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A light-hearted e-magazine with facts, figures, folklore, photographs; with lots of wee bits  of general info about Scotland - and some big bits. A site for folk to read, browse and, if you like - contribute to.


In WEE BITS, in The Mag., thre's an article on the correct colour of Blue for The Saltire WELCOME to Find it in Scotland. The site's navigation menu Main Headings are down the left-hand panel. Click on these to see what's in each one. Some sections have a LOT in them.
~ Happy Browsing ~

 Jist a wee thrissle I maun be, but diina' ye daur sit on me!~Scottish Literature ~ Jist a wee thrissle I maun be, but diina' ye daur sit on me! 

3  Three novels set in Africa by...

                               ...Kenneth C Ryeland 


     and his latest book:  THE LAST BATURE

        ( * About the Author - see below for personal details )

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 THE UP-COUNTRY MAN  is a factual, personal account of the events leading to secession and the conditions inside Biafra during the early days of the NigCOVER PAGE OF erian civil war. In April 1967, a young British engineer arrives in Nigeria to take up his new job. The country is seven years into a volatile independence and Ken Ryeland struggles to come to terms with the culture shock and the endemic tribalism that pervades every level of society. On being transferred to Enugu, capital of the troubled Eastern Region, he is further challenged when the Regional Military Government rebels against the Federal Military Government in Lagos. An act of secession quickly follows and the short-lived Republic of Biafra is born. Almost immediately, the new republic is plunged into a bloody and bitter civil war of survival with the Lagos government and Ryeland soon finds himself trapped in the rebel enclave as Federal troops move in for the kill.

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TRIBAL GATHERING is a collection of short stories set in an imaginary West African state shortly after gaining its independence from the British in 1962.   COVER PAGE OF

Struggling to come to terms with the tribalism, nepotism, corruption and greed that flourishes at all levels of society is part of everyday-life and relatively simple compared to the problems of surviving three military coups and a civil war. It is against this backdrop and that of a rapidly failing infrastructure that the stories evolve. From the dry heat of the Northern Desert to the suffocating humidity of the Delta, the stories tell of the daily ordeal as the characters try to live out their lives against all the odds. Betrayal, revenge, ignorance, pride and stupidity intermingled with witchcraft, African Deities and Freemasonry, these stories have it all and Ken Ryeland deals with them in his usual consummate way to provide interesting and compelling reading.

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THE LAST BATURE  is a policeman’s story set in an imaginary West African stateCOVER PAGE OF , shortly after gaining its independence from the British in 1962. What begins as a straightforward investigation, by the last British policeman in the Northern Region and an African police inspector, quickly turns to intrigue when the intelligence services of the superpowers vie with each other to secure a breakthrough in weapons technology.

Combine this with the machinations of an irrational regional military governor hell-bent on overthrowing his brother, the head of state, and the basis for an exciting story emerges. With the cold war as a backdrop and a second coup imminent, the action moves quickly from the heat of the Omdu Hills, through the stench of the Laguna slums to the waters of the Bight of Laguna, giving the reader an insight into the grubby world of espionage and life in West Africa during the turbulent sixties.

Winner of the “Book Awards” for September 2009.

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About the Author:        

Ken Ryeland’s qualifications for presenting his books about Africa on a website dedicated to all things Scottish stem from the fact that he is the product of a mixed marriage. (Welsh father and Scots mother). His mother’s family is associated with the Macleod Clan and can trace their roots for three generations in the Blackfriars area of Glasgow. During the First World War, Ken’s maternal grandfather served with the 52nd Lowland Division and saw action at Gallipoli, in Palestine and oTHE AUTHOR - KENNETH C RYELANDn the Western Front. After the war, his grandparents, together with their four children, left Scotland to escape the unemployment and deprivation brought on by The Great Depression of the thirties. His grandfather, a skilled engineer, was lucky enough to find work, first in Leeds and later in Birmingham. It was here that Ken’s mother met his father and they married in 1940. Two years later young Kenneth was born during an enemy air raid and thus began an interesting and full life for him. He trained as an engineer and later travelled the world in pursuit of his vocation. After twenty years working in Africa, the Far East and the Middle East, Ken and his family finally returned to the UK where he occupied various senior engineering posts in the automotive and insurance industries until his retirement in 2004. It was at this time he began to polish the rough notes and scribblings he’d made whilst in Africa, the results of which are the three books you see showcased here. Ken is now a widower with three grown children and likes gardening, walking, writing, classic British motor cycles and fine red wines.

The Author tells us...

On my arrival in West Africa in 1967, I decided to keep a brief diary of events; especially since the culture and climate were so very different from anything I had experienced before. The decision paid off when I suddenly found myself enveloped by a civil war between the Nigerians and their rebel Eastern Region (Biafra), until finally evacuated from the rebel capital (Enugu) some three months later. I kept my notes and began transcribing and expanding them some years later. When I finally retired from the daily rat race, I started to write my first book about my Biafran experiences: The Up-Country Man. Having had that published in 2005, I went on to produce two works of fiction: Tribal Gathering and The Last Bature (pronounced Batuuree), both of which are set in West Africa and based on my own experiences.

Kenneth C Ryeland 

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You can order all three books from Amazon, Tesco, Waterstones and Blackwell.




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