“A Prayer for Christmas Eve” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dear Friends,

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.

xo,

Happy Summer Solstice!

On this summer solstice of 2019, I want to share with you this sweet poem for children by Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson.

“Bed In Summer”

-Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

In winter I get up at night 
And dress by yellow candle-light. 
In summer, quite the other way, 
I have to go to bed by day. 

I have to go to bed and see 
The birds still hopping on the tree, 
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet 
Still going past me in the street. 

And does it not seem hard to you, 
When all the sky is clear and blue, 
And I should like so much to play, 
To have to go to bed by day?

-from A Child’s Garden of Verses

Pilrig House-A Historical Gem in the City of Edinburgh

Hello, my friends. A very happy new year to you. I hope your 2019 has gotten off to a great 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 I always say that. Haha, you know me too well, dear reader. And it’s true, I suppose. But this place really does put a skip in my plaid heart.

Isn’t it lovely? This is Pilrig House, a historic Scottish townhouse located in Edinburgh, next to the burgh of Leith. It is believed 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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Bass Rock-A Tiny Scottish Island With a Giant Personality

Hello, my friends. How are you guys today? I’ve missed you. I have been away on holiday with Mr. C and his parents, off the grid, and making memories. I’m excited to catch up on all the things you’ve been up to and eager to share some of the best moments from our trip. For today, though, I’d like to show you a tiny island located in the outer part of Scotland’s Firth of Forth. This island is called Bass Rock, and it is a beast of a thing!

A white lighthouse sitting on Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth.
A Google Maps image of the Firth of Forth off Scotland's coast.

Rising to a height of more than 300 ft., the rocky island is a steep-sided volcanic plug that dates to the Carboniferous Age – arising a whopping 300+ million years ago. From a distance, the rock surface can appear white, almost as if covered in a dusting of snow. That is because of the presence of the world’s largest colony of Northern gannets. In fact, in the peak of their nesting season, it is estimated that more than 150,000 of these sea birds call Bass Rock home!

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“Autumn Fires”, by Robert Louis Stevenson

“Autumn Fires”

by Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Trees with green, red, yellow, and orange leaves.

A Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

To old friends, new friends, and friends I have yet to meet,

I want to sincerely thank you all for welcoming me into your blogging community this year. It has been great fun to write for you these last few months, and you have been so encouraging. I have enjoyed our interactions, and I look forward to getting to know you even better through your posts over this next year.

A lantern hanging on a wood paneled wall.

A few weeks ago, I came across this Christmas prayer. It is widely attributed to one of Scotland’s literary sons, Robert Louis Stevenson, although I am unable to find the source. Regardless, it is beautiful, and it is my personal prayer for you this blessed season.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

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A Brief History of the Bagpipe

Happy December, friends! Is it really just over three weeks until Christmas? My goodness, where does the time go? 2018 is just a blink away.

Today we are going to take a quick look at the history of the bagpipe. 

An ornament of Santa playing a bagpipe.

The bagpipe is quite unlike any other instrument in its ability to stir and penetrate the soul. When well-played, bagpipes can evoke a gamut of emotions; joy, sadness, excitement, determination, and for me personally, a profound longing – even a homesickness of sorts.

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Deacon Brodie-The Real Jekyll and Hyde?

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought it would be fun to do a few blogs this month that highlight some of the weird, dark, and spooky stories of Edinburgh’s past. Edinburgh’s history is full of accounts of unsavory characters and macabre tales, each with the ability to intrigue and fascinate even the most dubious among us. It’s going to be a lot of fun to research and write about them for you.

To kick things off, I would like to introduce you to a man who inspired author Robert Louis Stevenson to write him famed 1886 novella, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” That man was William Brodie. Or, as he is better known, Deacon Brodie.

Deacon Brodie.
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