Autumn view from the studio. Perthshire, Scotland's Big Tree Country

The By The Way podcast is for lovers of Scotland.
It’s a thoughtful and eclectic mixture of Truth, Fiction, Unsolicited Opinion and Extra Information from around the best country in the world.

The Glad Giver by Jill Korn.

Julian of Norwich lived between the 1340s and 1416. In her thirties, she survived a severe illness, and attributed her recovery to visions of Christ on the cross.

Living at the same time a Geoffrey Chaucer, and after teaching herself to read and write, Julian wrote the Revelations of Divine Love, the first book surviving in English written by a woman. 

She became an Anchoress and chose to be enclosed in a hermitage attached to a church where she would offer counselling and spiritual advice, and completed the final version of her book.

Author Jill Korn was inspired by Julian’s story to write an audio drama, The Glad Giver. The Friends of Julian of Norwich featured the drama in celebrations to mark Julian’s 650th anniversary in January 2024, and I’m delighted to have produced the audio and sound design.

The audio drama was also featured in a BBC Upload programme where you can hear an interview with Jill, the author, Zana Foley-Davis, the voice of Julian, and yours truly.

Listen to THE GLAD GIVER now.

The Wee Magic Stane.

A replica of the Stone of Destiny - The Wee Magic Stane

The Stone of Destiny that some call The Wee Magic Stane is where Scottish monarchs sat to be crowned until it was stolen by Edward Longshanks in 1296 as a deliberate affront to Scottish Nationhood.

On Christmas Day 1950 four students from Glasgow recover the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey where it’s been since it was stolen.

The Stone of Destiny is then sent to London in 1952 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, and doesn’t arrive back in Scotland until 1996, 700 years after it was stolen.

A new monarch will be crowned on 06 May 2023, and the southern neighbour will ask to borrow a stone for their ceremony. Will it be the real one?


Continue reading “The Wee Magic Stane.”

Kate’s Keekin-gless

Wee Folk in the sunset

Kate’s Keekin-gless is a renowned Arran fairy tale written in the Scots language. The story is a bawdy romp around the Isle of Arran in the 18th century.

A beautiful but vain island girl bids to leave Arran – preferably with a rich husband, but not everything goes to plan after she receives the gift of a mirror, and the Wee-Folk turn against her.


Read along while you listen to the audio.
A loose translation of the dialogue in Kate’s Keekin-gless that will help those who don’t have the Scots to understand the subtleties of the language and to follow the story. 
Scots speakers may even crack a smile.

Continue reading “Kate’s Keekin-gless”

200 words

200 Words - eight personal audio essays.

JB meets a challenge to write 200 words inspired by each of the eight letters of an acronym – CLANGERS.  The themes are Dr Phil Hammond‘s daily habits for wellbeing.

It was really a serious writing challenge with the strict discipline of sticking to 200 words. Mind you, I was always going to take the most cynical, least literal approach because that’s how my mind works. 

I always write for audio nowadays, but I didn’t expect to produce such highly personal audio essays. There are heart-on-the-sleeve moments that took me by surprise. I had to think before I put them out there. 

Each piece has its own sound design and Foley; everything from a pistol that’s actually a Mole-grip to the sound of a single engined plane from the flying school near where I live. 

Listen Now to the full episode:

Or listen to each sequence individually by picking one of these links:

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Continue reading “200 words”