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 stories as part of TradFest a local festival of traditional music and storytelling.

Jan on board Tall Ship Tenacious

In July 2018 I was challenged to “Go as far as you can and then take one step further” as volunteer crew with The Jubilee Sailing Trust on their tall ship Tenacious. On their first Songs of the Sea Voyage Jan sailed with Sir Richard Stilgoe and The Orpheus Trust and told some seafaring stories. Working with a wide range of abilities on this voyage changed my outlook on life and so I am now fundraising for the Jubilee Sailing Trust to share more stories of Scottish Coasts & Waters.

Tall ships and taller tales
Telling Tales on Tall Ships

In August I was in Upper Austria walking with storyteller Helmut Wittmann sharing Scottish folk and fairy tales in German and learning to Yodel. A trip that combined walking, swimming in ice-cold mountain lakes and traditional stories was simply heaven.

Telling Traditional Scottish Fairy Stories in Upper Austria

Volunteering at October’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival lead to some fantastic opportunities to see how traditional Celtic stories transcend borders and how important it is to strengthen all our European links in the current political climate.

As I Find

November was the time to remember the past 4 years of collaborative work on the First World War commemorations. I have had the honour of working on a variety of First World War projects with a range of diverse communities, In 2014 as Scottish Artist on the National Memory – Local Story digital project with The National Portrait Gallery, in 2015 I co-curated a community exhibition as part of Gretna 100 and in 2018 organised the Motherhood Loss and The First World War event at The National Library of Scotland with help from The Big Ideas Company.

First voyage of Tenacious Tales in Dundee

December has seen me getting my stories shipshape for 2019 a year of ‘Tenacious Tales and Tall Ships’ sharing songs and stories of the sea. My first storytelling fundraiser was with the fantastic Tayberry Tales storytellers in Dundee who enjoyed stories of Scottish pirates and the story of the Tay Whale as part of the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s local ‘Growing Stories’ initiative.

Looking forward to Tenacious tales and stories of the sea in 2019

Throughout 2019 I will be fundraising to volunteer on The Jubilee Sailing Trust’s Tall Ship, The Lord Nelson, to sail up the Norwegian Coast in company with The Tall Ships Race in July. More adventures a fair few dragons and no doubt more stories await…