The Scots (originally Irish, but by now Scotch) were at this time inhabiting Ireland, having driven the Irish (Picts) out of Scotland; while the Picts (originally Scots) were now Irish (living in brackets) and vice versa. It is essential to keep these distinctions clearly in mind.― W.C. Sellar, 1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England
This observation from the famous spoof history sums up the close relationship between the peoples of Ireland and Scotland. The Scots were indeed originally Irish, the ‘Scots’ being a tribe from Northern Ireland who crossed the channel and established their kingdom of Dalriada centred on Kilmartin, Argyll. They expanded their territory, eventually merging with the native Pictish kingdom to form an alliance against Viking invaders, and Scotland was born.
I love Scotland, but as soon as I cross over to Ireland it feels gentler. I feel so at home, we feel ourselves releasing, sighing out, letting go. There is generally such a lovely quality emanating from the land, a real enchantment. Ireland is self-sufficient in food, and generally there is a strong emphasis on quality local produce. As a vegetarian I find this such a great change from home, where even small cafes in isolated places can have a wonderful selection of amazing food.
Over the years I have explored many parts of Ireland, especially the south-west, in the company of some great guides. I’ve become aware recently that one of my ‘missions’ is energetically reconnecting Scotland and Ireland, ancient connections deep in the land which have been forgotten. I’m pleased to share some of the magic of these special places.