Friday, July 3, 2015


3rd July 2015

I once came back here to my home in Argyll and found myself outside the graveyard where the model for one of my chief characters was in the process of being buried.  So close does the world of art lie to the world we like to think of as the "real" world, that this time before I left Colorado, I was even contemplating bringing my new little Winnie cat to Dunadd and leaving her here. She appeared on my doorstep a few weeks ago straight out of the leaves of my published book Veil Of Time which takes place here at Dunadd, and some part of me believes she really belongs here. Perhaps she does, but in saner moments I know she will do more good purring on my lap while I compose my soliloquies. We all need our muses.

The Scottish singer Dougie MacLean famously wrote about standing on the land where Fotheringhay Castle once stood and where Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded . "Something happened here....on the silent fields....Mary,  I can feel your heart breaking." The land speaks - don't know how. Places must be like sponges and absorb energies, especially intense human emotions. Perhaps that's all ghosts are.
But for me there is no land that hums like this place where I grew up with its ancient fort and its stone circles. I have a genetic link to this place: my ancestors Duncan and Ewan McDougall built castles here in the thirteenth century.

This is the main one at Dunnstaffnage near Oban, Argyll, as it sat in the mind's eye of an nineteenth century engraver. This is how everything sits in my mind's eye: whispy, half-created, dancing between worlds. Humming.

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