Tag Archives: Sally J Collins

Hamish McHaggis

It’ll be my northern vowels. I couldn’t possibly read this book aloud. Hamish McHaggis and The Clan Gathering is crying out to be read aloud, in a lovely Scottish accent. I would guess that its author Linda Strachan doesn’t see a problem with that. She’s got the accent.

Ever since I met Linda in the Edinburgh Book Festival bookshop last August I’ve been aware of her Hamish books, but just never took the plunge until now. I love the name Hamish! Somehow it’s more Scottish than almost any other name, and I’d have named Son Hamish if I’d thought I could get away with it.

Hamish McHaggis and the Clan Gathering

There are lots of Hamish books, but this one is nice, with its feeling of family togetherness, although I’m not sure how so many McHaggises ended up all over the world. I do like gatherings, and I’d say some of ours have been at least as outlandish as this one, except we stop at picnics and don’t do Highland Games. And we have less tartan about, but tartan is very nice. Especially purple.

I can see that the Scottish Tourist Board would like this Hamish story, seeing as it’s a whirlwind mini grand tour of the sights of Scotland.

Hamish is a sweet little thing, and he’s very kind to his friends. I just wish they wouldn’t go round saying ‘dinna fash yersel’. How is a witch to cope? Not even her Scottish born and bred IT Consultant can manage a Scottish accent. Welsh Hamish anyone? Luckily we don’t have small Offspring anymore. They can read this book silently by themselves. And I snuck in some Scottish second names for them, just not Hamish. Especially not for Daughter who is a R L Stevenson character.

I’ll stop blethering right here. Och aye.

More doggie tears

Greyfriars Bobby

I cried again. I knew I would, but I just had to read Linda Strachan’s take on Greyfriars Bobby. Linda offered me her book after I blogged about another GB version the other week. I suppose it’s rather like Greek Myths; a well known tale, whether based on truth or not, will invite many authors to have a go.

Maybe I’m hoping for a Greyfriars Bobby story with a happy ending? I don’t know.

There’s something about suffering dogs, and animal loyalty, which even gets to an old cynic like the witch. I know it’s ludicrous to hope for the policeman to live to old age, and for a happy ever after dog. There would be no story if that had happened. But…

This one felt slightly more ‘collected’, by which I mean it was mainly about little Bobby, and not so much about all the other people around him. Some nice pictures of Edinburgh from Sally J Collins, and you can sort of feel that rain. Brrr…