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...to Andy Drummond's website. Full of things you probably never needed to know. But full of things nonetheless, which counts for something in these days of sharp practice and perpetual disappointment. Some news (conceivably old news) is set out below. Stuff about me and my books is available - above and right.
Read more here on Angels, Referendums (again and again), Golf-courses (inevitably), Cocks, Bulls and other Animals, Curious Languages and the price of Snuff and Pickled Herring.

Stay a while, if you can. Be cynical. Always ask questions. Always read stories.

Nothing else to do? Does it move? Then watch closely...





Please note that this website assumes use of a reasonably recent browser version. If you use an older one - eg IE8 - then some of the fancier things won't work.
Most images are clickable to view full-size.


A True Discourse (July 2021)

1669 - click here to view the full technicolour cover Another of those whimsical books is now available on Amazon. It is an adventure, or True Discourse, set in the year 1669 involving divers and aeronauts, mechanics, witches and charlatans, linguists, time-travellers and traitors Click here to see why you should even care...

Lockdown stories (more of) (January 2021)

Covid-19 lockdowns have come as a bit of a surprise to many. Queens and Berserkers, Frog and Toad, angels, Rabbit and Eeyore... See how they fail to cope properly - or how they exploit the situation. Click here to have a rummage about...
...and around 200 other stories for your amusement, free of charge.

A Railway to Aultbea, via Gairloch? Also impossible! (November 2020)

A Quite Impossible Proposal - click here to view the full technicolour cover The award-winning Gairloch Museum suggested to me, many months ago, that I should give a talk on the abridged history of the railway-line from Achnasheen to Aultbea. And, at last, some troubled months later (but perhaps now without Trump overseeing the end of the world?), here we are, on 10th November at 7:30pm. Visit the Gairloch Museum YouTube channel for the recording of the talk

A Quite Impossible online talk (October 2020)

The Ullapool Book Festival kindly offered me the chance of delivering one of those virtual talks. I thought about it long and hard, and then decided to embrace the 21st Century in all its virtuality. It was a tough decision, though. However, the results are to be made available to the waiting nation, as of 8pm on Thursday 29th October. It goes out on Youtube here - https://youtu.be/A1jDKQbG8jg - and can be viewed in the coming days, at your leisure. Suit yourself.

A Quite Impossible Proposal? (September 2020)

After a little delay caused by some pandemic or other, that book about unbuilt railways finally emerges from the engine-shed (to mix my metaphors). It is called "A Quite Impossible Proposal" in honour of the several Scottish Office civil servants of the 1890s who refused to contemplate the building of these railways.

The book is full of all manner of good things, including social and economic history, riots and rebellions, railways, the price of fish, Highland Railway skulduggery and governmental drivel. Click here to read more...

An Impossible Journey ! (May 2020)

Should it all be getting too much for you, why not try a gentle - if virtual - railway trip to the north-west coast of Scotland? Or even a railway journey on Skye or Lewis? Anything is possible under this Quite Impossible scheme. Click here to view the timetables, the nostalgic fares, the tickets you can purchase, the freight you can send. Glory in the Gaelic place-names. Buy yourself a summer travel-pass to use under the sunshine and Atlantic breezes (yes, we can only dream).
Do not just take my word for the essential wonderfulness of this virtual railway - see a review in The Scotsman newspaper from early May.... You might also want to consider this contribution from from Glasgow`s Sunday Herald...

Cave Beck - his Universal Character (August 2020)

Those of you keeping a close eye on the legacy of 16th century linguists - and I know you are legion - will be pleased to learn that there is now a newly transcribed and foreword-ed edition of Cave Beck's 1657 Universal Character available to purchase. The transcriber and foreworder is, of course, myself. Read more about this book by clicking here
Cave Beck's descendants get no money from this publication: but, although it is the fruit of many evenings of hard work, I stand to make almost no profit from it either. So you can snap it up with an easy conscience. Go here to view the book on Amazon. Two clicks and it's yours....

The King of Madagascar? (February 2020)

Maurice Benyovszky - the cover - click to view full-size The good people of the British Czech and Slovak Association in London are holding an event on the 26th February 2020, to take a look at Moric Benyovszky. To that end, they have invited me to give a talk on the man. The event is open to all comers, and will be held in the rather grand Slovak Embassy in the heart of Kensington.
Full details are available on the BCSA's website, which you can reach by clicking on Count Benyovszky's portrait here on the right.

What a stushie in Edinburgh ... (July 2019)

Elephantina An archivist working for Edinburgh City Council has uncovered a letter from 1705, in which a baker living in the Old Town complains to the City Fathers about an elephant which is being lodged in a room above his bakery. Unsurprisingly, dung and urine come into the tale... It doesn't sound very pleasant. And, of course, this was our Dundee Elephant shortly before she left for Dundee. To read more, click here, then reflect on Trading Standards...
Also here...(The Herald newspaper) and here...(The Scottish Sun newspaper)

Another Oversight ... (June 2019)

Novgorod - the cover To complete the re-release of my first four novels, this month sees the publication on Amazon of Novgorod the Great.
It contains a small number of typographical corrections, and is embellished with a new cover. But all else is much the same: Ksenia is still torn, Horatio still love-lorn, John still dying, and his father still raging against the world at large. But more so.
You can view it - and, I would strongly recommend, also purchase it - just by clicking here, or the equivalent site in (say) the USA. It is, of course, now available in Kindle format as well.

It's Ullapool - it must be a Railway (February 2019)

A little surprisingly, the very wonderful Ullapool Book Festival has invited me back - 14 years on from the Festival's - and my own - first outing. And, yes: it's to do with the Ullapool Railway again. This time, I am pleased to be telling the unvarnished truth about the proposal (several of them now). The Book Festival takes place between 9th and 11th May 2019, and my session is on the 10th.

Kautö ! (August 2018)

Volapük - the cover Responding to worldwide demand (muted, perhaps, but nonetheless...), we have released a new edition of A Hand-book of Volapük. Unsurprisingly there are very few changes from the first edition: some tightening up of the exercises, some new 'paid content' at the back (the new edition has been subsidised by the esteemed Polton and Loanhead Chronicle and Weekly District Advertiser) and a rather fetching new cover. You can view - and purchase it - just by clicking here, or the equivalent site in (say) the USA. And... in an unprecedented nod to the technology of the imminent 20th century, we have issued it in Kindle format as well. (Kindle: smafiledilöm ? Who can tell?)
Enjoy it while you still can.

And the Elephant lives in paperback. (July 2018)

Elephantina - the cover We have a spanking new edition of the book about the Dundee (or Dutch, if you prefer) Elephant, Elephantina. It can found, in easily-affordable paperback, just by clicking here. There are some surprising minor changes to the text, which result from careful investigations by the 21st century editor. So much for previous rigour and editorial care!
Admirers of the elephant will be pleased to learn that her Dutch origins are now plain to see. And, as always, no effort has been spared with the new cover.

Alexander Kininmonth rides out again. (May 2018)

An Abridged History - the cover The Abridged History of the Railway Between Garve, Ullapool and Lochinver... has just been re-issued. It can found, in both paperback and Kindle editions, just by clicking here. The new edition corrects a small number of inattentive mistakes perpetrated by the 1901 editor, Alured Marjoribanks, a man considered by many of his contemporaries to be of considerable laxity, a wastrel and a supine fool. The text is otherwise essentially the same as the first edition and the book benefits from a revised cover, created at no small expense, the costs being absorbed by the author.