Publishing a book in a lockdown
It is nice to go to a local bookshop to celebrate the publication of a new book and have a bit of a party with friends. This of course was not to be with the lockdown. However, I decided that the show must go on with a virtual publication. I dressed up in the clothes I would have worn to go to the Waterstones. I had a lovely time with friends and people who had helped me with the book. My conclusion about all this, is that perhaps virtual publications should continue alongside the physical book signings as people from far away who would not be able to come to Inverness, were able to hear me speak about my book and read a bit from it. There are things we have learnt from the Pandemic. I had never heard of Zoom before the lockdowns, but I shall continue with it even when we get back to whatever the new normal looks like. Using it, I have attended events from all over the place. I hope these opportunities will continue.
March 2022 I am working on a new biography of Sir Alexander Matheson Bart who was for many years chairman of the Highland Railway. Before that he was a partner in Jardine Matheson engaged in smuggling opium into China in the 19th century when it was legal in Britain but illegal in China. When he returned to Scotland he became a major landowner with estates in Wester Ross around his family's homeland of Lochalsh and in Easter Ross where he had a residence at Ardross. His other residence was Duncraig Castle, near Plockton. It had a private station which today is a public station. The reason for it being private is I think, because the castle is quite away by road from Plockton Station whereas the railway line is just below the castle running alongside the sea loch, Loch Carron.