Gaire mu aobhar a’ghuil

(Laughing at the cause of weeping.)

So there you have it. ‘The History of the Kings of the Picts’. No humour at all. Nothing but war, bloodshed and tears. Or was it? Consider this little extract from the Annals of Ulster for the year 891 A.D. A wee bit outside of our Pictish historical period, but only just.

“Banscal rolai in muir a n-Albain, cxcv do troigib in a fot, secht troigi dec in a trillsi, vii troigi fot meoir a laimhe, vii troigi fot a srona gilithir geis uile hi”.

“A woman was thrown out of the sea in Alban. She was 195 feet long, seventeen feet the length of her hair; the fingers of her hand were seven feet long, seven feet long her nose, and she was all whiter than a swan.”


Well, writing that must have made a nice change for the scribes. I wonder what the talk was like when that report came in. I bet they laughed their heads off at the thought of what they could say about the size of her husband.

They just don’t make them like that any more do they?

Ronald W. Henderson



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