• A weekend event for therapeutic writers

    Facilitating Change - Lapidus Scotland Residential training course
    
    P1030510
    
    
    Change – Loss – Grief — Healing
    
    How to Facilitate groups using Literary Arts
     alongside Visual Art, Music and Movement
    
    A Residential Workshop for Experienced Facilitators AND Potential Trainers
     of Reading, Writing and Storytelling for Wellbeing
    
    2nd to 5th November 2017
     Thursday from 5pm till Sunday 4pm
     at Whatton Lodge, East Lothian
    
    
    Whatton lodge is located on Hill Road, Gullane , overlooks Gullane Bay
     and offers spectacular views over the Firth of Forth.
    
    Course Leaders
    
    Ted Bowman, Valerie Gillies, Larry Butler, plus a guest artist
     Further information and questions: lapidus.scotland.1@gmail.com
    
    
    

     

     

  • Happy New Year!

    Welcome to 2017! Wee Read has had a longish holiday and we’ve been busy with a new grandchild for Christine, and adapting to a house move.

    I thought I would keep you up to date with what is happening now.

     

    What we are doing now:

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    Wee Read@Lanark Writing Group, at Esteem Clydesdale 38 Greenside Lane,  Lanark ML11 7PY. We meet on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm-3.30pm. Christine is leading this group but due to the distance of travel to Lanark from Glasgow, is looking at getting support in co-leading it.This is a voluntary position, however it offers a chance for practising with a peer mentor.If you are interested, please contact me at christine@weeread.scot 07952 982868

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    What else?

    WeeRead@Stonehouse Hope Cafe, St. Ninian’s Church, Vicars Road,  Stonehouse ML9 3EB.

    Fortnightly meetings on Thursdays from 11 am-12.30

    (Please note that due to refurbishment there are no meetings in January 2017)

    Adrian leads a reading group with a spiritual context, with discussion on the big issues, of life, death, and living well.

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    Christine also does a monthly expressive writing group at The Maggie’s,  for anyone who has been affected by cancer. It is usually on the first Tuesday of the month, from 1-3 pm.For January and February 2017, it will be on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 10th January and 14th February.

    Contact their staff to join:  01236 771199

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    Comments from our our writing and reading groups’ participants:

    “Christine, THIS is my therapy!”

    “Captain, My Captain!”

    “It’s good to be able to talk without feeling the stigma of having a mental illness”

    “It is confidential so ye feel safe.”

    For more information, please contact us at christine@weeread.scot, 07952 982868

  • Wee Read Moves Town!

    After weeks of packing and moving we are settled back into Glasgow, at Scotstounhill. Our links with Lanarkshire will remain strong, and in fact our See Me Champion, Christine has just given a talk at the Lanarkshire Recovery Network conference on Friday 18th November.We look forward to widening our work towards the West and the rest of Scotland.Goodbye Hamilton, thanks for all the inspiration!

    Working with our Lanark writing group continues, and we had a day outing to the national Museum of Scotland last month. It was so enjoyable, that we want to go again! Another trip to a pantomime has been discussed, as some members have never been to one!We will be reading our poems and talking to folks at the Stonehouse Hope Cafe xmas event.The group there with Adrian is growing from strength to strength.

    This week, our Maggie’s writer will be hosting a stall at the festive fayre selling books and other items to raise funds for a publication of the groups’ poems and writings.

    So, it’s all go!The autumn and now, the start of winter has come upon us and we sit witnessing change every day.

    Change is a big theme in our work.This week, our board will meet to review our last year, and to plan the year ahead. We have 4 new volunteers, which is a fantastic achievement. We look forward to a co-design and co-production approach for leading our services.

    Christine is also working for Lapidus, The Writing for Wellbeing Organization as Digital Editor.This broadens the reach, and creates new connections across our borders.

    I will leave you with one of my own poems, written a few years ago while I was in Hamilton. Dedicated to my brother Ian who helps us on this website, thanks Ian!

    All Was Silent

    All was silent.

    Many lives lost for words,

    til many years after,

    I say

    ma Granda died at 31;

    a miner, a heart attack,

    ma Daddy a week old.

    Seventh son

    no father knew.

    His seventh son

    inherits true.

    All was silent.

    Many years lost for words,

    til many years after,

    I say

    Ma Daddy died at 51;

    a steel worker, a heart attack,

    ma brother 4 years old.

    Til after many years I say,

    I’d cry until ma bones ran dry.

    Unutterable loss of my favourite guy.

    No longer silent,

    words speak at last,

    To Ian I say,

    sometimes love has no words to mark its’ day.

    C. Cather

  • See Me Poems against Stigma!

    Wee Read Lanark Writing group is starting a new project this week – a performance poetry event. We hope to get a date for performing this soon at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

    The theme this year is ‘Time’ and today we’ll be working to talk, write and express ourselves on the times of change.Change from foul to fair, from discrimination to equality.

    HORIZONS RECOVERY CAFE

    Excited about this- the poem we made last year was a cracker, it had contributions from 13 people!

    This week we will start with some poems, stories, and anything from Shakespeare, Margaret Attwood, Masizi Kunene and James Allen.

    Here’s a starter-

    This above all, to refuse to be a victim. Unless I can do that I can do nothing.

    I give up the old belief that I am powerless.

    Margaret Attwood

     

  • Wee Read at The Hope Cafe news!

     

    The Hope Cafe in Wide Close, Lanark closed this week, with a final fiesta.However, the organisation continues, with the Stonehouse Hope Cafe, fortnightly on Thursdays  and the Bun and a Blether. I was lucky to get a new venue for the Wee Read expressive writing group at Greyfriars Church. So, it’s the end of one era, the beginning of another…

    I wrote a wee poem for thr Hope Cafe final fiesta.

    Hope

    What it means to me

    is Life!

    What it says to me

    is Home.

    Who I meet here

    are friends.

    Who I meet here

    are Family.

     

    Hope we’ll keep life

    Hope we’ll come home

    Hope we’ll stay friends

    Hope our family

    stays strong!

    I also took an existing poem, and changed one word throughout, using Hope in the place of Happiness.

    After So Much happiness, by Naomi  Shihab Nye

     

    It is difficult to know what to do

    with so much hope.

    With sadness there is something to rub against,

    a wound to tend with lotion and a cloth.

    When the world falls in around you,

    you have pieces to pick up,

    something to hold in your hands,

    like ticket stubs or change.

     

    But, hope floats,

    It doesn’t need you

    to hold it down.

    It doesn’t need anything.

    Hope lands on the roof of the next house singing,

    and disappears when it wants to.

    You are hopeful either way.

    Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful … house

    and now live over a quarry of noise and dust

    cannot make you unhopeful.

    Everything has a life of it’s own,

    it too could wake up

    filled with possibilities

    of coffee and cake,

    and love even the floor

    which needs to be swept…

     

    Since there is no place large enough

    to contain so much hope,

    you shrug, you raise your hands,

    and it flows out of you,

    into everything you touch.

    You are not responsible.

    You take no credit,

    as the night sky takes no credit for the moon,

    but continues to hold it,

    and to share it,

    and in that way,

    be known.

     

    After Naomi Shihab Nye, So Much Happiness.

     

    Here are some photos of the day.

    HOPE CAFE LANARK CAKEHOPE CAFE GUESTS AND VOLUNTEERSHOPE CAFE FINAL DAY HOPE CAFE FINAL FIESTA WENDY AND GRANT HOPE CAFE MANDY'S PLACE HOPE CAFE LAST DAY JEANNIE AND CHRISTINE HOPE CAFE

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Wee Read – Winter Reads

    Wee Read has been having a rest and a proper winter’s cold. But best of all, time for a read.My novel at the moment is Diana Gabaldon’s     ‘A Breath of Snow and Ashes’, it is the 6th of her series now on US TV as ‘Outlander’. I love a story set in the past. This one has a wee bit of time travel and some interesting learning about the 1745 rebellion, and Charles Stuart is in the stories.Quite funny at times, as well lots of tragedy!The prologue :

    “Time is a lot of the things people say that God is. There’s the always preexisting, and having no end.  There’s the notion of being all powerful—because nothing can stand against time, can it?  Not mountains, not armies.

    And time is, of course, all-healing.  Give anything enough time, and everything is taken care of: all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed.

    Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.

    And if Time is anything akin to God, I suppose that Memory must be the Devil.”

    I also enjoy the wee bits of the Gaelic running through these books. Mo chridhe, a leannan,… one day I will study and learn this beautiful mother tongue. Thanks to my pal Eilean for her encouragement to read the books, and for learning the Gaelic and offering to bring me into that process with her!

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    Ofcourse, as I read the stories of others, I also reflect and wonder at my own story- and the power of the stories I believe about myself, which are probably not fixed and lasting.Or true!

    It’s helpful to talk to myself about my stories, and maybe loosen their grip on my whole life. Things indeed do change and two new books I have been given lately will help me do some loosening-

    ‘the art of meditation, the heart’, by Vessantara,  is a simple introduction to developing loving kindness. Looking forward to reading it all, and using it with my friend, Dhanabhadri who has lent me it. We will bring the meditation classes to The Hope Cafe in the New Year.Here’s a bit of the introduction :

    “In this short book we shall learn some methods from the Buddhist tradition that will enable us to explore our own hearts, and to develop more satisfying ways of being. These methods can help us become more loving and compassionate towards others, and kinder and more understanding towards ourselves.” 

    I think the attitude of kindliness towards myself is the most fundamental thing to try and get into a habit of, and also noticing when I am not doing it.

     The next book to help me to loosen-up my views about myself, is Pema Chodron’s  ‘when things fall apart’, heart advice for difficult times. Available here.  She also talks about metta, or maitri- that is translated as loving kindness- and offers support in loving ourselves more.

    “Cultivating that unconditional friendliness toward whatever arises in your mind….Like clouds in a big sky or waves in a vast sea, all our thoughts are given the space to appear…

    If any of these have inspired you to read them as well, that’s great! And also ask what are your stories are to yourself?Listen to your heart and let the secrets come out!

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  • Wee Read Autumn new beginnings!

    What a week! I made a new start at the Maggie’s Lanarkshire and it is a joy to write and listen to each other in such a lovely environment. Please come along- we will do a group on the first Tuesday every month (except December 8th).Maggie’s is for anyone and everyone affected by cancer.So if you have a desire to explore the changes that living with cancer brings to you please drop in and try.Or, pop in and book with the Maggie’s staff, tel 01236 771199 email  lanarkshire@maggiescentres.org -There’s always a welcome and a cuppa for you – and often cakes!

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    Then, yesterday 8th October was National Poetry Day see here for my poem I added …

    I was lucky to be invited to meet two fellow librarians at Hillhouse Library, to arrange some See Me, Read Me sessions. We will do the first one on remember, remember…the 5th of November see event details here…

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    The second one will be on the 3rd of December, come along to explode the myths about mental health and stigma. Challenge the stereotypes!See Me funds the See Me, Read me project.

    It’s aw’ go! Get involved! Anyone who wishes to send me a poem or a contribution please email me at christine@weeread.scot

    Enjoy Autumn falling all around you.

  • Writing group at The Maggie’s Lanarkshire

     

    Maggies Lanarkshire Writing group 007Wee Read will begin a new expressive writing group at The Maggie’s Lanarkshire at Monklands Hospital. We had a lovely taster session in June and I am delighted to be back here for a monthly writing group starting on Tuesday, 6th of October. where we can express our feelings in whatever way possible!Please contact the Maggie’s Lanarkshire to book, at

    Maggie’s Lanarkshire
    at The Elizabeth Montgomerie Building
    Monklands Hospital, Monkscourt Avenue,
    Airdrie
    North Lanarkshire
    ML6 0JS
    Tel: 01236 771199
    Fax: 01236 771190
    Opening times
    Monday – Friday
    9am – 5pm

    From website  “Last year Maggie’s received 125,000 visits and supported over 25,000 people newly affected by cancer; among our visitors 99% found the support we offer helpful.”

    Everyone affected by cancer is welcome to join in a monthly group in this comfortable and beautiful setting.  We will explore poems and stories and write some of our own in a friendly environment.

    Contact the Maggie’s to book for monthly group starting on Tuesday, 6th of October from 11 am to 1 pm, Tel: 01236 771199     Email   lanarkshire@maggiescentres.org