- Clachan of Glendaruel:
- The Clachan of Glendaruel is where I grew up from the age of seven, and where my Mum still lives. It's the main village (clachan) in the valley of Glendaruel on the Cowal peninsula (on the west coast of Scotland), and consists of a dozen dwellings, a church and a hotel. When I lived there, it also had a post office/general store/tearoom and a craft shop, though these are now closed. The tearoom also occasionally served as a cinema - I remember seeing the Dads Army movie projected onto the wall there. Glendaruel is a small backwater now, but it's not without its place in legend - Deirdre of the Sorrows is reputed to have lived there for a time when she fled to Scotland with her lover. In real life, it was the birthplace of Colin Maclaurin, some of whose work with calculus is still taught in schools. Perhaps it's no surprise that I'm the only person on LiveJournal with this as a stated interest, but I'd like to know if anyone else comes along...
- Jules Verne:
- Required reading for anyone interested in period science fiction. He's not always the most animated of writers, but he does tell some good stories and has interesting ideas about the future of technology. Although most folk are familiar with the names of a handful of Jules Verne's scientific romances and may have seen movie versions of them, he wrote rather more books than is commonly realised. For example, a couple of his novels are set in Scotland and although they're not regarded as being among his more interesting writings, it would be nice to read them some day - particularly the one featuring the subterranean city under the Trossachs and much of Central Scotland!
- My artistic abilities are not finely honed enough for me to do any significant font design, but in the 1990s I did design four runic fonts for serious use by a Cambridge academic living in Fife, Paul Bibire. They were based on the Common Germanic, Thames, Vienna and Ruthwell futharcs, as shown in the classic reference book Runes by R.W.V. Elliot. My fonts were rubbish, from a technical viewpoint, but they were the most historically accurate runic fonts available at the time. I learned enough about font design to have a great deal of respect for the people who do it for a living, and to know that I am not a font designer - I just know a bit about how it is done. it would be nice to make my fonts available for download some time, but I'd want to clean them up first. The icon at the top of this article shows one of my F runes - the first letter in my Vienna futharc. I use it as one of my icons because (a) I designed it and I like the shape of it, and (b) Tolkien uses it as the G rune standing for Gandalf - or in my case, either Gavin or Greig. Yes, I'm a geek.
Let me know if you'd like me to pick some of your interests for you to explain.