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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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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Setting sail for 2019

Posted on December 31, 2018

Here’s to 2019 a stellar year of sailing stories and adventures at sea! ‘Thrawn’ in Scots or ‘Trass’ in Norwegian translates as stubborn and to create strength separate skeins of ropes are thrawn together. Earlier in 2018 I orchestrated an afternoon of ‘Thrawn’ story and song at Leith Dockers Club with two choirs: Trass Male voice choir from Norway and Newhaven Community Choir. Norwegian storyteller Hilde Eskild and I shared ...

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Motherhood, Loss and the First World War

Posted on November 8, 2018

Since 2014 I have been working alongside diverse communities across Scotland to enable them share their own stories. As part of local campaign Growing Stories at The Scottish International Storytelling Festival - I recently ran a workshop for storytellers where we paused to reflect on the power of memorial and the legacy of loss. The project title was daunting: Motherhood, Loss and the First World War. How should we tell the stories of a million ...

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Bags full of stories!

Posted on April 18, 2018

This Spring I have been working on an intergenerational project that combines my love of textiles as an artist and my love of storytelling. Commissioned by Newhaven Heritage Society, who together with Judith Crabb had successfully bid for a grant from the HLF, I have been working with P5 classes from Victoria Primary School in Newhaven in North Edinburgh and with the wonderful Haven Group who have kindly shared their stories with us. ...

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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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