Daily Archives: September 3, 2014

Shakespeare & Brambles



So that’s August over with – mental, absolutely mental. However, all’s good in the world of Damo. The Mumble’s gonna continue, with most of Edinburgh’s theaters & venues letting me send reviewers in, mi god-daughter Kae-Lei’s albums nearly finished & we’ve got a few gigs coming up, starting this weekend at Linkey Lea in Haddington. My Jesus Jigsaw book has reached its final edit with my Literary Agency, & they’re gonna take it to the Frankfurt International Book Fair next month… & of course, the brambles are oot!


Elderberries & Brambles
Elderberries & Brambles

This is my third year of making Bramble wine, & I’m gonna get right on it. Already, mine & several friend’s freezers are starting to fill up with plastic bags full of brambles, while in my front room I’ve set off my elite wine-making factory system. Essentially, every 5 days I get to bottle 10 litres of wine – about 13 bottles, with the first lot due next week.  I’m gonna mix it with a couple of litres of pineapple juice, resulting in my first batch sporting the rather poetic title : Bramble & Pineapple Wine.



I love picking the brambles, I’ve got loads of hotspots around Edinburgh, which of course is an immensely gorgeous & green place to wander about picking berries. This also presents my mind with the perfect places, moods & moments in which to muse & meditate upon my work. This led to a complete gathering of my Arthurian material, & a grand readying of it for the writing of a future book on the subject, which would contain my ultimate conclusions to several years of study, including a last minute swerve from the Yarrow Stone’s being Arthur’s grave, to actually being that of his grandsons.



I did all that two days back, in the National Library of Scotland, finally freeing up my mind from the Dark Ages. But, I cant just shut off like that, & once back at home, in a sense of liberation, I thought I’d briefly check out my Shakespeare-in-Italy idea. I’ve had quite a lot of the bard’s books in my library for a long time now, but have always been waiting for the right moment to get into them – so I’m guess that’s just about now.




I know I’ve got some kind of curious gift for historical research, & its all a bit like scrying as I get sucked into googling information, when within a few hours of work I have usually completely penetrated the mists which obscure some of the greatest mysteries on the planet. One of these is Shakespeare’s lost years (1585-1593) which took a little longer to solve – about 36 hours (including two sleeps), but I’ve definitely cracked it. So, I’ve decided to whip up a book on the subject in double-quick time, in which I shall show how Shakespeare not only toured Italy, but reached as far as Turkey, in which place he met the ‘dark lady’ of his sonnets….



As a post-script to this blog, here are a few images of the fireworks ready to be fired from Edinburgh Castle. I was given access as part of the Mumble the other day, after which I found myself for the first time within the confines of the castle itself – a perfect reward for working my ass off through August.