Teak Lady Tells a Tale

Posted on August 15, 2020

I like a nautical story and during a recent 'Post-lockdown Scottish-staycation'  I stumbled upon an interesting 'teak lady' sheltering under a tarpaulin on a harbour slipway... ...under her black veil I realised that she was stripped down and that her bare boards were teak, so I asked around to hear her story: “This is Mhari Bhàn, a 26 ft. sloop designed by Rouse and built between the wars in Hong Kong,” a local explained. “W...

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A Fish Out of Water?

Posted on July 8, 2020

All my storytelling venues shut their doors with the lockdown and a storyteller, with no schools, care homes, community groups or festivals to visit, is like a fish out of water. 2020 is The Year of Scottish Coasts and Waters and I was so looking forward to travelling around the coasts of Scotland sharing and finding local stories in my role as the honorary resident storyteller on RowAround Scotland. I am a keen coastal rower and have been ...

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Set Sail with Stories

Posted on March 3, 2020

  I recently set sail on a new adventure - getting locals singing shanties here at The Dreadnought Pub in Leith. Researching nautical songs and sea shanties I came across this curious tale of  Auricular Trauma. Ever heard of The War of Jenkins’ Ear? It is April 1731 and in the warm waters off Jamaica the good ship HMS Rebecca is being searched by Captain Juan de Leon Fandino and his Spanish coastal officers aboard ‘La Isabell...

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High Five! 5 more Tall Ships on my sponsored story challenge.

Posted on August 20, 2019

Bergen was bristling with Tall Ships as we arrived at the next stage of The Tall Ships Race in July. However my time in Norway was running out and I still had another half a dozen Tall Ships to tell tales on so I needed to be both tenacious and audacious! Over two days in Bergen I visited and told stories on 5 more ships:  Christian Radich from Oslo, the beautiful old lady of the sea Oosterchelde and the wonderful Wylde ...

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Tall Ship No.4 ‘The Lord Nelson’

Posted on July 29, 2019

After travelling from Leith to Lillesand in July and spending 10 days researching stories linking Norway to Scotland I boarded STS Lord Nelson with The Jubilee Sailing Trust sailing from Fredrickstad in the company of the fine ships taking part in the 2019 Tall Ships Race. Shy bairns get nae sweeties - 'getting gallus' is the best way to tell tales in Norway One evening I approached the good ship ‘Christiana’ on a night sail out of ...

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Tall ship No. 3 – travelling hopefully!

Posted on July 2, 2019

All aboard for my next adventure traveling up the coast of Norway following the Tall Ships Race! I am hoping to travel on Lord Nelson with my favourite charity The Jubilee Sailing Trust however they are currently facing 'stormy weather' and have issued a disturbing weather forecast! ‘Nellie’, as she is affectionately known, is one of two ships specially designed and modified to enable people of all abilities to experience sailing ...

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Trailblazers, Tea and Tales of Tenacity

Posted on June 3, 2019

As part of the Luminate Creative Ageing Festival this month I have been taking tea with two inspirational trailblazers, Isobel Wylie Hutchison and Sara Hawkins. Isobel Wylie Hutchison, arctic explorer, writer, botanist and poet was born at Carlowrie Castle outside Edinburgh in 1889 and on what would have been her 130thBirthday I was invited to tell tales of her adventures in a celebration of her life with Beverley Casebow at The National ...

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Ties that bind…storm sails and snorters!

Posted on May 24, 2019

I’ve recently been researching into the Edinburgh Roperie and Sailcloth Company here in Leith for storytelling projects with Citizen Curator and Our Linen Stories and so I was fascinated to find out that Leith was a world leader in sails and rope. I'll be at Customs House Lane this weekend sharing stories of maritime migration and Leith ships as part of my sponsorship drive to Tell Tales on Ten Tall Ships - we're not far from the ...

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The second tall ship on my storytelling quest ‘to tell tales on ten tall ships’ was The Glenlee, a Clyde built Cape Horner!   Thanks to my JustGiving fundraising campaign Telling Tales on Ten Tall Ships I was able to offer stories for free to the Friends of Glenlee on a sunny day when around 2500 folk visited the ship. Having told stories on HMS Unicorn in Dundee in April I wondered what stories awaited me in Glasgow. Imagine ...

Posted on May 19, 2019

Curiouser and curiouser…

Posted on April 6, 2019

Standing on the original deck planking of Scotland’s oldest preserved ship Frigate Unicorn my research compass started to point north. Launching my crowdfunding sponsorship campaign to Tell Tales on Ten Tall Ships last weekend I spied a silver long boat in a glass case with an intriguing inscription… This Viking Ship is dedicated as a souvenir to Bell & Sime Ltd. Dundee Who sent me forth on my romantic mission to Scandinavia in ...

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