Notes from the Basement – 16 March 2021

  16 Mar '21   |  Posted by: Birlinn
Tuesday, March 16th, 2021
It’s World Poetry Day on Sunday, 21st March and we’ll be looking towards it all this week with poems old and new.

We begin with Nadine Aisha Jassat’s ‘Somewhere / Today’ which distils the essence of the present moment in immediacy and distance, joy and heaviness.   

Essential route-planning site WalkHighlands has a new ‘Walk Report’ just up: Andrew Painting, author of Regeneration: The Rescue of a Wild Land, takes you round Clais Fhearnaig on the Mar Lodge Estate, explaining how its ecological history is written on the landscape. 

Or, if you prefer a live event, join Andrew for the Regeneration launch event on Thursday evening. 

Continuing our series of extracts for Women’s History Month, here is a pair of extracts about espionage in nunneries, courtesy of Rosemary Goring and Muriel Spark. 

Palace intrigue is nothing new. What is new, however, is the paperback edition of Desmond Seward’s The King Over the Water: The Complete History of the Jacobites. It’s just out, and here’s an extract. 

If you’re not swigging the Guinness for St Patrick’s day tomorrow (or even if you are), you can learn about the saints who brought Christianity first to Ireland and thence to Scotland’s western seaboard in Alistair Moffat’s In Search of Angels. It wasn’t just Patrick, but Palladius and Ciaran of Saighir, too. 

Keeping it green: the woods will soon be filling with the tang of wild garlic, so here is Claire Macdonald’s recipe for novice foragers – Wild Garlic and Potato Soup from The Scottish Wild Food Bible

Or, if you prefer to grow-your-own, the time is now. Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland by Ken Cox and Caroline Beaton is the only manual for kitchen gardeners that’s tailored to Scotland’s soils and climate. 

Keep those fingers green,
Team Birlinn
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