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Notes from the Basement – 16 February 2021

  17 Feb '21   |  Posted by: Birlinn
It’s the third week in February, and the snows have fled. The light is coming back – read Norman MacCaig’s poem ‘The white bird’, which sits at the centre of a cluster of observations on the subject.

Whether you call it Shrove Tuesday, or simply PANCAKE DAY, it’s time to whip up a batter and flip out. Here is our collection of recipes, all the way from Beremeal to bears of little brain. 

Today sees the publication of James Campbell’s essential biography of James Baldwin, Talking at the Gates. ‘Why did you leave America?’ is a question Baldwin was often asked. Read about his move to Paris in 1948 here.

Crossing the pond in the other direction, Jenny Lecoat’s debut novel Hedy’s War has become a New York Times bestseller on publication in the US, under the title The Viennese Girl

Planning may be on hold for now, but ecologists plan long-range. Andrew Painting’s Regeneration celebrates the first 25 years of a 200-year plan for Mar Lodge Estate. The Sunday Post has the story. | [Sunday Post] 

Movement is life. Mentally, physically, emotionally, the trick is to keep moving.
Here’s sound running wisdom with an evolutionary basis from Amby Burfoot author of Run Forever. Sometimes it’s a bumpy road, though.

The Hunterian’s exhibition about the Scottish Grand Tour, Old Ways New Roads, is moving online and will launch in April. But the book is out and their events programme starts today, with the first of a series of short lunchtime events at 1pm on Tuesdays. Haste ye!  | [Hunterian Museum]

Contemporary Grand-Tourer Paul Murton brings his characteristic blend of soaring views and deep dives into Scotland’s stories back to our screens this week. A new series of Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs begins tomorrow on the Beeb. | [BBC]  

Our online events programme is hitting its 2021 stride this month. Patrick Laurie, author of the acclaimed Native, will be Zooming into the National Library of Scotland tonight (16th February) at 5pm from his Galloway farm. Sign up here.

You can pre-book for Alexander McCall Smith’s March NLS event, too. Or, in the meantime, check out what he has coming up this year from his Scottish publishing home.

Until next week! Don’t fret over that first pancake.
Team Birlinn
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