Tag Archives: witches

In which the author talks about witches and eats yummy things…

 

I recently gave a talk to the Dunning branch of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, on the subject of the Maggie Wall Witchcraft Monument, which stands just outside the village. It was my first talk at a SWRI, and it was quite an eyeopener. Not many of my talks start with the audience singing a song (in this case, the SWRI anthem), and even fewer involve me being asked to judge the best sweeties!

 

Apparently it is a tradition that all guest speakers have to judge the competitions held that night. So after selecting ‘best mask’ and ‘best flower’ I had to choose ‘best tablet’. For those not in the know, tablet is a Scottish delicacy, a very sweet caramel-like confection typically made with condensed milk. Now the standard of hand-crafted tablet on display was very high, so as the judge it was of course incumbent upon me to make sure that every sample was thoroughly tested…

 

This was followed by a cup of tea accompanied by delicious home-made salmon sandwiches. I think that from now on I should ask for such items to be a standard part of my ‘rider’ when I give talks…

 

As for the talk, it went down very well, with naturally a great deal of interest in my suggestions about the origins of the Witch Monument see here – with several alternative ideas proposed from the audience. My thanks to the SWRI for the invite and the hospitality. Now, back to writing, fuelled by tablet-tastic sugar rush…