or any of its modern substitutes. I usually let folks suffer all the slings and arrows of outraged misfortunes etc etc and find out for themselves what it is that gels. And doesn’t.


my beloved Spouse came home and mentioned that she’d seen a book “about witches” in the Winton library. She is fascinated by witchery. When my eyebrows met in the middle and then passed each other she explained that it was called ‘The Shepherd’s Crown’ and was by one Terry Pratchett—

—Esquire, who happens to be one of my own heroes. (He’s a bit deceased now—the world lost a fount of wit in the deceasement thereof. He is very sorely missed.)

I had to break it to her gently that no, she wouldn’t enjoy the book. I have the predecessor (one of ’em) called ‘The Wee Free Men‘ and anyone who’s done time in Scotland will appreciate this work of observational genius for what it is. But definitely a different kind of magic …

In The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett, the Nac Mac Feegle have a battle poet, or Gonnagle, who repels the enemy through the awfulness of his poetry. Training up a successor, ‘the old bard congratulates the young one: “That, lad,” he said proudly, “was some of the worst poetry I have heard for a long time. It was offensive to the ear and a torrrture to the soul…a verrry commendable effort! We’ll make a gonnagle out o’ ye yet!”…a touching tribute to the memory of William McGonagall…famously excruciating Scottish poet’.


… which sadly isn’t for her. But I do appreciate the reference to William McGonagall, and we love Billy Connolly’s recital of his poem about the Tay Bridge disaster (read by BC in his marvellous Dvd series “Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Scotland“).


As for the Wee Free Men … Sir Terry P gave them exactly the right attitude—


—and the right kind of feminine companion in their Wee Hag—

the Hag.png

—so be warned.

catfiddleSADLY my Spouse is as apolitical as moi. Even more so, and although she is quick to make mental connections she just wouldn’t appreciate many of the blatant subtleties in Pratchett’s works.

But now I have to factor in a visit to the library … don’t wait up.


5 thoughts on “I DON’T OFTEN RECOMMEND

  1. Coincidentally enough, my 10 year old son is currently reading TP’s, ‘The Wee Free Men’ as part of his literacy homework, which he was reading to me over the magical airwaves from across the pond. Technology has its benefits, I suppose. 🙂

    1. Which reminds me that I must read it again. There’s a lot in this one, and unless he has experience of Scots he may be a bit lost in places.

      Spouse and I adore the recent Dvd issue of Dahl’s ‘BFG’ movie—it saddens but doesn’t surprise that it never had the bombshell success it deserves. Perhaps the average punter thinks the giants are real and tries not to notice? One of my favourite scenes is where the BFG sets her off chasing dreams, there’s a sheer delight and innocence in the way she does so … and I love the ‘statue’ scene where they fool the guards at Buck House. Boom boom~!

      1. I haven’t seen the latest BFG film. Though it wasn’t very successful here. I just don’t think Dahl is as well known or read here in the States as he is in the U.K. I can imagine the film did much better there.
        I’ll have to see if I can rent it through Amazon. It’s a lovely story.

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