• 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!

Author

Born in 1958 and brought up in Blantyre in a family of seven. Moved to Glasgow in 1976 and stayed until 2012. Then I moved back to Hamilton where I had attended secondary school, for 4 years. Home is now Glasgow, again, I am a weegie through 'n through. I have two daughters, and four granddaughters who all light up my life. My experience of working with poetry, writing, reading and so on is from my childhood. One of my poems was published in a school magazine when I was 12. I am now trying to publish my first grown-up booklet of poems within the next year or so. I trained and studied to become a librarian from 1977. It was the one job I wanted since reading in Hamilton Townhouse Library in the early 1970's!I watched the staff and thought, I'd like to work here... Bibliotherapy came into my life in 2007, at Glasgow Women's Library.

http://weeread.scot

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