John Sim of Peterhead

What lies here? John Sim, ye needna‘ speir. Hullo John, is that you? Ay, ay, but I’m deid noo. Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Edinburgh, Chambers; 1990

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grave loss

Strontian, Ardnamurchan, the Parish church built in the 1820s by Thomas Telford, one of 32 churches built in thinly populated areas, but there is more to be found on this graveyard. The gravestone of Roderick and Mary Gordon and their sons Adam and James sits here, quietly telling a sad story. The Gordon family lived... Continue Reading →

happiness doesn’t need a funeral

S coma nair no àit' ar n-eung dhuinn 'S greadhnachas gun fheum ar tòrraidh.   The time or place of our death doesn' t matter, since happiness doesn' t need a funeral.   Bàrdachd Mhgr. Ailein. The Gaelic Poems of Fr Allan MacDonald. Transcribed, translated and published by John Lorne Campbell; 1965

Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh

Here snug in a grave my wife doth lie, She is at rest, and so am I, Who for beneath this stone doth rest Has joined the army oft he blest. The lord has taken her to the sky; The Saints rejoice, and so do I Tears cannot restore her, therefore I cry. Raymond Lamont-Brown:... Continue Reading →

the Gaelic element

In the late 18th century the element Strontium was discovered here, in Ardnamurchan in the tiny Scottish village Strontian, hence the name. The place-name is of Gaelic origin, Sròn an t-Sìthein, meaning nose or point of the fairy hill which makes the chemical element strontium the only one with a Scottish Gaelic etymology. It is therefore... Continue Reading →

the tiger that would not be buried in Brechin

The Lindsays were a very popular family in the 15th century, influential with substantial property in Angus and the Mearns. For generations they were locked in a feud with the Ogilvies and their supporters. But the Lindsays had an even more powerful enemy – the King. tiger and king James II of Scotland was monarch... Continue Reading →

a pale white hand that started bleeding

Edzell is a quaint wee village, its graveyards peaceful and pretty, but appearance can be deceiving, especially here in Edzell. For a start, the village Edzell is not really the village Edzell at all. Edzell was lost during the centuries and the Georgian planned town of today, was originally called Slateford. It took the name... Continue Reading →

Lunna’s Norwegian connection

Place names of Shetland are almost all Norwegian in origin. Local boats descend from Viking built ships, Shetland belonged to Norway for centuries in the past. The Norwegian connection is strong. Particularly in Lunna churchyard. A tall building towers above the small graveyard by the edge of the sea. Lunna House dates back to 1663 and... Continue Reading →

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date

Shakespeare’s sonnet Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? is all-encompassing, expressing love and evanescence, life and death. A more than apt poem for a beautiful graveyard on sunny Scottish summer’s day: Dervaig burial ground.       And summer’s lease hath all too short a date The temptation of monochrome is easily desisted... Continue Reading →

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