Blog From the North – March 2015

Bunty Gunn
Bunty Gunn

I’m sitting here in the north of Scotland, waiting for the partial eclipse of the sun.  Having been told that this is one of the best places to see it, I am full of hope.  Early this morning there was a beautiful sun just waiting to be obscured by the moon, but now the clouds are rolling in (also predicted) and :I wonder how much of the actual moments we shall be able to see. If it happens before I finish this, I will let you know.

March came roaring in with gales and lashing rain.  We lost another tree – that makes ten, I think, this year.  Fields were waterlogged and lambing started with all those poor little newly borns getting wetter by the second.  Farmers up here hate early lambing in the rain.  Normally the lambs are organised to be later in Caithness and Sutherland because although the lambs can stand the cold, wet is something they succumb to and it is easy to lose everything you hoped for if the weather is bad.  On the other side, the daffodils are loving the damp conditions and edging into bloom.  I used to enjoy it when we lived in London and came north for Easter because we got two Springs.  Everything would be pretty well over down south and just coming to life up here.

It’s 9.30 a.m. and it is getting darker, but whether this is cloud cover or eclipse I can’t tell at the moment.  The sun is still shining on the fields, but the shadows are longer and, somewhat eerily, the wind has got up and the clouds are filling.  I need the lights on in the house.  A  flock of birds flew swiftly over, going home I imagine, but other than that there are no signs of any other birds.

Goodness!  Was that it?   Well.  There you go.  Apparently that was it.  Blink and you missed it.  Most disappointing.  I have to admit that I wanted Drama.  I wanted darkness over the face of the Earth. I wanted a sense of Otherness.   And what did I get?  Just a deep shadow.  What a let-down.

I have learned (later) that there were places where real darkness fell, so I feel a bit cheated.  And as the next eclipse is in 2026,  I must be contented with what I got today.

By the way, the Most Northerly Lemon is ripening slowly.  Very slowly.  It needs more sun.  So now that the moon has done her bit,  here’s hoping April will bring us warmth and light.  Happy Easter to everyone when it comes.

President’s Message Spring 2015

President’s Message – February 2015

80x80 John_Gunn_YngrFirstly, I’d like to wish you all a very happy new year and I am particularly excited by the prospects of 2015 as I can’t remember when we last had such a full programme of events to offer our Clan members.

Firstly, we have our St Donan’s day dinner/weekend, which this year will be held in and around Durham over the weekend 17th – 19th April. This is a very beautiful and historic part of the country which I don’t believe the clan has visited before and I am very grateful to Ed Aksamit for putting the programme together. While Durham may seem a long way away for some of you, It is very easy to get to by train, car or indeed plane and I hope that as many of you as possible will make the journey. There are full details together with a booking form further on in this edition of the Herald.

Secondly, we are planning a visit to Hatfield House and Gardens in Hertfordshire in early June where we have been particularly fortunate to secure the services of the Head Gardner, Alastair Gunn who will give the Clan a private tour of the gardens. My thanks go to Hugh Wilson for organising this event which promises to be great fun and who knows, we might even get some decent weather given that the trip will be in June – at least the gardens will be at their best. Again, there are further details of this trip in this edition of the Herald together with a booking form and we look forward to a good turnout.

Thirdly, 2015 is of course the year of the triennial International Clan Gunn Gathering which buy diazepam uk 5mg will be held in Orkney and Caithness from the 18th -26th July. We have already had a very good response to this and while details did appear in the last edition of the Herald, we are again enclosing the booking form for anyone that might have missed the announcement or mislaid the first form. The closing date for applying is the 30th April as we have to give numbers to hotels, bus companies, ferries etc. however accommodation is going quickly and we strongly recommend that you get you hotels booked as soon as possible. Full details of all these events are also available on the Clan Gunn Society UK website

Finally, I wanted to bring to your attention that there has been some progress with regard to the Chiefship of the Clan. Following a petition by senior members of the Clan, the Lord Lyon (Head of the heraldic authority for Scotland) has agreed to hold a family convention, where in the absence of an undisputed inheritor, senior members may debate whether there is an appropriate way by which a Chief can be discovered. The Lord Lyon has appointed John Malden, Esq. Unicorn Pursuivant to chair the meeting which will be held at the Ayre Hotel at 2.00pm on Saturday 18th July just prior to the start of the Gathering. John Malden has agreed the list of attendees which represents a good cross section of Gunns of all generations from around the world. You can find further details of this in the “Chiefship Update” further on in the Herald.

As you can see, there is no shortage of Clan events and we hope that we have provided something for everyone. I look forward to seeing you there.