• To Absent friends

    I feel privileged to be asked to coach Balfron High School students to produce something wonderful, a performance of music and stories.They will gather some stories from local care home residents. The music will be coached and performed with members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. ‘ To Absent Friends’  started last year as a way to honour our dead – and at the same time, to change our ways about talking of death, bereavement and feelings of loss. It is our Scotland -wide festival which will  conclude in  performances, on 29 October 2015, then on 7th November 2015. See more…

    I met two musicians at the school on Thursday and we met students who will produce a collaborative creation. It was exciting, and fun to work with these teenagers. We used a  poem of mine, about my granny called My Hero as a starting point.

    My Hero

    Jessie Anderson, ma Granny.
    Smilin , cheery
    Noble; kindness itself,
    in a very old-fashioned dress
    and a permanent peenie.
    The poakits full ae mysteries, sweeties,
    claes pegs ‘n drama.
    Bookie’s slips, pouns ‘n 10 bob notes.
    I was sent up wi’ the money wrapped in a slip,
    tae staun at the door ae the bookies
    ‘n ask a man to put it oan.
    Scared. Really quite scared.

    So she, my hero – sent me on terrifying journeys,
    I had to go way beyond my limits to get that task done!
    And now I smile at her friendly faith in me and thank her
    that I still go beyond limits sometimes.

    C. Cather, 2015
    We used three of the lines to combine with music, using a xylophone. It was inspiring and enjoyable, and I am really looking forward to meeting the students again on Tuesday for  more creative work.It was great fun exploring the old dialect words, like ‘peenie’, ten bob notes, poakits, claes pegs. I honoured ma Granny and thank-you to everyone there who honoured and celebrated her too!