Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! Whether you are celebrating the day with that special someone, sharing the love with a cherished friend or family member, or by doing something nice for yourself, I hope it’s a very happy one! Here’s a little ooh la la for you on this day of love, brought to you by the master of love, Scottish poet Robert Burns.
O gin my love were yon red rose, That grows upon the castle wa’; And I myself a drap o’ dew, Into her bonie breast to fa’! O there, beyond expression blest, I’d feast on beauty a’ the night; Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest, Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!
If you live in Scotland, are of proud Scottish ancestry, or just love the Scottish people and culture, chances are that tonight you will be celebrating Burns Night. Every year, on January 25, people from Scotland to the Americas to Australia and beyond come together to commemorate the life and works of Scotland’s beloved poet, Robert Burns. It is an evening of merriment, good food, and good drink.
Sadly, Mr. C and I have to postpone our celebration this year. Poor ol’ Mr. C is ill, and I’m pretty sure haggis is the last food on his mind. So, in lieu of our traditional festivities, I am instead spending part of my day enjoying The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, a wonderful publication by Waverly Books. With a glass of the good stuff, of course. Not altogether a bad way to spend an afternoon.
If you are celebrating Burns Night tonight, have fun, be safe, and eat a bite of haggis for me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of my blog this past year. Our interactions on here have meant so much. I will end this year with a Christmas Eve prayer by the wonderful Robert Louis Stevenson. Have a very merry Christmas, and I’ll see you all again in January!
A Prayer for Christmas Eve, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Hi there, friends. I have something fun and a little different for you today. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with talented fiction author Cristine Eastin who, like me, has a deep and profound love for Scotland. Her most recent novel, Love Inherited, is set in the Scottish Highlands. Although relatively new on the literary stage, Cristine is a skilled and creative storyteller. She describes herself as an “author of contemporary fiction spiced with romance, faith, and hope.” I am so delighted to introduce her to you today! So without further adieu…
Wendy: Welcome, Cris. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.
Cristine Eastin: Thanks so much for the privilege of getting to do this!
Wendy: It’s my pleasure. Let’s just jump right in, shall we?
Wendy: What was the inspiration behind Love Inherited?
Cristine Eastin: Hmm…a gorgeous American woman inherits a huge Highland estate and tons of money and gets the drop-dead gorgeous laird…I didn’t have to go very subconscious to get to…wouldn’t that be fun? But seriously, having been an American young woman transplanted to England for two years, I know the outlander experience. And I wanted to write a story that, when the reader came to the end, would count for something. So I gave the main characters deep wounding or hurts they had to struggle with.
Wendy: The story of Love Inherited takes place in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. Why did you choose this location as the setting for your book?
Cristine Eastin: Because I love, love, love Scotland. It’s where I’d love to live if they didn’t drive on the left. Living there in my writer’s head was second best. Having made eight trips to Scotland, I know it fairly well and I thought I could convey the setting to the reader.
The actual location of Love Inherited, Fionnloch, is a fictionalized Gairloch in Wester Ross in the northwest Highlands. My husband and I stayed at Shieldaig Lodge a few years ago and I was so captivated by the area that I set my book there.
One of my heart’s desires on our recent trip to Scotland was to find a bluebell wood. I worried that we might have been too late, but was absolutely delighted to see them still in bloom. These photos were taken in a wood next to Boleskine Burial Ground on Loch Ness.
It’s the little things.
A fine and subtle spirit dwells In every little flower, Each one its own sweet feeling breathes With more or less of power. There is a silent eloquence In every wild bluebell, That fills my softened heart with bliss That words could never tell.