• Braw Blether at Horizons Recovery Cafe, Dalkeith Baptist Church

    JEAN AT HORIZONS RECOVERY CAFE BRAW BLETHER DALKEITH BAPTIST CHURCH DALKEITH HORIZONS CAFE DALKEITH RECOVERY CAFE CHRISTINE AT HORIZONS BRAW BLETHER HORIZONS DALKEITH HORIZONS RECOVERY CAFEOn Fridays, Wee Read is now at Horizons Recovery Cafe for a Braw Blether.This is delivered by Wee Read for Midlothian Libraries service! It is in a lovely, bright, welcoming space in the hall at Dalkeith Baptist Church in North Wynd, Dalkeith.I recommend the home-made soup! All are welcome to join us, to share reading, to listen and chat about our stories, wi’ a wee bit ae’ writing as well eh?

    I love the  Midlothian accent, and the people who volunteer and attend the cafe are friendly to all, including a  Lanarkshire-cum-Weegie like me.

    Last week we did a poem from Emily Dickinson and  ”Choose Life’ from Trainspotting. This week we heard from Rumi- The Guest House, which a participant brought with her, and happens to be one of my favourites. Then we heard the Sound of Silence. It was great to explore the song’s lyrics, without the noise of the music which almost hypnotises you to just sing it.

    Hello darkness, my old friend,

    I’ve come to talk with you again…

    Next Friday we’re going to hear from Dylan Thomas, and Bob Dylan among others.

    It’s a Braw Blether!


  • 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.


    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.















  • New Venue for Hope Cafe Writing group- Greyfriar’s Church, Lanark

    Wee Read has booked a hall at Greyfriar’s Church, Lanark for Wednesdays at 2-3.30pm. We will need to charge £2 for participants, to pay for the venue,- so please bring a friend as the more the merrier! Starts next week, Wednesday the 4th of May for renewed hope, reading great poets and writers, friendship,and ofcourse, conversations to improve our mental well-being.


    If you would like to donate to the venue costs, please email christine@weeread.scot



  • Hope Cafe Changes!

    Today Wee Read does a last writing group at The Hope Cafe Lanark- at the current venue at least!Whilst we look at getting a new venue for Lanark, join Adrian Bailey at The Stonehouse Hope Cafe on Thursday the 28th of April for ‘Literature and Spirit’.At St. Ninian’s Church, 11-12 All welcome.spirit



    Join us in a reading group which explores spiritual moments and insights in Literature.We’ll start by looking at a range of literature from different times and cultures, including our own.

    We’ll talk about what ‘spirit’ means to us personally.

    Our journey will discover words which may console, or inspire or deepen our own spiritual awareness.

    We’ll look at short pieces that we may use for ‘contemplative reading’.

    Some of the things we read will be by writers from a particular religious tradition, but we’ll also explore how non-religious writers express spirituality.

    With tea, biscuits, friendly fellowship and blether, the group seeks to give us an hour’s reflection and a nourishing retreat

    And enjoyment!Starting Thursday 28 April 2016 at 11am for an hour or so.

    Hope Café at St Ninian’s Church, Stonehouse, 10 Vicars Rd ML9 3EB


  • The Heart of Midlothian – Horizons Recovery Cafe

    Tomorrow on the 15th of April -Wee Read spreads it’s wings to Dalkeith in Midlothian where we will meet up at a recovery cafe for a  ‘ Braw Blether’ a project funded by Midlothian Council Libraries. Join us at:

    Horizons Cafe

    Dalkeith Baptist Church, EH22 1JE,

    Every Friday 1pm to 2.30pm

    We will be reading for pleasure, chatting about poems and a wee bit of writing as well!

    All are welcome!


  • Wee Read’s Week!

    CHRISTINE , DONNA AND GILLIAN AT STAND UP AGAINST STIGMA (640x480)Today I am going to The Pop-Up Hope Cafe at St. Ninian’s Church hall in Stonehouse. It is such a welcoming place, the people who volunteer there work so hard and create a lovely place to work in.

    Everyone is welcome, cafe is open from 10am – 2 pm.Wee Read is on from 11am-12 noon. Please join us for a chat about mental health stigma, and how we can improve it, conversation by conversation!stonehouse hope cafe 2016


    The kitchen is always buzzing wi’ activity, and you’ll find fresh rolls ‘n soup, cakes, smiles, a blether!

    The dates for the fortnightly cafe are here: Thursday:

    3rd March , 24th   March

    7th April,  28th April.

    Hope to see you there!



    Earlier this week I wrote a poem for my uncle Walter who died on Monday.

    My Guy


    The Boxer

    Simon & Garfunkel!


    World Champion

    Fancy footwork uncle!


    In the clearing stands a boxer

    and Walter McGowan is his name

    A Burnbank Boy

    with many friends

    his father Joe Gans

    trained in his gym.

    Joe and Walter will be remembered always,

    not for the fame,

    but for what they gave –

    charm and generosity,

    helped everybody aw’ the time.


    C. Cather


    Yesterday, we were at The Hope Cafe in Lanark, had a warm meeting as ever, lots of memories about Grannys’ handbags, using a tool from the Words Work Well Scotland Toolkit, and a but of hard work trying to draw from Norman Maccaig’s ‘ Standing on the corner, early morning’ – What a poem, but we did it proud.

    Come along and join us – we’ll be at the Hope cafe Lanark on Wednesdays, 2-3.30 pm!

    Hope Floats 1

  • See me, Read me – 6 sessions at The Hope Cafe 14th October

    See Me, Read Me!

    Wee Read

    A six weeks course of reading and writing in which we challenge mental health stigma.

    Starts Wednesday 14th

    October at the Hope Café,

    8 Wide Close,


    2 – 3.30 pm

    Join us to share stories, poetry and writing.

    This is a FREE course. Please book a place by calling 07952 982868

    email christine@weeread.scot


    SEE_ME_HEXsimple logopsd3 copysimple logopsd3 copySMHAFF regional logos

  • 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!