Sunday, July 17, 2011

An Shameless Commercial Announcement of Our New Travel Book

We are finally ready to announce the publishing of our newest travel book, TEN YEARS OF TRAVEL IN SCOTLAND, IRELAND, ENGLAND AND WALES.  

This book is not the golf/pub travel guide our other three books have been.  Instead, it’s two-hundred pages of stories of our adventures in the British Isles since our first trip in September 2000. The nine chapters in the book will give you an idea what it’s about:
Ch. 1 It’s Never the Wrong Side Unless Someone is Coming at You
Ch. 2 Golf, More Golf, and Sometimes Too Much Golf
Ch. 3 Scrapes, Bumps, Bruises and Beasties
Ch. 4 Let’s Eat Anything but Haggis
Ch. 5 Attractions or Which Castle Is This?
Ch. 6 Bed and Breakfasts to Die for and In
Ch. 7 We, the People
Ch. 8 Everything Else, A Writer’s Potpourri
Ch. 9 A, An, The: The Articles
The book isn’t a travel guide, but you might get some ideas of what you would want to see on your own trips--like the grand castles at Edinburgh or Stirling in Scotland, the small English border church at Kilpeck with its Sheela Na Gig, or the famous Llanfair PG on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales.  You might also find some things you want to avoid, such as the Prince of Wales Hotel in Caernarfon or a particular pugilist’s B&B in Dingle, Ireland.  TEN YEARS tells about the Scourge of the Highlands, the chocolate demanding fox of East Clare, and a cup of hot chocolate to go to the ends of the earth for.  There are heroes, villains, and beasties.  Food to die for and food that would kill you.  Hints for driving on the other side and hints for driving golf balls.  
You can pick up a copy of the book from us (funny how we almost always have a copy or two in the car or our briefcases).  Soon our webpage ( will have a link to order the book and pay through PayPal or you can order from  Price for the book is $12 plus shipping (which you can save by buying from our car boot).  
End of commercial announcement.  Thanks for your indulgence.  Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog entry.
2011 Portland Highland Games 
Anne and I spent all day Saturday at the Portland Highland Games held at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.  We had a small booth in the main gym selling our books, framed photos, and mounted photos.  

For us it was a very successful day with lots of book sales and a surprisingly good sale of mounted photos.  We got some great compliments on my photos and made plenty of new friends.  Really a great, but tiring day for us.
If you’ve never attended a Highland Games you should put it on your “To Do” list. You don’t have to be of Celtic heritage (Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Cornish) to enjoy the competitions (Highland dancing, solo bagpiping, pipe bands), the food (fish and chips, bangers, Scottish meat pies, British tea cakes and sweets, local ales), the retail booths (books and photos, genealogy, clothing, jewelry, celtic stuff).  Even though we’d brought snacks Anne and I shared some fish and chips (not bad), a banger on a roll (pretty good), and I had a sausage roll (could have been better with some Isle Arran mustard).  We also brought home some really fine chocolate and nut coated English toffee (delicious).  Besides the competitions and booths there is scheduled entertainment and on the lower field the athletic events, including The Portland Stone (tossing a 96 lb. stone for distance), Open Stone (shot putt of a 20 lb. stone), Weight for Height (throwing a 56 lb. bell-shaped weight from between your legs over a pole vault-type bar--big ouch if you don't get out from under it), and the Caber Toss (throwing a telephone pole so that it turns over to point directly away).  One of the highlights of the Games for me is the outfits people wear--some outrageous, some spectacular.  

The kit of the Pipe Major who visited our table was fantastic (photo).  We seek out Highland Games when we are in Scotland, but we almost never miss our own Portland Games.      

Side Note: Congratulations to Daren Clark of North Ireland, Champion Golfer of the Year (winner of the British Open).  Fun to watch great play in wild weather.