Hello! Spring is in the air here in Scotland, though the temperature is still to get the memos and we had overnight frost two nights last week.
For various reasons, I’ve not stuck to my newsletter send-out schedule since the start of the year—not least because the world and the ongoing awfulness have made it feel pointless.
If you’re feeling powerless yourself, there are a few little things you can do… If you go onto Google maps, and type in Moscow (for instance) and then restaurants, you can leave reviews there along the lines of ‘Fabulous restaurant, but my appetite’s ruined because Putin has invaded Ukraine and is bombing hospitals and shelling civilians’.
I varied the wording for different restaurants because I assumed that copying and pasting the same thing would trigger some bot somewhere.
Channel 4 in the UK recently bought the rights to an old comedy show, Servant of the People, created by and starring one Volodymyr Zelenskiy. (As the joke goes in the UK, Ukraine elected a comedian, we elected a clown.)
We’ve watched the first two episodes and it’s incredibly funny (and I recommend it), but watching the programme feels surreal when you counter it with the images of the city that have been on the news of bombed bridges, mass piles of rubble and citizens wrapped up in hats and scarves as they try to flee.
My writing schedule has fallen behind too, though I hope to publish Baked With Love, a chick lit novel based on a fictional version of the Great British Bake Off in late spring.
After much umm-ing and ah-ing, I have decided to return to the Highland books and I’m going to give Mhari her own story. You can read the start of it here.
I’m also running a month-long sale of Highland Wedding, the third in the series of the Highland Books, on PayHip and you can buy it for the bargain basement price of 0.99p.
Finally, it’s St Patrick’s Day on Thursday and my birthday. I have always wanted to spend my birthday in Ireland because of how seriously the Irish take their national saint’s day, so this year we are travelling to Belfast to do so…
I love the restaurant review approach to having a feeling of doing something Emma!
I’ve always wanted to travel to Ireland and Scotland. I’m not sure if it will ever happen. My desire for any travel has diminished dramatically with the learnings from COVID-19.
So many people have been trying to do the same thing on TripAdvisor that the company has stopped accepting reviews for places in Russia and Belarus. (Spoilsports.) I hope at some point in the future travel is a safe option again.
Hi there, are the pair of you still travelling by motorbike?
Too chilly at the moment, but we hope to get back out there in March/April when it (hopefully) warms up a bit…
Oooh Belfast! It’s on my list of places to go to definitely. Just read the reviews idea, then just read your reply about TripAdvisor not accepting them anymore. It was good while it lasted! Have a great birthday and enjoy your trip. X
Well done Emma. I’ve been doing a tour of Ireland in VR as part of my exercise routine. It is very green, like Scotland, and also very wet. David and my husband went. They didn’t think much of the giant’s causeway but did like the Titanic exhibition. They did a lot of walking on a Rambler’s holiday.
Thanks, Katharine. The Titanic Experience is brilliant – the social history side of it a reminder of how dreadful the industrial age was for the working classes, i.e. the majority of folks. We didn’t get to the Giant’s Causeway (maybe just as well!) but I’d definitely go back to Northern Ireland and Ireland as there is so much to see and do.