BluebellsIt’s always a pleasure to know how much my blogs are enjoyed, and I would like to thank all my followers, especially those who ‘like’ and comment regularly on The Hazel Tree and my other blog, Jo’s Journal.   Your responses are really important and I value them all.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has visited my new Facebook page.  With Twitter, Facebook and two WordPress sites, I get the feeling sometimes that I’m juggling with plates.  So far, things are holding up!

Earlier this month I came across an exciting new website called Historical Honey.  The aim of the site is to present ‘history without the cobwebs’, and I responded to their call for contributors.  I’m quite excited to say that I’ve just had my first article published on there, which is about James II of Scotland and his passion for weaponry.  I’ve been invited to think of more ideas, which I’m hoping I will be able to do!

Mons Meg in Edinburgh Castle

The siege gun known as Mons Meg, a present to James II from the Duke of Burgundy in 1457. I’m thinking a gift voucher would have cost less to send.

If you follow my Journal as well as The Hazel Tree, you’ll know that Colin and I recently paid a visit to Skye.  The weather was dramatic and challenging, and sometimes we were running with the cameras to catch the sunshine while it lasted!  I’ve now got some great ideas for new history features on The Hazel Tree.  These will be coming up soon, but in the meantime please check out my Journal for some of our images.

Dun Beag broch, Isle of Skye

Dun Beag broch, Isle of Skye

Finally, a big thank you to fellow bloggers Ed Mooney and Viking Lady Aine for nominating both The Hazel Tree and Jo’s Journal for a Versatile Blogger Award.

Interestingly, both Ed and Aine are based in Ireland.  Ed takes some stunning and atmospheric photos of ancient sites such as ruined churches and castles – making me wish Ireland was more accessible! – while Aine is a Viking re-enactor who practises nalbinding (take a look!) and hand dyeing.

The conditions of the Versatile Blogger Award state that I must nominate 15 more blogs for the same award.   This is where I have to start bending the rules.  I can’t nominate just 15, because I follow lots of blogs and they are all good, for different reasons.   Therefore – as I’ve done before on these occasions – I would recommend you to take a look at the ‘Blogs that I like’ which are listed in the right-hand margin of Jo’s Journal.   All of them are worth following, and they are all written and hosted by great people, many of whom I consider to be my friends.

Then, I am to share seven things about myself.  Here are seven of my favourite places, in no particular order:

  •     Callanish stone circle
  •     Traigh Bhan on Iona
  •     Machir Bay on Islay
  •     Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset
  •     Carsaig, Mull
  •     The Garvellachs
  •     A mineral and fossil shop, anywhere

Thank you all again, and please bear with me while I try to shift annoying things like work around the important pleasure of writing features!  🙂