…’Michael Row The Boat Upside Down!’…

Is it any wonder Seumas left for sunnier climes?

Seumas Gallacher

…it was all of at least 50 years or so ago, but it’s amazing how the mind can re-conjure with precision the whole event… at the time I worked and lived in Tobermory, on the beautiful Hebridean island of Mull… I had been here just long enuff to acquire sufficient fluency in the Scottish Gaelic language that still prevails there… my singing prowess fortunately married my ability in the language, and I became  a bit of a ‘circuit ceilidh’ singer… one weekend, a ceilidh invitation came to go across the water to Oban for a ceilidh in the town… accompanying me were Joanie and Fiona Mackenzie, possessors of angelic voices (even to this day) and both with astonishing ability to harmonise beautifully with any song in English or in Gaelic…and their father, the master of Scottish fiddle music, Pibroch Mackenzie... of course, it was on a weekend, so…

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What do you see..?

Do you go through life wearing blinkers???

The Silent Eye

bits 064

An email came in from one of the Silent Eye’s Companions. He was wondering about our perception of the world around us, saying that we walk through our days not really looking, because we are so used to our environments that we don’t give our attention to the details. Same workplace, office, staircase, or traffic every day. It would, he suggested, be interesting to develop goggles that only record what we truly see.

He went on to speculate that the playback of that movie would be for the most part a blank screen with perhaps a few people popping in and out of existence, or a tv show we have watched, maybe a few personal interactions. That, he thought, would be it. The rest would be blank because we don’t really see it, we expect it to be as usual and so we don’t truly register or process what we…

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A review that never appeared on Amazon.

A reminder to all of you to get yourselves a copy and read it!!!

Have We Had Help?

Autumn 1066: When Anglo-Saxon dominance ended by [Eason, Jack]

Why won’t it appear there? Because the person hadn’t spent a minimum of £50 on Amazon UK.

So, here it is anyway:

I really enjoyed the book. It was interesting to hear events unfold from a participant’s point of view. It inspired me to find out more about the events, and the different people who were involved.

Thank you,

C. Cousins.

PS – I gave him a paperback copy one day when he delivered my groceries. I started by asking him if he read books. He admitted that his eyes tend to glaze over with any normal length book. So Autumn 1066 was ideal for him, being so short (21 pages).


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Peering into Young Minds

More from the lovey Stephie 😉 xx


I’ve recently come up with the idea of  having my students write some stories. I’ve always enjoyed to stimulate their creative side and I have never been disappointed, whatever the request has been, with the products of their inventiveness. I thought about organizing it in a the form of contest, according to the spirit of the previous post, so I decided that each student of one of my classes (average age 15) had to write the beginning of a story of about 100 word length. After having chosen three (or more) among them, the students would have written their sequels adding a minimum of 100 words. No student was allowed to write the continuation of the part he had written, he had to skip a turn, but he was allowed to add new material to the other stories.
In the end, groups of students would have worked on the stories…

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Powerful stuff…

The Champagne Epicurean


“Along the train tracks a group of Jewish boys were singing. It was magical. I hated them. How dare they let magic into this living hell? And then, I saw her. I saw the woman who would become my wife posing for a photo at the gates of Auschwitz.”


For most of the people walking into the gates of that cold, wind-swept institution, most of their impressions of the war and the Holocaust came from films like Schindler’s List and Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

One man, in his twenties, thought this was a disgrace. But perhaps, remembering this unspeakable genocide via the medium of entertainment was their way – our way – of being able to creep up close to the memory. And we need to be close to the memory, the young man thought, that we could all agree on.

It started to rain. The…

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The Patience of a Fisherman

More from the lovely Stephie 😉


Subiaco is a charming little town on the top of a hill. The perfect place to go if you want to escape the noise and the confusion ( and the dirt) of such a big city like Rome and feel like living in the contemplation of those beautiful surroundings for a while. There is a rich, flourishing nature and amazing views, which make it fit for walks; you can also enjoy a visit  to the spectacular Abbeys of Santa Scolastica and St Benedict. It sounds like heaven, I know, but that heaven has always been the bugbear of any substitute teacher living in Rome and in its surroundings. Being very distant from the capital, it means you need to move there and live in that sort of holy hermitage for a year. And it snows heavily in winter. Apart from the distance, the point is that I am a sea…

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