The judges were impressed by Union Street and Union Terrace, with their bedding plants and use of hanging baskets and planters. There were also many fine examples of residential gardens, which add to the overall impact for a visitor. The judges also highlighted Aberdeen’s unstinting efforts to keep the streets clean. Read more
Meeting the Demand for Scotch Whisky
The rising demand for Scotch malt whisky around the world, particularly in the Far East and an expected increase in sales to India now that tariffs there have been reduced, means that producers are having to look at ways of increasing production. (Carolan’s note: I hope they’re hiring tasters…) Read more
Edinburgh Farmers' Market was the unlikely setting for a world record attempt - which smashed the previous one set earlier this year. Cooks from Stoats Porridge Bars brought to the boil a massive 178 pounds of oats to make the largest ever bowl of porridge. Stirred with a six-foot stick (properly called a spurtle), it was sufficient for 2,000 people to have their breakfast porridge. Read more
This Week in Scottish History
September 23 704 - Death of St Adamnan, biographer of St Columba.
September 23 1678 - The Earl of Mar was commissioned to raise a regiment nicknamed "Earl of Mar's Gray Breeks" which later became the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
September 23 1779 - Battle of Flamborough Head in which Scots-born John Paul Jones fought an engagement against the British navy. His ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard sank but he boarded and captured HMS Serapis.
September 24 1332 - Edward Balliol, son of John Balliol, crowned at Scone. He was deposed by supporters of David II in December 1332, restored in 1333, deposed again in 1334, restored in 1335 and finally deposed in 1341.
September 25 1956 - The first telephone cable connecting the UK and North America "went live". 2,240 miles long, the cable ran from Gallanach Bay, near Oban in Argyll and Bute, to Clarenville, Canada.
September 26 1290 - Queen Margaret, Maid of Norway ("Eiriksdotter") died, en route from Norway to Scotland.
September 26 1860 - First Open Golf Championship held at Prestwick. There were eight entrants and the championship was won by Willie Park of Musselburgh.
September 26 1934 - Liner Queen Mary launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank. She went on to break the Atlantic record (the "Blue Riband") four times.
September 27 1831 - Scotland's first passenger railway opened (between Glasgow and Garnkirk).
September 27 1938 - The 80,000-ton liner Queen Elizabeth, then the largest passenger ship ever built, launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank.
September 28 1581 - George Buchan, humanist, poet, historian and tutor of King James VI, died.
September 29 1621 - Charter granted to Sir William Alexander of Menstrie to colonise the "Baronetcy of Nova Scotia".
September 29 1952 - John Cobb made an attempt at the world water-speed record on Loch Ness which ended in tragedy as the boat crashed and Cobb was killed.
Painting Red Square Tartan
Kremlin Zoria, modelled on the Tattoo in Edinburgh, has been entertaining Muscovites this week with pipes and drums from around the globe. The Russians maintained their secretive reputation, however, with members of the Blackwatch and other Scottish battalions surrounded by armed soldiers. Read more
Ghost Tours at Traquair House
Traquair House, south of Peebles, is considered to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. The earliest part of the current building dates from 1107. So it has a long 900 year history - and maybe a few ghosts lurking around too. So what better place to enjoy Halloween? Read more (Carolan’s note: I’ve been in this house – it’s magnificent!)
Scottish Castle of the Week
Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire
Scottish Web Site of the Week
Radio Scotland Podcasts
The Scotsman Recommends...
The Scotsman readers recommend the Best of Scotland
21 September 2007
Mabon - Autumn Equinox.
Today is a day of balance. The Oak King and the Holly King stare each other in the eye with equal ferocity as they vie for the hand of the Goddess. Since Summer Solstice, the Oak King's strength, has been waning but he has battled on against the Holly King for supremacy. But after today, the inevitable happens, and the Holly King begins his reign while his opponent retreats into the coming darkness.
But the Oak King's death isn't forever - he will rise again to fight another day. Such is the endless spiral of life and death... and life again. :)
"Mabon" (the name is actually a modern application - there wasn't much of a name for it in ancient culture) is one of the eight celestial milestones, and traditionally is observed Sept. 22 or 23. Many mark this holiday on the 21st because, I think, it's just easier to remember. :) The name may be derived from Mabon ap Modron, a figure in Welsh mythology, but its connection is unclear.
Mabon is a time of quiet reflection, of honoring the aging Oak King, and enjoying the fruits of your summer labors.
Mabon is the second of three harvest festivals, which begin with Lammas and end with Samhain. In historical Celtic culture, it wasn't considered one of the major holidays. Many of my Pagan and Wiccan friends don't do anything special for this day other than perhaps set up a harvest-themed altar.
Altars can be so lovely, especially if you have the room to do one outdoors. Here are some ideas for colors and objects you can include:
Symbols of Mabon:
Wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.
Herbs of Mabon:
Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.
Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Incense of Mabon:
Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage.
Colors of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.
Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.
Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.
Deities of Mabon:
Goddesses-Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona and the Muses. Gods-Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, and The Green Man.
Enjoy the weekend!
20 September 2007
Good news is, after three massive shots of cortisone in both knees and an elbow, my face is a pleasing shape of balloon but I'm feeling better. Even my back. :)
Bad news is, between massive amounts of work and edits, and the health problems this week, I haven't had time to put together a TT. Sorry!
But here's a video you might enjoy. Scotland vs. New Zealand in rugby. (It's a Scotch commercial, but it's funny.) :D
at 7:32 AM
19 September 2007
17 September 2007
Check out the brand-spankin' (and I do mean spankin'!) new newsletter brought to you by a group of Samhain Publishing's top authors, The Samhellion! It'll be a monthly affair, filled with news, release notes, recipes, short fiction, interviews and whatever else strikes our fancy.
Hurry and subscribe in time for the next issues, "Things That Go Bump And Grind In The Night!" I'll be writing an article on the magical properties of crystals.
16 September 2007
My monthly Ogham Divination post is over here on the BTV blog! Enjoy!
Ended up not going to the Irish festival last night - it got really cold, down in the 30s, and we decided it wasn't a good idea for me to be sitting around in the cold with my back as bad as it is right now. :(
Don't worry, we had some fun, though! We went to a movie ("Kingdom", which was very good) and stopped off to pick up a six back of Smithwicks which we enjoyed at home while watching "Men In Black II." :)
15 September 2007
This weekend is our town's annual Irish-American festival, so about 12 hours from now you will find me with my feet up, sitting under a tree on the Maumee River waterfront, a Guinness in one hand and a Smithwycks in the other, listening to a Celtic rock band under the stars.
Okay, so I won't have a beer in EACH hand. I'll be a good girl and drink them one at a time.
I'm awaiting the second round of edits on my upcoming novel, Beaudry's Ghost.
It is in the clutches of Mean Editor has it right now, so I'm biting my nails to see what she has to say about it. (Blowing kisses at Angie.)
It has been years since I've sat down and read this story, and I'm remembering now why it was, and still is, the book of my heart. I'd like to think my writing has improved since then, so I'm fixing a few things that are now my pet peeves. Like head-hopping. Yikes, I'd forgotten how much I did it in this book. All better now, though! And I'm also beefing up a secondary character a little bit in preparation for his story, that comes after this one.
I'm also amazed at how much historical research I did for this book, and how much of it I've forgotten! Civil War weaponry, battle tactics, etiquette, jargon, clothing and uniforms... And back when I first wrote it, cell phones were not a ubiquitous as they are now, so I had to a little bit of updating.
But it has been a lot of fun, a walk down memory lane. And I can't wait to see what Samhain does for the cover!! Hee!
Now I'm off to do the Glamourous Author thing. Translation: Clean my house!
14 September 2007
13 September 2007
Thirteen lines from my upcoming paranormal romance novel, BEAUDRY'S GHOST. Enjoy!
1. “And they say the ghost of Union soldier Jared Beaudry rides the coast of the Outer Banks to this very day, looking for his lost arm, leg, and head.”
2. “I’ve heard that it helps if you have full cooperation. But, failing that, it can be done. But I wouldn’t recommend it.”
3. “Whoever got you in the shape you’re in, I hope she was worth it, Billy.”
4. “So,” she said companionably as she worked. “This is your first re-enactment?”
A long pause. “Not… exactly.”
5. “If that was a love tap, Leon, remind me to stay out of your way when you get really pissed off."
6. If this woman was a key to regaining his honor, God help him, it was one key he was going to turn.
7. “Ye’re just beggin’ fer a firin’ squad, ain’t you boy?” he growled. “Ain’t nobody in my platoon as troublesome as you.”
8. “If you hurt one hair on any of these men’s heads, Harris can watch while I take you apart myself.”
9. “Damn. You’re lucky he didn’t slice your head off.”
“I doubt he’d do that. It’s his head."
“Nothing. Just don’t look down”
11. She sniffed delicately. “Even if the water does pass right through, anything is bound to be an improvement.”
12. "I’m willing to bet this is a first for any of you people."
13. "Oh, lord, Miss Taylor, don’t look at me like that."
Visit my Wordpress pages for an excerpt!
See more Thursday Thirteens!
12 September 2007
10 September 2007
We interrupt the regular Scotophile Monday post (it's the next one down) with...THIS!!
The ebook cover for Wildish Things (Nov. 1), art by the fabulous Anne Cain. When I finally meet Anne in person, I'm sure I'm going to be one of dozens of authors standing in line to kiss her feet, give her flowers and chocolate, stuff dollar bills into her thong... er, sorry, wrong fantasy. [blowing kisses toward Anne]
Gia Dawn and Sela Carsen are my partners in this anthology. Their covers is just as purty!
Scotland Has a Government
When the Scottish Parliament was reconvened in 1999, the body which governed the country was named "Scottish Executive". It was argued that this would avoid any confusion with the UK-wide government in London. But since then, bodies such as the Welsh Assembly, which has far less powers than the equivalent in Scotland, has a "government". The term "Scottish Executive" is little understood by the "man (or woman) in the street" in Scotland and there have been suggestions in the past about abandoning it. Now, First Minister Alex Salmond has forged ahead and just changed the name to "Scottish Government". Read more
35% of Scots Favor Independence
The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) has often dismissed opinion polls which seek to measure how many Scots support independence from the UK. It is argued that the answer can often be swayed by the nature of the question being asked. So there was some interest in the latest opinion poll - which used the exact question floated in the SNP Executive's consultation on independence. Read more
Scottish Astronomers Help Google
Google Sky, which was launched recently to allow internet users to tour the night sky and see stunning pictures of a wide range of celestial objects, has been created with the help of astronomers at Edinburgh's Royal Observatory. Read more
Death of a Clan Chief
The Duke of Buccleuch, one of Scotland's biggest landowners and head of the Scott clan, died this week, after a short illness, aged 83. He had been confined to a wheelchair ever since a riding accident in the early 1970s and worked with various bodies on behalf of disabled people. Read more
This Week in Scottish History
September 9 1513 - James IV and the flower of Scotland's nobility were killed in battle at Flodden Field, near Branxton, in the English county of Northumberland.
September 9 1543 - Mary Queen of Scots crowned at Stirling Castle.
September 9 1935 - Benny Lynch won the World Flyweight boxing title, defeating Jackie Brown in 2 rounds.
September 9 1963 - Jim Clark became the (then) world's youngest F1 motor racing champion.
September 10 1771 - Birth of Mungo Park at Foulshiels, near Selkirk. He became an explorer and doctor who charted the course of the River Niger.
September 11 1297 - Battle of Stirling Bridge, Wallace (as famously portrayed by Mel Gibson in "Braveheart") defeated Edward I.
September 11 1997 - Referendum on Devolution which approved the creation of a new Scottish Parliament by a substantial majority.
September 12 1715 - Jacobites defeated government forces at Battle of Sheriffmuir.
September 13 1644 - Battle of Aberdeen, in which the Marquis of Montrose captured the city.
September 13 1645 - Royalist troops under Marquis of Montrose defeated by Covenanters led by David Leslie at Battle of Philiphaugh.
September 13 1938 - John Smith, politician and at one time leader of the Labour Party, born at Dalmally, Argyll.
September 14 1402 - Scots led by 4th Earl of Douglas defeated at the Battle of Homildon Hill by English army led by Percy 'Hotspur'.
September 14 1745 - Bonnie Prince Charlie, Charles Edward Stuart, occupied Edinburgh.
September 15 - St Mirren Day (patron saint of Paisley).
September 15 1773 - The "Hector" from Loch Broom, near Ullapool, arrives at Pictou, Nova Scotia, carrying emigrants escaping from the "Clearances".
Forerunners to the Foreunners of NASCAR?
Glenlivet Distillery and the Crown Estate have combined to launch three historic walks in Speyside, using trails used to smuggle illicit whisky in days gone by. Read more
Castle Accommodations in Scotland
Stay in a Scottish Castle!
My Mantra Last Winter...
Whisky may not cure the common cold, but it fails more agreeably than most other things.
Remembering the Heroes of Scots Literature
With the Edinburgh Book Festival becoming a distant memory, and three weeks before I go to the next one (in Wigtown at the end of the month), it was a pleasure to get back to reading some books. The August guilt-pile was threatening to become higher than the bed and ziggurats of catch-up classics had buried my computer. Fun though it is to hear the particular timbre of an author's voice and hear some well-rehearsed off-the-cuff anecdotes, you can't beat the page. Read more
Scottish Blog of the Week
Flying Cat - Orkney Island. The diary entries of a very intelligent cat indeed.
Highland Photo Gallery
08 September 2007
07 September 2007
06 September 2007
Thirteen of my favorite blogs! Thanks to Tink for tagging me on this one. :) This is by NO means a complete list. I may have to do a Part II next week.
1. Tinkerbell, of course! :)
2. The Raven
3. Flickr Scotland
4. 2 Witches
5. Flickering Flames (Jennifer Dunne)
6. Pub Rants
7. Voodoo's Room
9. Writer & Cat
10. Nice Mommy/Evil Editor
11. Will Stain Pages
12. Will Write For Food
13. Sierra Club Compass
If I tagged your blog on this post, feel free to snag the graphic and spread the love!
04 September 2007
03 September 2007
The first comedy show for many years in the Doric dialect of the north-east of Scotland has been commissioned by BBC. The highly popular "Scotland the What?" ran for 26 years on radio from 1969. Now, Radio Scotland's new series is entitled "Desperate Fishwives" and it will re-inroduce listeners in other parts of the country to such phrases as "Ay ay," or "fit like?" and "Foo's ye daein?" Boys and girls are "louns and quines" and actors will be "spikin' intae yer lug" instead of speaking into your ear. Read more
September 2 1834 - Death of engineer, road, bridge and canal builder Thomas Telford. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
September 3 1650 - Cromwell defeated Scots at Battle of Dunbar.
September 3 1745 - Prince Charles Edward Stuart proclaimed his father as King James VIII of Scotland at Perth.
September 3 1752 - With the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, September 3 1752 became 14 September. Crowds flocked the streets demanding "Give us back our 11 days."
September 3 1787 - Glasgow weavers riot after their wages are cut. Bricks were thrown at magistrates and soldiers then opened fire on the rioters, resulting in six being killed.
September 4 1241 - King Alexander III born at Roxburgh.
September 4 1962 - Last tramcar run in Glasgow (to Auchenshuggle).
September 4 1964 - Forth Road Bridge opened by the Queen. At 6,156 feet long and a centre span of 3300 feet, it was the longest in Europe at that time.
September 5 1750 - Poet Robert Fergusson born in Edinburgh.
September 6 1715 - The Earl of Mar unfurled the standard of the "Old Pretender" in Braemar at the start of the first Jacobite Uprising.
September 7 1306 - Sir Simon Fraser, the "Scottish Patriot", who fought alongside Wallace and Robert the Bruce, was executed by the English and his head displayed in London alongside that of Wallace.
September 7 1842 - Queen Victoria's first visit to Edinburgh.
The Mod was first held in 1892 and is now regarded as the second-biggest festival in Scotland, behind Edinburgh, attracting entrants from around the world. But Mr MacLeod said it was outdated and its format did little for the survival of the Gaelic language. Read more