Orkneyology Podcast

  • 6. Orkney Customs: Hatch, Match, Dispatch - part 1

    On this full moon night, Tom and Rhonda discuss some of the main rituals and customs necessary to safeguard important life events, from pregnancy through birth and baptisms, and onward to concerns and superstitions around courtship. Tom will tell us a few stories related to these customs and give a bit of history to help folk understand the very sensible reasons for these early Orkney practices.Join us to find out ...Why you should avoid insulting a witch when you're about to go sailing (which has nothing to do with our topic, but is interesting and perhaps valuable information nonetheless)Natural signs of an upcoming birth; precautions taken to avoid trouble during the precarious time of pregnancy and the earlierst months of life; how to avoid attracting the evil eye; keeping the trows from kidnapping mother or childAll about the howdie wife - an important and respected woman who takes folk into the world and helps them out of itThe Orkney meaning of "wifie"The story of the bairn of Langalour Different strengths of home brew, their names and when to drink themChristening storiesWhy Orcadians never let the hearthfire dieDivining customs for discerning the identity of one's future spouseWhy one of the Stones of Stenness has holes in itTales from the Odin Stone, and the unbreakable Odin Oath (with a handy escape clause)The pathetic story of Pirate Gow and the Odin OathMentioned in this episode: The story of the Hudson's Bay Company man who was a woman: https://www.orkneyology.com/isobel-gunn.htmlIn Part 2 of Orkney Customs: Hatch, Match, Dispatch Tom will tell us more about "match" customs - courtship and marriage - and also Orkney death customs. See you on the next full moon!
  • 5. Angus Folk Tales and Big Big Big Worms!

    Tonight, Tom and Rhonda Muir of Scotland's Orkney Islands have a moonlight visitor - our very dear friend, author, researcher and storyteller Dr Erin Farley of Dundee. Those who love stories and Scotland will find much of interest, among these:   Erin's abiding passion for worms: giant worms causing creation and destruction, the The Muckle Mester Stoorworm; Jörmungandr the world serpent, Ragnarök ... and a bonus: a charm against the worm in your tooth (toothache)!   Looking at the landscape from a seafaring position   Researching and preserving oral history in Scotland Stories of the old lighthouse keepers, including our mutual friend, Lawrence Tulloch of Shetland The Grey (bearded) Lady; and deep storytelling   Sir Walter Scott in Orkney   Acedemic writing as energy vampire vs. stories of the people   Dundee roots: slavery; sufferagettes; carving out a place through poetry; William McGonagall; and stories around the Tay Bridge disaster  Storytelling and the pressure to achieve; the rewards of taking things slowly  A telling of the story of Jockie Barefoot from Erin's book, Angus Folktales - a tragic Angus tale of an evil lanlord  The Twins of Edzel as performed by Tania Allan - A BSL interpretation of a Scottish folklore tale. Inspired by ‘Angus Folk Tales’ by Erin Farley. The Twins of Edzell is the story of a dedicated mother of deaf twin brothers and the hearing world that is unable to accept them. Filmed on location at Balvaird Castle, Perthshire. https://sfdh.org.uk/project/the-twins-of-edzell/So come thee wiz, pour yourself a dram and settle in for a good old-fashioned blether among friends.Orkneyology website: https://www.orkneyology.comPodcast theme music courtesy of Fionn McArthur."Ower wi' the moon" artwork created by Jenny Steer
  • 4. Scottish Folk Tales of Coast and Sea

    Tonight Tom and Rhonda Muir have a moonlit blether from their home in Scotland's Orkney Islands inspired by the publication of Tom's latest collection of folk tales: Scottish Folk Tales of Coast and Sea. We muse about life lessons embedded in all good stories, look at some differences in stories originating from inland areas as compared to tales told by those whose lives are constantly endangered and controlled by the sea, how Orkney differs from Shetland and how folktales in this area of the world were influenced by the Vikings. And Tom tells a really fun story from the book at the end! So pull up a chair, pour yourself a dram and settle in for a good, old-fashioned blether among friends. Be sure to drop by on the NEXT full moon, when we'll be having a blether with Scottish storyteller, researcher and author of Angus Folk Tales, Dr Erin Farley of Dundee. Show notes: https://www.orkneyology.com/orkneyology-podcast.html Podcast theme music courtesy of Fionn McArthur. "Ower wi' the moon" artwork created by Jenny Steer
  • 3. A Moonlit Blether with Bothy Ballad Singer Scott Gardiner

    Tonight we have a moonlit chat with our very dear friend, Scott Gardiner. Tom and Scott have a lovely, wandering blether across the bothy ballad and traditional Scottish song scene, touching on the history of this unique music and how it stands today. They talk about the culture and lifestyle that created the bothy ballads, a bit about the bothy system in the Orkney Islands and reminisce about "Bothy Nichts", an old Scottish bothy songs television show. Tom and Scott speak about the sad passing of many of the great old singers and songwriters they both admire, including recently Orkney's own Billy Jolly. Scott tells of some of the singers who inspired him and he even favors us with a few of his favorite bothy ballad songs, including one of his own!So pull up a chair, pour yourself a dram and settle in for a good, old-fashioned blether among friends.In this episode, we're treated to these traditional songs:Guise o' Tough (traditional), 1890sGenerations of Change, by Matt Armour, 1975Princie and Jean, by George Corrigall, 1959... ending with a tongue-in-cheek song that Scott wrote for the Out of Doors Radio Scotland programme!Drop by again on the NEXT full moon, when Tom will talk about Scottish coastal culture and stories and tell a few tales from his new book with History Press, Scottish Folk Tales of Coast and Sea. Podcast theme music courtesy of Fionn McArthur."Ower wi' the moon" artwork created by Jenny Steer
  • 2. The Magic of Stories ~ Orkney and Beyond

    Well, it's a full moon again and time for another moonlit blether coming to you from the Orkney Islands. This month, Tom and Rhonda Muir talk about:the difficulties of childhood dyslexia (before there was a name for it)beloved childhood storybooks that helped Tom overcome traumatic school yearshow Tom stumbled into storytelling and overcame fear (terror, really) of public speakinghow the Orkney Storytelling Festival first beganwarm reminiscenses involving some of the amazing storytellers and other people that Tom met through international storytelling opportuities (Lawrence Tulloch from Shetland, Bob Pegg, Donald Smith, David Campbell, Hjörleifur Helgi Stefánsson, Joseph Naytowhow, Stanley Robertson, Duncan Williamson and many more beloved friends)advice for newer storytellersand Tom tells a local Orkney story that took place in a mound site he once dug as an archaeologist!Drop by on the NEXT full moon, when we'll be having a blether with award-winning Scottish bothy ballad singer, Scott Gardiner.Podcast theme music courtesy of Fionn McArthur."Ower wi' the moon" artwork created by Jenny Steer.
  • 1. Ower wi' the moon

    In Orkney, we used to have an expression: "I'll be ower wi' the moon," meaning, "I will come and visit you when the moon is full, to light my way."In this first episode of the Orkneyology Podcast (with the encouragement of some steaming mulled wine for Rhonda's sake) we introduce ourselves: Tom Muir - Orcadian traditional storyteller, historian, author and publisher; and Rhonda Muir - an American expat who moved to the Orkney Islands to marry the love of her life (yes, Tom), writer, roamer in the wilderness of Orkney and publisher. We tell the story of our delighted surprise in finding each other from across the Atlantic later in life, and how we eventually came to build a life together in Scotland's Orkney Islands. We talk a bit about our website, Orkneyology.com, which explores Orkney life, travel, history, stories and archaeology. And we reveal a little about our plans for the Orkneyology Podcast, where we will be chatting with some fascinating folk in Orkney and elsewhere.