This story arose from a Writers’ Circus topic, “Attic”.
It takes the form of a letter from a dying mother to a son, a rambling epistle containing information to be withheld until he is eighteen, old enough to understand and accept his heritage without the angst and uncertainty which an earlier revelation might cause him.
My wife is very keen on genealogy and some time ago wrote an article for the 3Ls Genealogy Club at Strathclyde University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning.
This piece chronicled what she had discovered about her forebear, Private John Reid of Dalrymple, Ayrshire.
‘Our’ John Reid was a professional Scottish soldier who fought at Waterloo with the 79th Regiment of Foot, before being shipped to Canada, complete with wife and family.
Recently on Scotland’s People (a government-run website), there was a release of Kirk Session records which enabled Margaret to discover a little more about ‘our’ John Reid.
You are invited to read on and to listen to me singing a version of The King’s Shillin’, a song which depicts what it was like for men like John Reid.
This story was written for a Writers’ Circus challenge on the topic of “unforeseen”.
It is autobiographical and the basic story is completely true including the song playing while I waited.
Some twirls have been added from other life experiences to make a more readable story.
Hey, that’s what creative writers are supposed to do!
Over the past year of Covid Lockdown my singing has moved online, mainly in Zoom.
Despite the fact that singing to ourselves at home rather than meeting to sing live is very much second best, there have been some benefits.
This piece offers my reflections on this experience which may be of interest to other amateur singers.
This piece was written in response to a request from the son of a dear friend who died in February 2021.
It is linked to another story called “Miriam’s secret”.
It can be accessed by pasting this link into your browser.
“Glue gen” is another, earlier story about our friend, written for her and published with her permission.
Alternative, visit www.thebuzzinbee.co.uk and use the search function.
This piece was written for a Writers’ Circus challenge (March 2021) on the theme of ‘a fairy story’.
A few weeks before writing it, one of our dearest friends died of heart failure. This followed a bad fall in October 2020. Her brave struggle to recover was hampered by several underlying medical conditions.
These events played out against a backdrop of Covid and its restrictions.
Following a relapse in February 2021, she was admitted to hospital and died two days later.
Two months earlier, her twin sister had also died of weak heart.
I think these tragic events have imbued this story with a tinge of melancholy.
This is a story written in response to the Writers’ Circus challenge for February 2021 on the theme of “a secret”.
The story came easily because it is based on fact, an experience recounted to us by close friends shortly after it happened to them, while events were fresh in their minds.
Of course I have done what tellers of such tales often do, I have extemporised to spin you a confection.
Although not my original intention, I think this story offers an insight of tenement living in a posh ‘wallie” close in Glasgow’s West End of that time.
(wallie = ornately tiled)
In our Mackintosh Choir Zoom meetings we are asked to nominate a particular song or piece of music which we like and choose a YouTube version to share with those attending.
We are also required to explain our choices.
On 16 December 2020 I chose Still the Night.
This rather prosaic tale recounts my words of introduction.
This piece is a record of the “Toast to the Lassies” address I gave to the Mackintosh Choir Zoom Burns Supper on Wednesday 3 February 2021.
It is offered as a ‘written’ version in a PDF which is a slightly expanded version of the ‘spoken’ version included as an MP3 file.
This address was confected from a variety of Wikipedia entries and yes, I am able to say I am regular supporter of Wikipedia which, with all its many faults, is a wonderful resource.
This was written for a Writers’ Circus challenge in October 2020.
The topic was “a tenth birthday story”.
It is a bit odd but I hope gives a reasonably accurate insight into the lives of those who are born to a live of ease and those who serve them.
Is there such a thing as a life of ease? Perhaps a story for another day.