The mental imagery of 'A Carpet of Purple Flowers' inspired me in such a magical way, that I felt compelled to write my first novel. Once I placed pen to paper, the story began to grow into a much greater tale. Maybe, every creative whimsy that I have ever envisaged and not acted on has waited until now to be brought to life.
My mind raced as folklore came entwined with love, fate entwined with choice, science entwined with spiritual teachings - all guiding me to write a romance that revolves around a karmic cycle.
I want to share with you a secret place in which only a parted veil exposes. Take you to an ethereal plane in which otherworldly, angelic type beings tend to a well of souls. In the book, the reader experiences a brief visual journey to the home of elementals called, 'The Sindria', to their realm, 'Calageata'. It is here that the purple flower of Vororbla, of karma, grows, emitting a thick mist ready to greet the essence of a soul.
What keeps us going when the world can feel so harsh?
Where do we draw our strength from in times of need?
What urges us to carry on when things become extremely overwhelming and too much to bear?
We all know the answer... it comes from within.
Somewhere, deep inside, a light refuses to fade.
This light (our inner strength) may become less bright for a time, but in its fading, it is re-energising, and will again awaken from sleep. Once, our inner light screams out its very last ray of hope, the sleeping energy awakens, re-igniting the inner dimming ray. It is reminiscent of an illuminating birth of a faraway star, and from apparent nothingness, wondrous brightness can evolve.
The Sindria teach… 'To be able to shine more brightly, one's light must first fade.’
In the book, I mention to 'keep your light bright' as we've all experienced at some point in our lives, a time when nothing makes sense, a time when life can feel like it's too much to bear, and I really wanted to send out an important message – that you are so much more than what you initially see, feel, possibly believe, and to remember, a fading light secretly masks an eternity, for our light never truly diminishes, and we can always shine bright, again.
Princess Theneva, later Saint Thenava (or, Denw, Tenew, Thanea or Enoch) lived from about 510 to about 570.
Teneu (or Thenew (Latin: Theneva), Thaney, Thanea, Denw, etc.) is a legendary Christian saint who was venerated in medieval Glasgow, Scotland.
A medieval chapel to her once stood on the site of her grave at present-day St Enoch Square. At the ritual to Epona, I was told the well in the cathedral dedicated to Kentigern as Mungo may originally have been to Teneu. This is backed up the nearby street-name Lady Well Street.
Traditionally she was a sixth-century Brittonic princess of the ancient kingdom of Gododdin (in what became Lothian) and the mother of Saint Kentigern, apostle to the Britons of Strathclyde and founder of the city of Glas Ghu (Glasgow).
She and her son are regarded as the city's co-patrons, and Glasgow's St. Enoch Square allegedly marks the site of a medieval chapel dedicated to her, built on or near her grave ("St. Enoch" is in fact a corruption of "St. Teneu"). She is commemorated, annually, on 18 July.
In the first recorded hagiography of her son, her name is given as Thaney. The Vita Kentigerni ("Life of Saint Mungo").
In 1521, she appeared in John Mair's chronicle Historia Majoris Britanniae as Thametes, daughter of King Lot and sister of Gawain. Sometimes her name is given as Thameta or Thenelis.
Saint Teneu has been described as "Scotland's first recorded rape victim, battered woman and unmarried mother". Her son was conceived when the Welsh prince Owain mab Urien raped her. Owain was disguised as a woman, and after sexually assaulting the naïve princess, he confused her by saying: "Weep not, my sister, for I have not known thee as a man is used to know a virgin. Am I not a woman like thyself?" Upon discovering her pregnancy, her angry father King Lleuddun sentenced her to death and she was hurled from Traprain Law. Miraculously she survived the fall; when discovered alive at the foot of the cliff, Teneu was set adrift in a coracle and traveled across the Firth of Forth to Culross, where she was given shelter at the community of Saint Serf. There she gave birth to and raised her son Kentigern, whom Serf nicknamed Mungo, "very dear one".
Traprain Law: the cliff from which Teneu was thrown
The Gododdin-The Old North c. 550 – c. 650.
There are also Welsh legends about Teneu:
The cult which grew around St Thenew in Glasgow also developed in Wales where it was held that she had other sons by her marriage to the northern Prince Dingad, son of Nudd. The earliest surviving reference to her is in fact in the Life of St Winifred (c. 1140), in which Winifred, went to St Eleri for instruction. St Eleri put Winifred in the care of his mother "Theonia" whom Winifred eventually succeeded as abbess of Gwytherin (Clwyd). Kentigern was also a cult figure in Clwyd.
Her son, Kentigern (Welsh: Cyndeyrn Garthwys; Latin: Kentigernus), known as Mungo, was an apostle of the Scottish Kingdom of Strathclyde in the late 6th century, and the founder and patron saint of the city of Glasgow.
In Wales and England, this saint is known by his birth and baptismal name Kentigern (Welsh: Cyndeyrn). This name probably comes from the British *Cuno-tigernos, which is composed of the elements *cun, a hound, and *tigerno, a lord, prince, or king. The evidence is based on the Old Welsh record Conthigirn(i).
Particularly in Scotland, he is known by the pet name Mungo, possibly derived from the Cumbric equivalent of the Welsh: fy nghu 'my dear (one)'.
The Life of Saint Mungo was written by the monastic hagiographer Jocelyn of Furness in about 1185. Jocelin states that he rewrote the 'life' from an earlier Glasgow legend and an Old Irish document.
Mungo's mother Teneu was a princess, the daughter of King Lleuddun (Latin: Leudonus) who ruled a territory around what is now Lothian in Scotland, perhaps the kingdom of Gododdin in the Old North. She became pregnant after being raped by Owain mab Urien according to the British Library manuscript. Her furious father had her thrown from the heights of Traprain Law. Surviving, she was then abandoned in a coracle in which she drifted across the River Forth to Culross in Fife. There Mungo was born.
Mungo was brought up by Saint Serf who was ministering to the Picts in that area. It was Serf who gave him his popular pet-name.
In the Life of Saint Mungo, he performed four miracles in Glasgow. The following verse is used to remember Mungo's four miracles:
Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam
The verses refer to the following:
The Bird — Mungo restored life to a robin, that had been killed by some of his classmates.
The Tree — Mungo had been left in charge of a fire in Saint Serf's monastery. He fell asleep and the fire went out. Taking a hazel branch, he restarted the fire.
The Bell — the bell is thought to have been brought by Mungo from Rome. It was said to have been used in services and to mourn the deceased. The original bell no longer exists, and a replacement, created in the 1640s, is now on display in Glasgow.
The Fish — refers to the story about Queen Languoreth of Strathclyde who was suspected of infidelity by her husband. King Riderch demanded to see her ring, which he claimed she had given to her lover. In reality, the King had thrown it into the River Clyde. Faced with execution she appealed for help to Mungo, who ordered a messenger to catch a fish in the river. On opening the fish, the ring was miraculously found inside, which allowed the Queen to clear her name. (This story may be confused with an almost identical one concerning King Maelgwn of Gwynedd and Saint Asaph.)
Mungo's ancestry is recorded in the Bonedd y Saint. His father, Owain was a King of Rheged. His maternal grandfather, Lleuddun, was probably a King of the Gododdin; Lothian was named after him. There seems little reason to doubt that Mungo was one of the first evangelists of Strathclyde, under the patronage of King Rhiderch Hael, and probably became the first Bishop of Glasgow.
The Life of Saint Mungo bears similarities with Chrétien de Troyes's French romance - Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. In Chrétien's story, Yvain, a version of Owain mab Urien, courts and marries Laudine, only to leave her for a period to go adventuring. This suggests that the works share a common source. It is a story of knight-errantry, in which the protagonist Yvain is first rejected by his lady for breaking a promise, and subsequently performs a number of heroic deeds in order to regain her favour.
Chrétien's source for the poem is unknown, but the story bears a number of similarities to the hagiographical Life of Saint Mungo (also known as Saint Kentigern), which claims Owain mab Urien as the father of the saint by Denw, daughter of Lot of Lothian. The Life was written by Jocelyn of Furness in ca. 1185, and is thus slightly younger than Chrétien's text, but not influenced by it. Jocelyn states that he rewrote the 'life' from an earlier Glasgow legend and an old Gaelic document, so that some elements of the story may originate in a British tradition. The name of the main character Yvain, at least, ultimately harks back to the name of the historical Owain mab Urien (fl. 6th century).
Owain mab Urien
Yvain had a huge impact on the literary world; German poet Hartmann von Aue used it as the basis for his masterpiece Ywein, and the author of Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain, one of the Welsh Romances included in the Mabinogion, recast the work back into its Welsh setting. The poem was also translated into a number of other languages, including the Middle English Ywain and Gawain; the Old Norwegian Chivaldric Ívens saga and the Old Swedish Herr Ivan.
The Valþjófsstaður door in Iceland, ca. 1200, depicts a version of the Yvain story with a carving of a knight slaying a dragon that threatens a lion. The lion is later shown wearing a rich collar and following the knight, and later still the lion appears to be lying on the grave of the knight.
Yvain dueling with a knight. Image courtesy of Princeton University Libraries
The first modern edition was published in 1887 by Wendelin Foerster.
Purchase the decorative title of Laird or Lady and do some good at the same time. Supporting a restoration project to restore Dunans Castle on Scotland’s Cowal Peninsula, just an hour and a half away from Glasgow.
ScottishLaird Gifts is a Scottish social enterprise with the sole aim of restoring Dunans Castle. Read more HERE
Lord or Lady of Chaol Ghleann title with souvenir folder
Ownership of one square foot of pasture on the grounds of Dunans Castle
Deed of entitlement signed and sealed by present Laird
Includes downloadable pdf with deeds of entitlement
Free tours to all Lords and Ladies of the grounds and building
Access to woodland garden and rivers for fishing on the ancient estate
Titles help towards restoring the historic Highlands castle
Deeds of entitlement posted, signed, and presented in a presentation folder
Subscription to the Lords and Ladies Monthly Newsletter
Rights to use and wear the Dunans Rising Tartan
Please Note: (Just in case you wondered).
The Court of Lord Lyon considers these particular titles to be meaningless because it is impossible to have numerous "Lairds" of a single Estate at the same time. Additionally, the Scottish Land Register does not recognise individual ownership of such small plots. Read more HERE
Hence, only Decorative Titles. You are funding restoration.
Ownership of land only accrues to a person who owns land in Scotland, your title will relate specifically to one square foot of land set in the grounds of Dunans Castle, which you will ‘own’ on an informal basis, and will be referred to specifically in your Deed of Entitlement. This land will be identified by an ID number at Dunans on a plan derived from the deeds of Dunans. You will receive a plan of the site with the approximate position of ‘your’ piece of land, marked, this will be for illustrative purposes only. The exact position of your square foot of land will be derived from the ID number and relative to two permanent markers set out on site by Charles Dixon-Spain, Laird of Dunans Castle.
If this restoration idea doesn't appeal, then you could donate to the National Trust for Scotland, for Scotlands Heritage. HERE
As a writer, I love a bit of fantasy and this fires my imagination, I don't mind contributing to Dunans Castle restoration in this way. The novel, The Paper Unicorn, is stirred with more ideas of how the protagonist acquires a castle, and upkeeps, this is a fun way to explore more possibilities of the tale.
According to its website, Dunans Castle first appeared on maps in 1590 and was owned by Clan Lamont. Its ownership changed many times over the years. During the mid-1700s the Fletcher Clan took ownership and it remained in the family for over two centuries until 1997. The castle was converted into a hotel but was ruined by a fire in 2001.
To help fund the restoration project the trust is selling tiny plots of land, a square foot each to be exact. Along with these plots of land come the decorative titles of Laird or Lady. You will receive a “Deed of Entitlement”, a free tour of the grounds if you choose to visit the castle, and you will be allowed to wear the “Dunans Rising” tartan.
All sales contribute to the restoration of Dunans Castle, Bridge and Grounds. The Restoration Project is a longterm endeavour, and our progress thus far could not have been achieved without the help of ScottishLaird. The core aim is to create from the ruin of Dunans Castle an events and accommodation space, which will consolidate the site's use as a visitor attraction, and in time, a wedding and conference venue.
Just like the Decorative Titles every purchase made contributes to the restoration of Dunans Castle, and this fact means that anyone wearing, purchasing or promoting the tartan acquires the right to call the Dunans Rising tartan their very own – a tartan they can wear to weddings, to parties, at ceilidhs, every day for the rest of their lives. Material sourced in Scotland, and100% wool
Exotic Purple Rhododendron at Dunans Castle, Glendaruel
Stunning ruined Dunans Castle as your backdrop. Set in 25 acres of woodland, mountain and meadow.
Create your dream day – romance in the meadow, a piper, piping you over an A-listed Bridge to your ceremony, curl up by a woodland campfire, fireworks against a starry sky, or teepee marquee and dancing in the lantern-lit dark. We can create something that is utterly YOU!