• Wee Read’s latest words that heal – 13th October 2015

    Maggie's wall  (9)Start of the autumn in Maggie’s expressive writing group at Monklands Hospital campus in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire.All are welcome to come and try!

    Whatever you write is right.The next group meets on Tuesday the 3rd of November.

     

     

    Yesterday and today I have been privileged to work with some young people who are part of the RSNO chorus, for the creative festival ‘To Absent Friends’ at The RSNO Centre, The Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow. We were fortunate to meet Mr Raymond Williams and his stories were inspiring and entertaining.The love of music runs through these sessions and the parallels with poetry are conspicuous.I am looking forward to developing the writing today!Great to see my good friend, Margot Henderson storytelling at the Festival on 1st November.

    Tomorrow is the See Me, Read Me, writing group to stand up to the stigma handed out to people with mental health issues.All welcome, at The  Hope Cafe, Lanark  for 6 Wednesdays from 2-3.30 pm.cannot wait to get stuck in!

  • 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!

  • The Wellness Hub, 23rd of July

    This is my second last session with the Walk ‘n Talk group of the Health and Wellness Hub  and as usual, I see them returning to the Pat Cullinan Centre from the walk to Strathclyde Park as I walk up from my bus stop. I was asked by a few people if I had been walking with them? I say no, but I’d love to! So I  intend or should I say Hope – to meet up with them at 10 o’clock on Thursday 30th which will be our last session for now.
    Being the summer, the group members have had days away, holidays and other commitments- but that is fine, we had a small, but perfectly formed group today!

    Yet again, I am struck by their friendliness, their warmth to each other, and to me. And again, they are in the news! The Motherwell Times did a two page spread on the community learning successes that includes the Walk n Talk group. This group is part of a Discovery programme for people over 50s and the Paths For All . We talked about following on from this Wee Read group with Lapidus Scotland training for anyone in the group who wants to take a shot at being a facilitator for reading and writing. I was delighted that I have at least one volunteer to do this!

    JpegThe Motherwell Times spread with photos of some of the group proudly smiling at the Discovery Awards. See The Motherwell Times for details here “The Walk and Talk Group were recognised for their enthusiasm and commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of local residents through managing the weekly health walk.”

    Jpeg

     

     

     

    Today we did something different, we wrote up some of our lines onto one of the white boards and here are some of the lines inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem, ‘Hope Is the thing with feathers’. We had talked about what we would hope for…here are our Lines of Hope:
    Birds sing even when the weather is bad, we should  sing then too.

    Hope springs eternal.

    There has been a time in my life when all I had was hope. It was the light at the end of the tunnel.When I had hope, I had everything.

    I hope for light on the chillest day.

    I would hope for health for my family… and that the senseless wars end.

    Like a wee flower opening up…

    Flowers are my life.

     

     

    I am looking forward with a tinge of sadness, to our last session this summer. Let’s see what we can write on the board then!!