The Hill of Druids, and the Cat Stone.

What a nice surprise!
Valentine’s weekend came and our children pre-booked a hotel close to the Hill of Uisneach, otherwise known as the ‘Hill of Druids’. I didn’t know a thing, but my wife knew, the girls let her in on it. Lucky for me because she changed the venue from Galway to Uisneach. Not that there’s anything wrong with Galway, to the contrary, Galway is a superbly beautiful county, I have been there many times. Uisneach was favoured because my wife knew I wanted to go there as part of the research for my novel, ‘A Druid’s Tale’ and of course to experience this ancient site first hand. The Hill of Uisneach was known as the centre point of Ireland back in Celtic times, at the bottom of the hill there is a stone, approx six meters tall, it is known as the cat stone and in ancient times was called the dividing stone. this stone divided our five provinces. Back in the day Meath was known as the royal province. We landed at the gate of Uisneach to find that there was no tours until March. We proceeded with caution through the gate and on up the hill. There was an electric wire running across the pathway, I held it down with my plastic bottle and we climbed over and into a field. There was fresh cow dung everywhere, My wife was a little on edge by now with the whole idea of entering without permission and the electric fences, but the fact that there was cows in the field was scaring her a little. We ended up searching four or five fields for the cat stone but it wasn’t to be found. After several hours of searching and me receiving two electric shocks, we were done. There were no houses or people to be seen, just fields for miles around, then we heard a dog bark and some voices. It was a man and a couple of teenage girls with a dog, we caught up with them and he gave us directions to the cat stone. It still took us another half an hour of further trudging through fields, muck and manure. The whole experience was actually awesome, for the few hours before hand we captured some great Photos. It was great for a change, some hands on research. There was a feeling from the area, like it was sacred or special, perhaps it was just because of its virtually untouched landscape. The landscape itself was different than all the landscapes I have encountered in my travels up and down the country. The cat stone in all its ruggedness and natural character, did not look like a single stone but rather four or five stones, with the biggest resting on the others. Certainly an unusual way to spend the most romantic day of the year. We finished the day with a lovely meal and relaxed our sore feet in the comfort of Castle Pollard Hotel.

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My New Novel; ‘A Druid’s Tale’

Having just finished the first draft of my novel, Yippee! You think you’ve done all the work, well it’s just begun.
Here I am after the arduous journey of completing the first draft, now I find myself sifting through, close to one hundred thousand words. A daunting task, but it has to be done before I get a professional editor to polish up my work. After that I have to decide on the cover and then the publisher.

When all that’s done I’ll be caught up in the buzz creation, that seems to be the next part of the process that I look forward to. Readings, interviews… It’s only after all this process that I will get a true reading of whether people like my novel or not. That’s it, that’s what keeps me going. Just that wondering, am I a good writer or not. It’s the time when the real truths are revealed. All the way up to this point your paying people for their service and opinion, after this point people are paying you, these are the real guys, the ones who won’t fear giving you the downright truth, because they have nothing to lose.

‘A Druid’s Tale’
A Glimpse;
During the winter of 367 AD the Celts by now pushed to Ireland and Scotland, predominantly. Knew that Christianity was sweeping through mainland Europe and Britain. They had observed the power of this new faith and the wrath of Constantine’s push, from 30 years beforehand to crush paganism. The Pict’s, (Celts from Scotland) joined forces with their brothers from Ireland, Britain and Europe to take advantage of the otherwise busied Roman Empire. They made moves on Roman garrisons in the Gaul and Britain, starting from Hadrian’s wall, where the Roman commander and his men turned coat and joined forces with the Celts to go against the Roman army in these areas. The Celtic priests (Druids) had foreseen the outcome during a divination ritual, held by the nine elder druids. They foresee the Roman Empire striking back and driving the Celts and their allies to their borders. The druids knew the Roman Empire would take back Britain and the Gaul, and although they hadn’t taken Ireland, this might encourage them to take over Ireland and Scotland. If this was the case, they knew that their culture would be wiped out. Their people would be forced to join the new faith or die. They didn’t fear dying but rather feared losing the accumulated knowledge which had passed from generation to generation back since the the beginning.