The Highland Clearances… coming to a suburb near you?

After promising a weekly blog, I posted on two successive Fridays, then skipped two Fridays and did a Monday. I started this one resolved to miss only one week, assuming I posted it by Friday, August 26th. Then I realized that I needed to do a lot of background research to write this piece, and that was not a realistic date. I did another review in the meantime, and now, here’s the piece I intended to run. Hopefully I’ll be back on a weekly track through the Fall.

I missed a few postings because I went to Scotland. It was an eight-day trip. We left on a Thursday, on a 10 PM flight. Which meant getting to Dulles International by 7 PM. Which meant leaving home about 5:30. We rolled in the door of our house a little after 7:30 PM the following Thursday.

But this isn’t a travelogue. I’m writing about one particular part of our trip, and how it got me thinking. What better part of a trip is there?

On the morning of the Glencoe Massacre, villagers, forewarned of the attack, crossed this treacherous mountain pass in search of a safe haven.

We went to the Highlands by bus from Edinburgh, ostensibly to see Loch Ness. Our guide for the charter was Rose, a Scottish National Storyteller (a seanchaidh, in Scottish Gaelic. The Internet disagrees, but she pronounced her calling “Sen.uh.shee”). It’s a prestigious title. I believe Rose said there are less than 100 of them. She has interned for 20 years, has just finished her 20 years of practice, and will now mentor for 20 years.

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