Category Archives: between books

A things (may) Come tae an End – –

Jack gets to do the Monday book and his usual Wednesday guest post while Wendy’s at a conference –

Two things are sadly coming to an end –

  1. After nearly fifteen years our annual small group tours of Scotland and Ireland are coming to a finish. The last one, of the highlands and islands should have taken place in 2020 but Covid got in the way. In addition, my friend, co-host and driver Colin died suddenly and unexpectedly. The pressures of organizing the tours had also already begun to take its toll on me so it was time.

But we have many great memories and have made many friends along the way.

  • When Wendy came to Scotland and we married, one of the friends she inherited was Pete Heywood, who had started a very high quality folk music magazine called The Living Tradition. It has been going for over thirty years and is recognized as one of the best covering the traditional music of the British Isles. Wendy helped Pete with grant applications and for a few years was the education editor for the magazine. More recently Pete’s daughter Fiona took over control and we started writing a regular series of articles called Transatlantic Connections. That’s been great fun. But this morning I received an email telling me that the next edition will be the last one. The pressures of producing and publishing a print magazine are enormous compared to organizing a tour!

As I was writing this my phone rang and it seems that my radio show may be picked up by other stations – there’s always light at the end of the tunnel!


Filed under between books, folklore and ethnography, Life reflections, publishing, reading, Scotland, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch

Wagons Ho – –

Jack actually makes it on time for the Wednesday guest post –

Well Covid hasn’t gone away yet, but since we are fully vaccinated and continue to wear masks, we feel able to make some excursions now.

We will be heading shortly to visit friends for a weekend in South Carolina, and then for a week in New Mexico. Then at the end of June we’ll be off for three weeks in Scotland after a break in the small group tours since 2019. This one will be a sentimental last one with many old friends we’ve made over the years.

Because we will be away so much during the growing season we won’t be planting so much this year, but we’ll still have a go at some basic veggies – corn, peas, onions, peppers. We do have arrangements in hand for our dog, cats and chickens – –

It will be strange getting back to traveling again although I doubt it will be exactly ‘normal’. Flights are subject to cancelation because of crew shortages and in Scotland some of our hotels can’t offer dinner because of staff from Europe falling foul of Brexit! I am hoping that the current requirement to have a negative test ahead of flying back to the US will have stopped by then. Nevertheless – adventures await!

I’m not suggesting that Covid is over – I don’t believe it will ever be over. Wendy has been very careful of my contacts and outings for the last three years and taking serious precautions herself. Far too many countries seem to be just shrugging their shoulders now and condemning old and infirm people to an earlier death than would be expected. Maybe they think it will ease pressure on their health systems?

Despite the restrictions it will be good to feel semi-normal again, though!

Leave a comment

Filed under between books, humor, Life reflections, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch