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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On the hoof and other ramblings…

Posted on August 24, 2015

Shy bairns get nae sweeties is one of my favourite expressions and so it was that a few months back I emailed Radio 4’s Ramblings program to suggest that if Clare Balding hadn’t seen the Kelpies yet they’d be happy to meet Radio royalty! The Autumn series of Ramblings is about walking with artists and so I am delighted to report that we will indeed be rambling down the canal from the Falkirk Wheel to see Andy Scott’s glorious Kelpies as ...

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Knitted Kelpies

Posted on August 24, 2015

Whilst the Princess Royal visited Falkirk’s stunning Kelpies created by sculptor Andy Scott this summer I have been working on a knitted Kelpie head as part of my Reader in Residency with the Scottish Book Trust and Falkirk Libraries. Several libraries in Falkirk have knit and natter sessions and Meadowbank even has a Lego group, Bo’ness will also be creating a virtual library using Minecraft later in the year! My theme for the year is to ...

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Best Bib and Tucker…

Posted on August 24, 2015

A lot can happen in Falkirk in a summer…not one but two royal visits. I am delighted to report that a First World War project that I worked on with Falkirk Community Trust last year was on the schedule of His Royal Highness Prince Edward. Thanks to the Learning Team at Callendar House we all had a lovely day and the former pupils of Laurieston Primary School did a great job at remembering the story of their ‘memory boxes’. It was good to ...

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Poetry with a small ‘p’

Posted on June 25, 2015

Everybody's a poet these days, digital spray can in hand - busy on the twitter. So when National Poetry Day planning looms and you're organising an event what right do any of us have to pose as poets? (more…)

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Transform and Tweet

Posted on June 13, 2015

My Reader in Residency with Falkirk Libraries has started and our theme for the year is Transformation. The joy of the Scottish Book Trust’s residency scheme is having a whole year to plan projects to tempt readers into Falkirk Libraries and create some memorable events outside too. I am working closely with the library staff to uncover the rich heritage of the area with the ever resourceful and happening Falkirk Community Trust. Maps, ...

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Gretna 100 – Seven of the 7th

Posted on May 20, 2015

A busy time this week installing the community exhibition at Out of The Blue Drill Hall. I am really proud of the creative writing that the 7 member strong research group have produced. I gave a series of workshops on telling stories simply and looking at exhibition design to illustrate core themes. The volunteer research team then rose to the challenge and have produced a moving exhibition. The Gretna 100 project opens at The Drill Hall on ...

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Women in Peace and War

Posted on May 20, 2015

A new exhibition opened at the Frauen Museum in Bonn in April and I was delighted to have this art work accepted. The laser etched panels show images of women munition workers in Falkirk during the First World War with the lines of Lee's poem Every Bullet has a Billet below each photograph. The thin beech panels are laced together with corset laces. Women could not wear any metal in case of explosion so their constricting 'stays' had to go... ...

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