< Walking Archives – Mamie Martin Fund

Tweed rins tae the Ocean – a book review

The Mamie Martin Fund has a particular interest in the new book by Dr Alasdair Allan MSP because the royalties are being donated equally to us and the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative.  Moira Dunworth has read it and writes this short review:

“The book is ostensibly about a walk along the Scotland-England border but is really about the history, literature and culture of the area, the Scottish part anyway. It’s not really about walking at all. It is about how people lived, fought, died and remembered. The border did move a bit but not much in the last 500 years, other than where it is defined by the river bed of the Eden, and that moved in 1976, causing consternation to civil servants on both sides of it. Happily, ‘the Eden went obligingly back to its old southern channel in 1977.’

This very readable book is entertaining and not at all as daunting as it might look. The author’s self-deprecating tone keeps the reader on-side, ‘Alan and I take turns to fall down holes and drag each other out. I give up the pretence of being cheerful.’ He does have some pleasant walking days and he sprinkles the narrative with personal memories and stories, mostly against himself, which is delightful. Did he really once camp on a roundabout by accident?

The book is also littered with quotations from poetry and prose, some in Scots but translated where necessary. So most readers will emerge from this engaging book better-informed about the history of this area and the associated literature. It is highly recommended as a good read and a treasure to keep.”

You can buy Alasdair Allan’s book directly from the publishers, Thunderpoint Ltd.

Book launch and royalties donated to charity

MMF trustee, Moira Dunworth, shares some exciting news about a new book…

The Mamie Martin Fund is delighted to be one of two charities that will receive the royalties of Dr Alasdair Allan’s book about the Scotland-England border – Tweed rins tae the Ocean. We first met Alasdair when he was Minister for International Development and Europe. He is from the Scottish Borders but lives in the Western Isles where he is the Constituency MSP.

This book is about his east-to-west walk of the Border; it is more about the history, literature and language of the area than the actual walking, though he did that and is clear about its hardships and joys along the way. Hearing him speak about it at the launch in Blackwell’s Edinburgh, made me eager to get reading.

Alasdair is generously dividing all his royalties between two small Scottish charities, the Mamie Martin Fund and the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative. This means a great deal to us and we plan a project next year which will be loosely based on the book. Start thinking about borders and we will be in touch to frame a plan. It will include, but not be restricted to, navigating some of the route which Alasdair took. Those cyclists among us will be keen to travel west to east, ideally having the prevailing wind to help us on our way.

The book is published by Thunderpoint Publishing and is available from all independent bookshops. I am delighted to own the first copy which Alasdair signed and we are grateful for the good wishes to MMF which he included.