Monastery where Christian saint was martyred is uncovered on Eigg – Heritage – Scotsman.com


Monastery where Christian saint was martyred is uncovered on Eigg – Heritage – Scotsman.com.

Students and local people have uncovered what are thought to be remains of St Donnans monastery

Students and local people have uncovered what are thought to be remains of St Donnans monastery

An ARCHAEOLOGICAL dig on a Scottish island has unearthed the remains of what is thought to be a monastery founded by one of the country’s first Christian saints.

St Donnan brought Christianity to many places in the West Highlands in the seventh century before settling on Eigg.

According to local folklore, he became a martyr after he was killed by Norsemen, along with 50 monks, while giving Mass on Easter Sunday in the year 617.

Halfdan’s Viking Mead Recipe


“Ale has too often been praised by poets.
The longer you drink, the less sense your mind makes of things.”

–Ancient Viking Hávamál Proverb

       Halfdan’s Viking Mead Recipe   

  Mead (Honey Wine) – 5 gallon recipe

 8-10 lbs pure raw honey (for light, delicate Mead) (or)
 12-13 " " " " (for medium sweet Mead) 
(or) 15-16 "" " " (for very sweet or alcoholic Mead)
 4-5 gallons purified spring water (not distilled)
 3 tsp. yeast nutrient (or 5 tablets)
 1 tsp. acid blend (combination malic/citric acid) 
5-7 oz. sliced fresh gingerroot (1 finger's length)
 1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary (optional, as desired) 
5-6 whole cloves (optional, asdesired) 
1-2 vanilla beans (optional, as desired)
 cinnamon/nutmeg (optional, as desired) 
lime/orange peels (optional, as desired) 
crushed fruit (peaches, strawberries, grapes, etc.) 
1 tsp. Irish Moss(to clarify Mead)
 1/2 tsp. clear gelatin (to clarify Mead) 
1 spotted newt's tail (optional, asdesired :) 
1 packet yeast (champagne or ale yeast) 

Heat spring water 10-15 minutes till boiling. Stir in honey, yeast nutrients, acid blend, and spices (rosemary, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon peel). Boil for another 10-15 minutes, (overcooking removes too much honey flavor), skimming off foam as needed (2 to 3 times during last 15 minutes). After 15 minutes, add Irish Moss or clear gelatin to clarify. After last skimming, turn off heat, add crushed fruit, and let steep 15-30 minutes while allowing mead to cool and clarify. After mead begins to clear, strain off fruit with hand skimmer and pour mead through strainer funnel into 5 gallon glass carboy jug.

Let cool to room temperature about 24 hours. After 24 hours, warm up 1 cup of mead in microwave, stir in 1 packet “Red Star” Champagne, Montrechet, or Epernet yeast (or Ale yeast in order to make mead ale), and let sit for 5-15 minutes to allow yeast to begin to work. Add this mead/yeast mixture to carboy jug and swirl around to aerate, thereby adding oxygen to mead/yeast mixture.

Place run-off tube in stopper of bottle, with other end of tube in large bowl or bottle to capture “blow-off” froth. Let mead sit undisturbed 7 days in cool, dark area. After initial violent fermenting slows down and mead begins to settle, rack off (siphon off) good mead into clean sterilized jug, leaving all sediment in bottom of first jug. Attach airlock to this secondary carboy. After 4-6 months, mead will clear. During this time, if more sediment forms on bottom, good mead can be racked off again to another clean sterilized jug.

When bottling, in order to add carbonation, add either 1/4 tsp. white table sugar per 12 oz bottle, or stir in 1/2 to 1 lb raw honey per 5 gallons mead (by first dissolving honey with a small amount of mead or pure water in microwave).

Enjoy! Skål!Source: http://www.blue-n-gold.com/halfdan/meadrecp.htm

Pompeo Batoni – Colonel the Hon. William Gordon, 1765


Pompeo Batoni – Colonel the Hon. William Gordon, 1765

It’s XVIII century fashion plus Scottish pride. Oh, yeah.

A Gordon,a Gordon, a Gordon BYDAND!

(Ps.Bydand = Scots for “Abide”, motto / warcry of Clan Gordon)

Artist Batoni, Pompeo (Italian painter and draftsman, 1708-1787)
Title Colonel the Hon. William Gordon of Fyvie
Alternative/previous titles Colonel the Hon. William Gordon; Colonel William Gordon; Gen. the Hon. John William Gordon.
Date 1766 (dated)
Material oil on canvas
Measurements 258.2 x 186.1 cm
Inscription front ll ‘POMPEJUS BATONI PINXIT/ ROMAE ANNO 1766’, front lr ‘Gen.l The Hon.ble John William Gordon’.
Description William Gordon (1736-1816) is depicted in Rome during his Grand Tour. Although he wears the uniform of the Queen’s Own Royal Highlanders, his tartan has been arranged to look like a stylised Roman toga.While typical of Batoni’s portraits in its general confidence and swagger, this image particularly captures the ideals of the grand tourist abroad. Gordon stands in front of the Colosseum and next to a statue depicting the personification of Rome. During his visit to Rome, James Boswell saw Batoni working on the portrait on 17 April 1765, writing, ‘Yesterday morning saw Batoni draw Gord. Drapery’.
Subject portrait (Gordon, Colonel the Hon. William); townscape; military and war; place (Rome)
Collection National Trust for Scotland (Fyvie Castle)