Songbird workshops start!

Posted on September 11, 2016

Thanks to funding from The Edward Marshall Trust my community research project  The Thrive Archive have just started a series of musical workshops in fishing village of Newhaven here in Edinburgh. We welcomed a lovely intergenerational group of budding songwriters with several newcomers and ages ranged from 11 to over 70. We managed to write a verse and a chorus in our first session thanks to Jed Milroy’s expert leadership, starting by ...

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Creel o’ Stories and Gala days

Posted on July 16, 2016

The Newhaven fishwives were famous for their cry and this summer I’ll be bartering like a fishwife – how much do you think a song and a story is worth? Following a sunny gala day at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther in May I will be touring with my Creel o’ stories to the Museum of Edinburgh’s gorgeous courtyard on Tuesday’s and Thursdays throughout the Festival Fringe. My songs all have a fishy flavour and celebrate ...

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Life’s a pitch!

Posted on April 11, 2016

A couple of weeks ago my project bid was selected as one of the final 6 in a very competitive field. I was given a half hour slot to present our bid to three of the Trust's board that came to visit The Thrive Archive project. The Thrive Archive works with diverse communities to help them tell their story in innovative ways. The story goes that there was once a willow tree in Fishermen’s park. It supplied the raw materials for creels, ...

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Stargazey pie

Posted on March 10, 2016

Earlier last month I had the pleasure of visiting two care homes in Falkirk with Mrs Mash the wonderful storytelling cook to chat to residents about how to feed the bairns on next to nothing!  As Reader in Residence at The Scottish Book Trust this was an extension of a previous project with P6's at Grangemouth Library to see how creative projects can become intergenerational. We told stories and sang lots of fishy songs and asked them to share ...

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Are you sitting comfortably?

Posted on February 2, 2016

A story is like a cat – it finds you, jumps into your lap, curls up and starts to purr. I remember having stories read to me every night as a child and I read to my own son. The joy of reading aloud and listening to stories was the main reason for writing 10 stories from both the German and the British perspective for my latest WW1 project Lone Wolves.  Based on historical accounts of sailors and submarines as well as weaving Greek myth, ...

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The King of the Cats…and other stories

Posted on January 13, 2016

Using the festive break to write 10 new stories was a great challenge. As Reader in Residence with The Scottish Book Trust at Falkirk Libraries my next project is to work with Primary 7 ‘reluctant readers’ in beautiful Bo’ness to create a Graphic Novel. Inspiration came from a trip to Kinneil House last summer and the ever-supportive Falkirk Archive at Callendar House came up trumps with an unexpected photograph. Imagine looking ...

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The Thrive Archive project – empowering community

Posted on November 18, 2015

I dreamed up The Thrive Archive project 18 months ago following an amazing 2 weeks of collaborative arts training with XO Sco. After a year of fantastic opportunities including a residency at St Margaret's House with Edinburgh Palette The Thrive Archive is literally doing what it says on the tin! The Thrive Archive was set up to empower diverse communities to use their local creatives to produce innovative arts events and on our recent project ...

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From the horse’s mouth and other stories…

Posted on September 30, 2015

A Kelpie is a mythical water spirit that changes form to lure you to your death. It often appears as a large black horse or a handsome stranger but if you can manage to bridle a Kelpie you gain its power! In the past few months I have spent many a pleasant hour on Falkirk’s Forth and Clyde Canal under the watchful eye of their mythical beasts. Radio 4’s Ramblings came along on one of our Walking With Words events and despite the rain we ...

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Walking with radio royalty

Posted on September 19, 2015

What an exciting week, double walks down the Great Canal as they call The Forth & Clyde. Our longest walk to date was with Radio 4's wonderful programme Ramblings and the lovely Clare Balding - and what an amazing energy and charm she has. It lashed with rain for 3 solid hours from Falkirk Wheel to The Kelpies in Helix Park and we rambled regardless, notebooks sodden and glasses dripping. My favourite moment was when we showed our ...

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Airing your dirty laundry…

Posted on September 4, 2015

Walking with Words got off its marks this week on a stroll up the Great Canal to Falkirk Wheel. Eyes were sharpened, photos posted, tweets twittered and words were even committed to paper. Falkirk historian Geoff Bailey gave us food for thought in a fascinating talk with archive maps in the social history section on the top floor of Falkirk Library framed by stunning views. From bleaching sheets with sour milk in public parks to tar works and ...

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