In the history-soaked surroundings of Belvoir Castle, I spent the day experiencing something I never thought I would… I trained and crossed swords with Adrian Paul, the Highlander.
The Highlands of Scotland have always been a very important place for me, it is the place where my creating writing was inspired and has been a running theme throughout all of my books so far. As a young writer 25 years ago, I wrote my first ever published poem “Glenfinnan” on a bench in the village of the same name and from there began a journey that has brought me to this point in my writing career.
As a creative writing student at the University of Glamorgan, and one with significant writer’s block, I was inspired by a television hero and his home hidden in the Highlands of Scotland. Way back then we watched TV weekly at the show’s transmission time, and I, as a massive fan, religiously tuned in weekly to watch the adventures of Duncan Macleod, immortals and adventure. It was here my love for the Scottish landscape was born.
Scotland had been a land that called to me for many years before. My attention was grabbed at first by the 1986 movie “Highlander” where Russell Mulcahy had laid out a beautiful Scottish tapestry for the big screen, along with a riveting tale of immortals, clansmen and meaning. The Queen songs that accompanied the film were just as engaging. I loved the album “A King of Magic” with its big powerful rock anthems and haunting ballads. The scenes shot at Eilean Donan Castle, Glencoe and other Highland locations offered a stunning view-scape for the audience and showed me places that quickly joined a list of things I had to see.
More tales followed in that world in the early 90’s. The TV series spin off offered even more tales of an immortal Scotsman, and a second sequel in 1994 which contained the stunning Celtic ballad “Bonny Portmore” sung by Loreena McKennitt further fuelled my need to visit this place.
But, it was the TV Series more-so than the movies which grabbed my attention. The excellent performance of Adrian Paul as immortal Duncan MacLeod brought greater depth to the mythology of the character, portraying him as a “Warrior-Poet” throughout his many lifetimes and experiences. I particularly remember an episode from Season 4 “Homeland,” directed by the actor, which showed the character returning to his Highland home Glenfinnan and facing his past. This episode was directed brilliantly by Adrian Paul and the Scottish scenery was hauntingly beautiful.
And so, when opportunity arose to not only meet my hero, but engage in sword work with him… I grabbed it with both hands.
In July 2019 I attended a Sword Experience at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, England. It is during this time I am pulling together the final pieces of a new book “Highlands,” and at the event I got to meet the Highlander himself Adrian Paul.
The actor took us through our paces and brought together a wonderful day of exercise, sword work and film production. During the event I was able to spend some time with him, discuss my work and talk about the upcoming collection. Adrian is a really great person with a true passion and skill for what he does. It was an amazing experience to spend a day in his company.
It is a fantastic experience and I would recommend everyone to go along as either participant or spectator and learn from the day.
I presented Adrian with a personalised copy of my just released book “Fly-tipping,” talked about the upcoming “Highlands” and asked him if he would mind giving me a quote to adorn the cover of the new book. Being the wonderful human being he is, he obliged and took the book away with him for a read. In my mind, I could not ask for more than to have a book, which in a way is a labor of love for me, about the Scottish Highlands and my experiences, graced with a quote from the man who inspired me to travel there originally and sent me out on this journey.
Adrian provided me with the following…
"I thought Ross Lane’s Poetry was a great collection of thought-provoking imagery not immediately apparent on a first read. Returning to each several times you get to understand the depth of the thoughts behind the words."
Adrian Paul - Actor/Director/Producer
(Highlander: The Series, Highlander: Endgame, Arrow, Charmed)
This poet is moved and so very appreciative that he took time to do this. It is a badge of honor and a true highlight in my writing career. Some people say you should never meet your heroes... I disagree… I just say choose them wisely. https://swordxp.com
Please also have a look at Adrian’s charity work through his founded Peace Fund. https://thepeacefund.org
My thigh muscles were in spasms and I was wondering how I was ever going to complete the 90 km trek....
As an Author and Mentor, I am often asked by new writers if being a writer is a lonely place to be....
Injustice is the theme running through all the 'Cruel Streets' books. Personal and Social.
When this Russian sailor, Alex, came to Cardiff on his ship in 1907 he booked into a Russian lodging...
Bone Grubbing Men used to search the dumps, the sluices, the street rubbish, the canal...
How is the current social and political climate in the UK having a negative impact on the British...