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An Ode to Haggis

This is a story about making peace with a squishy edible ball of sheep innards, and a song I rewrote to help me through the process.

I have a confession to make. I was afraid of haggis, almost deathly so. You could say I harbored an irrational fear of the stuff. Yes, haggis.

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The Scottish Highlands: Tell Me a Story

Scottish Highlands, Culloden Battlefield

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

— Mark Twain said it. Scottish storytellers live it.

This is a story…about story. Or rather, the importance of stories to the Scottish Highlands.

There was an unwritten rule in the Scottish Highlands,” Chris, our driver and guide, explained. “If someone came to your house seeking shelter and food, you must welcome them.

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Edinburgh Hogmanay: Fire, Culture and Community Usher in the New Year

Edinburgh Castle blogmanay
Mystical and shrouded, Edinburgh Castle in winter afternoon light

Celebrations in the shadow of the Winter Solstice. They help us abide darkness and emerge from the shortest day of the year so that we may carry ourselves through deepening cold and, oddly enough, lengthening days until spring returns a few months later.

In this context, the measure of a place coming forth from this seasonal inflection might in fact be its celebration of the new year, and not only the energy with which it tackles this task, but also the tools it packs to do so. Edinburgh, and its new year's celebration, Hogmanay? No different.

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