St. Margaret’s Chapel

Hello friends,

Do you ever feel like the gears in your brain get stuck? Seriously, I have been trying to put words to paper for four solid days and I haven’t been able to get past ‘hello’! Maybe it has something to do with the elephant sitting on my left sinus cavity. Anyway, if today’s post stinks, you will know why! 😀

“And all I could say was, “hello”. –An Affair to Remember, 1957

Today we’re going to take a quick look at the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. This is St. Margaret’s Chapel, located at Edinburgh Castle.

This amazing old structure was built by King David I of Scotland nearly 900 years ago – sometime around 1130. David dedicated the chapel to his mother, Queen Margaret, who died at the castle in 1093.

The arched chancel is original construction.
St. Columba, one of five stained glass windows in the chapel

In 1251, Pope Innocent IV canonized the Queen. Queen Margaret of Scotland was now Saint Margaret of Scotland.

St. Margaret

St. Margaret was an English princess of the House of Wessex. After the Norman Conquest of England, Margaret and her family fled to Scotland where she later married King Malcolm III. Margaret was known as a pious woman who performed many charitable acts.

Following the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, the chapel fell into disuse. In fact, during this time it was used as a storehouse for gunpowder! Fortunately, in 1845, the Scottish antiquary Daniel Wilson recognized the significance of the historic building and in 1851, with the support of Queen Victoria, St. Margaret’s was restored.

Additional restorations took place in the early twentieth century, with stained glass windows added in 1922. Today the beautiful little chapel is owned by Historic Scotland and cared for by the St. Margaret’s Chapel Guild – a group of Scottish ladies who are all named Margaret. I love that so much! The Margarets ensure that the chapel has a welcoming display of fresh flowers at all times.

If you visit Edinburgh Castle (which you MUST do if you’re in Edinburgh), be sure to include some time to pop in to St. Margaret’s. It’s a pretty special piece of history.

Well, that’s it for today, friends. Short and sweet. Can’t believe I made it to the end. I do hope you enjoyed!

Have a wonderful week. See you soon.

Cheers,

Pilrig House

Hello, my friends. A very happy new year to you. I hope your 2019 has gotten off to a jolly good start!

Today I would like to take you to a place in Scotland that is extra special to me. I know, I know…you think that I feel that way about every place in Scotland! Haha, you know me too well, dear reader. And ’tis true, I suppose. But this place really does put a skip in my plaid heart.

Isn’t is lovely? This is Pilrig House, a historic Scottish townhouse located in Edinburgh, next to the burgh of Leith. It is theorized that the name ‘Pilrig’ may have derived from the former ‘Peilrig’ and ‘Pellryge’ (rig=ridge), where a peel tower stood in the 15thcentury. According to pilrighouse.com, “stonework in the basement walls suggests the remains of a peel tower”. For a newby history geek like me, that is fascinating.

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Happy New Year!

Friends, as we wind down the year, I just want to say a sincere thank you for your ongoing support of my wee blog.  You guys are truly awesome.  This ride wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you.  

Happy New Year and may 2019 be your best year yet!

 Cheers!

 

 

“Each age has deemed the new-born year the fittest time for festal cheer.” 
 

˜Scottish author, Walter Scott

Merry Christmas!

Heap on more wood! – the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.

∼From “Marmion”, by Sir Walter Scott

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May your Christmas bring joy to your hearts and happiness to your homes.  Love,  peace, and God’s blessings to all.

XOXO,

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And this is the testimony:  that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.           

∼1 John 5:11

 

*star photo courtesy of Pexels; popcorn photo courtesy of Pixabay

Recipe: Sticky Toffee Pudding

Hello again, Friends.  Guess what…it’s recipe day!  Since I haven’t done any holiday baking thus far (cause my thighs are big enough already), today I’m going to do just that.  I’ll be trying my hand at Sticky Toffee Pudding, a recipe by my blogging friend and fellow lover of Scotland, Cristine Eastin.

To we Americans, Sticky Toffee Pudding is not a pudding as we know it.  It is actually a date cake topped with a delicious toffee sauce.

Cristine is a sweet and talented author who has published two works of fiction as well as a book of Scottish recipes – A Wee Scottish Cookbook (all available on Amazon).  It was in her cookbook that I found the recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding.  As Cristine points out, this dessert is a relatively new concoction.  And although its origination may have been in England, the Scots have embraced it as a holiday tradition as well.

Click on any of the links above and you’ll be redirected to Cristine’s beautiful blog.  I hope you’ll check it out!

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When Christmas Was Banned In Scotland

Hello my friends!  I hope you are having an extraordinary day.

For today’s post, I would like to share with you about a time in Scotland’s history when Christmas was banned.  Yes, it really was!  And to mix things up a bit, I thought I’d have a little fun and try my hand at writing it as a poem.  Perhaps it will sound a bit familiar to you.  🙂  Enjoy.

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‘Twas the night before Christmas

and all through the land,

not a creature was stirring,

for Christmas was banned.

 

“Why?” you might ask,

when in Scotland of old,

the Yule was indeed

important we’re told.

 

You see, Yule – from the ‘Yuletide’-

was a festival of fun,

a time to laud the solstice

and the return of the sun.

 

Greenery was hung

as a symbol of life,

and the yule log burned warm,

merry, and bright.

 

In the year 1560, though,

something new happened.

The Reformation began –

spirits were dampened.

 

What used to be fun

was now frowned upon.

No more celebrations.

Beloved Yuletide was done.

 

From there it got worse,

more sadness and gloom.

And in 1640,

the Church lowered the boom.

 

Too pagan! Too Catholic!

Not biblical they said.

Go to work, eat your supper,

just be quiet instead.

 

Yuletide was banned,

the festivities finished.

If caught in celebration,

one would certainly be punished!

 

With no games, no gifts,

no more feasts to be had,

the people of Scotland

must have felt sad.

 

Thankfully, though,

cooler heads would prevail.

Nearly fifty years later

the act was repealed.

 

Three centuries more

was the notion suppressed,

though little by little

Christians welcomed the fest.

 

Old traditions and customs

that once had been barred,

were now part of Christmas,

reclaimed and restored.

 

Today Yuletide carols

are sung by a choir,

and Christmas trees sparkle

by the light of a star.

 

This Christmas as you

and your family delight,

I wish a happy Christmas to all

and to all a good night.

 

*Christmas became a public holiday in Scotland in 1958.

 

Enjoy your week, everyone and I’ll see you again soon!

Cheers,

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My Plaid Heart In the West Indies: Castillo de San Felipe del Morro

Greetings!  How is everyone?  My goodness, can you all believe there are only 14 days until Christmas?  How the days do fly by.

Friends, today I would like to share something a little different with you.  The day after Thanksgiving, Mr. C and I along with his parents, took a Holland America cruise to the Eastern Caribbean.  It was a new experience for me on two counts.  First, because I had never been on a cruise.  Second, because I had never traveled farther south than Houston, Texas or the Florida Panhandle.

Our journey began in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where we embarked on our seven-day sea adventure. We sailed first to Turks & Caicos, then to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and finally, to the Bahamas where we spent a day on the cruise line’s gorgeous private island, Half Moon Cay.  Then it was back to port in Florida, another great vacation in the books.

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Docked for the day at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

One of the greatest highlights from our trip was our stop in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.  I had done a little research beforehand and knew that if I only had time to see one thing while I was there that it would be the 16th century fort, Castillo de San Felipe del Morro (or simply, El Morro).  After all, you guys know I’d never let a good castle go to waste!

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