General Discussion, Thursday, March 9, 2023

The name Eilean Donan, or island of Donan, is most probably called after the 6th century Irish Saint, Bishop Donan who came to Scotland around 580 AD. There are several churches dedicated to Donan in the area and it is likely that he formed a small cell or community on the island during the late 7th century.

The first fortified structure was not built on the island until the early 13th century as a defensive measure, protecting the lands of Kintail against the Vikings who raided, settled and controlled much of the North of Scotland and the Western Isles between 800 and 1266. From the mid 13th century, this area was the quite separate “Sea Kingdom” of the Lord of the Isles where the sea was the main highway and the power of feuding clan chiefs was counted by the number of men and galleys or “birlinns” at their disposal. Eilean Donan offered the perfect defensive position.

Over the centuries, the castle itself has expanded and contracted in size. The medieval castle was probably the largest, with towers and a curtain wall that encompassed nearly the entire island. The main keep stood on the island’s highest point. Around the end of the 14th century the area of the castle was reduced to about a fifth of its original size and, although the reason is unclear, it probably relates to the number of men required to defend the structure. By the 16th century a hornwork was added to the east wall to offer a firing platform for the newly introduced cannons.

[. . .]

For the best part of 200 years, the stark ruins of Eilean Donan lay neglected, abandoned and open to the elements, until Lt Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911. Along with his Clerk of Works, Farquar Macrae, he dedicated the next 20 years of his life to the reconstruction of Eilean Donan, restoring her to her former glory. The castle was rebuilt according to the surviving ground plan of earlier phases and was formally completed in the July of 1932.

For more about this intriguing castle, go HERE

They have a live webcam there too!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to General Discussion, Thursday, March 9, 2023

  1. WeeWeed says:

    Mornin’ kids!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. czarina33 says:

    Mornin’ all y’all! Grey, foggy, extremely damp. Rained from about 1-3 here, alternating light and heavy but very localized. Supposed to be a pretty day today but humid and high 80’s again.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. auscitizenmom says:

    Afternoon All. I is about 20*, white overcast. No snow today, but tomorrow morning it is supposed to start. Well, that means I have to go get the laundry done this afternoon. I hate doing laundry. But, it needs doin’.

    Hope your snowstorms aren’t too bad.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. czarina33 says:

    Today is National Crabmeat Day, National Meatball Day, National Kidney Day (unclear if to eat or take care of), and National ‘Get Over It’ Day.

    I especially like the last one!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Lucille says:

    This is going to be soooo wonderful. Pricey but worth it just to know a few lefties’ heads will explode when it becomes a best seller…

    Trump Is Publishing Book Of Letters From Hillary, Oprah, President Reagan And Many Others
    By ProTrumpNews Staff Mar. 9, 2023 11:30 am

    Donald Trump is revealing letters from various celebrities and world leaders.

    The letters will appear in a new book titled “Letters To Trump.”

    The book will cost $99 — and $399 for a signed copy.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Stella says:

    How the Biden administration has quietly helped to ‘score’ conservative speech

    Last year, the Biden administration caved to public outcry and disbanded its infamous Disinformation Governance Board under its “Disinformation Nanny,” Nina Jankowicz. Yet, as explored in a recent hearing (in which I testified), the Biden administration never told the public about a far larger censorship effort involving an estimated 80 FBI agents secretly targeting citizens and groups for disinformation.

    Now it appears that the administration also was partially funding an “index” to warn advertisers to avoid what the index deemed to be dangerous disinformation sites. It turns out that all ten of the “riskiest” sites identified by the Global Disinformation Index are popular with conservatives, libertarians and independents.

    The index, run by a British organization, appears to be an effort to score and sanction sites based on their “reliability” to those in the political and media establishments.

    That sounds like a knockoff of China’s “social credit” system which scores its citizens, based in part on social media monitoring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stella says:

      The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) is a particularly insidious part of that effort. Funded in part by $330 million from the U.S. State Department through the National Endowment for Democracy (which contributes to GDI’s budget), the GDI was designed to steer advertisers and subscribers away from “risky” sites which it says pose “reputational and brand risk” and to help companies avoid “financially supporting disinformation online.”

      GDI warned advertisers that these sites could damage their reputations and brands: the New York Post, Reason, Real Clear Politics, the Daily Wire, The Blaze, One America News Network, The Federalist, Newsmax, the American Spectator, and the American Conservative.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The Tundra PA says:

    Bridgett Watkins arrives in Takotna (photo by David Poyzer)

    IDITAROD UPDATE: Day 3 just ended.

    The race is back up and running, and from this point to the Burled Arch in Nome, serious racing strategies are being deployed. On the southern route (the route taken in odd years), the ghost town of Iditarod is considered the halfway point with about 560 miles to go.

    As expected in my update yesterday, Wade Marrs pushed on to be the first team into Iditarod, where he will finally take his 24. He arrived about an hour after midnight last night. There are about 17 teams chasing him down the trail, and he will be passed up today by numerous teams that have already completed the 24, but he will have something of an advantage to come roaring off the big rest so deep into the race. I was wrong about how successful that strategy is: in 4 of the last 10 Iditarods, the race champion has taken the 24 at the halfway point.

    By being first into Iditarod, Wade wins the First to the Halfway Point award: $3,000 in gold nuggets. There are quite a few “first to something” awards in this race. First to McGrath, First to the Yukon, First to the Bering Sea, in addition to First to the Halfway Point, and all have substantial monetary awards attaches to them. The musher who could sweep all of them (very rare) AND win the race would come home with quite a plump purse. I’d purely love to win 3 grand in gold nuggets!

    Of the many teams chasing Wade, 5 have pulled into Iditarod and caught up with him: Jessie Holmes, Brent Sass, Ritchie Diehl (from the biggest village upriver from Bethel, Aniak; he and Pete Kaiser are good friends), Ryan Reddington and Pete Kaiser. Jessie has pulled out, and thus taken the lead from Wade for now. Nic Petit is
    7 miles away, so should arrive in less than an hour. Most of these mushers will likely be top 10 finishers, and one of them will probably be the champ. But there are a lot of race miles, a lot of changing terrain and a lot of weather to go for the next 5-6 days. As always in The Last Great Race On Earth, anything can (and often does) happen.

    The Mighty Yukon River–150 miles of it–will be the next big challenge for the mushers and their teams. Along with the ongoing sleep deprivation and weariness for the mushers. They will be looking forward to the mandatory 8 hour rest somewhere on the Yukon (musher’s choice). This must be at Anvik, Grayling, Eagle Island or Kaltag. As with the 24, the top teams will try to wait as long as possible, which is Kaltag. The next leg, Kaltag to Unalakleet, is the longest distance between 2 checkpoints of the entire race, 85 miles; and much of it is spent running beside the sled to help the dogs get over the significant coastal hills between the Yukon and the Bering Sea.

    Lots more to come.

    GO DOGS!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sharon says:

      Even though the impact is “only” from a specific and limited number of days, their individual stamina is surely tested with re to the cumulative sleep deprivation and the need to be alert every moment. The well-trained teams manage so much “on their own”, I suppose, but still…..

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Tundra PA says:

        Very true, Sharon. The sleep deprivation is a huge thing. Prior to the 24, most of the mushers (the ones truly competing to win, anyway) have not had more than 2 hours of sleep at a time since they left the start line. And all while working quite hard. Driving a dog team is not like sitting on a snowmachine. Sledcraft, especially on trails in the wilderness that are not groomed, is very physical. Going around curves, going up and down hills, standing on the brakes to slow a powerful team down, steering to avoid trees and rocks and fallen logs, jumping off and running alongside the sled or actually pushing it to help the dogs out, or if the trail is smooth, pulling out the ski poles to pole the sled along to reduce the load on the dogs, is all very active and physical.

        And then there is the dog care. Every 4 hour rest break means unhooking tug lines, putting down straw, collecting buckets of snow to melt to get water, cooking their dinner, getting out bowls, feeding dogs, observing and making notes on any dog not eating well, collecting and repacking bowls, watching their poops for diarrhea, massaging each dog to look for sore joints or foot problems, removing booties to rub ointment between the pads, replacing booties…yeah, if the musher gets an hour of sleep and something to eat it’s a small miracle. And a lot of these jobs require being bent over the dogs. Backache becomes a constant.

        As the sleep deprivation and exhaustion are setting in, and the hours of rest and food and ease of the 24 seem a dream in the distant past, they hit the Yukon River. The river is huge and usually very windy. But the worst of it is the monotony. For 150 miles it seems never to change. Hours and hours go by and it all looks the same. The bigness of the place makes one feel very small, and the trail just goes on forever. It feels like it will never end.

        It is easy to fall asleep, either standing or sitting on the sled, and that risks falling off and getting a head concussion. Or if the musher can stay awake, many report having hallucinations. A wolf running alongside the team, an old man standing beside the trail and waving. Mike Williams, Sr. (Junior’s dad) said the Yukon was where he could talk to his ancestors.

        You are absolutely right, Sharon, about the cumulative effect of it. Even with the mandatory long rests, it takes most mushers a month or so to get over the bone-deep weariness that sets in. Thank you for your comment! It sure fired me off again.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sharon says:

          Tundra, thank you for that wonderfully informative reply.

          I’m reading in your blog this evening, just now beginning to digest the three reports on the Arctic expedition with neophyte mushers in 2008. Oh, my….

          Your writings are timeless. I truly enjoy looking at other people’s vacation pictures (I’m one of the weird people that way) and re-reading very, very old National Geographics. I’m so glad you shared about your blog in the context of the Iditarod reports. I will be munching on that older, but ever fresh, material for some time, and passing along a link to family and friends.

          Good, good stuff.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sharon says:

          Also….regard to “caring for dogs”….I have long been of the opinion that having a dog (or two) in the household is just like having a couple of toddlers around.

          Ya love ’em dearly, they know a whole lot of stuff but they don’t know enough to stay out of trouble or get their own lunch, and they need your assistance in the most unexpected ways.

          I truly can’t imagine the intensity of caring for team (as individuals) on the trail. This requires athleticism at the moment as well as being in good shape to begin with.

          Liked by 2 people

          • The Tundra PA says:

            Yes, the physical intensity of caring for a team of dogs in a long-distance race is huge. Each sled dog must consume 10,000 calories a day on the Iditarod Trail just to keep from dropping weight. That’s a lot of food! Times however many dogs you have… I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

            Sharon, thank you so much for your very kind words about Tundra Medicine Dreams. I can’t tell you how much they mean to me.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. The Tundra PA says:

    Stella, I think the spam monster ate my reply to Sharon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.