Sunday 30 May, 2021
This tale was written in response to a Writers’ Circus challenge, issued in April for May 2021 submission, just as we were being encouraged to ease ourselves out of our current LOCKDOWN.
It is a simple tale, whimsical, which seems to be one of my traits at present.
Sunday 30 May, 2021
This was written in response to a Writers’ Circus challenge, a topic which I set for June 2021.
It is confected from my childhood memories of living in Pollokshaws, before we moved to Arden.
The song which came to mind for me was “Some Enchanted Evening”, one of my father’s favourites.
It has been recorded by many, many people, even by me, a version which is still a work in process (!).
My favourite rendering is by Al Jolson. You can listen to it on YouTube by copying this link into your browser.
Thursday 27 May, 2021
This tale germinated during a caravan holiday at Scone, Perth a compact city which straddles the mighty River Tay, famous for its huge salmon.
Perth was was once the capital of Scotland.
Our visit was in May 2021, just as Covid travel restrictions were being eased.
On holiday, we enjoy visiting gardens and gardening centres, always hoping to find something special to take home and try in our own small garden.
On this trip we visited Branklyn Gardens, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. This compact two-acre garden terraced garden was developed by John and Dorothy Renton in the early 1920s when it benefited from plants brought back to Scotland by plant hunters like George Forest and others.
Branklyn specialises in rhododendrons and azaleas, for which it is world-famous. And Branklyn Gardens Tearoom have the best fruit scones in Scotland!
The garden is collocated with Balnacraig School, originally set up in 1843 as a model industrial school for the disadvantaged young women of Perth.
Both properties lie on the slope of Kinnoull Hill which towers over the Perth.
On another day we visited Scone Palace, in times long ago dubbed “The Crowning Place of Scottish Kings”. Scone Palace Garden is famed for its hundreds of specimen trees, many of which are giants! It too has a collection of rhododendrons and azaleas laid out in a flatter, parkland setting.
Our next stop was Glendoik Gardens located behind the Glendoik Garden Centre. This also has an an amazing collection of rhododendrons and azaleas planted in a much more natural setting of a spectacular, steep-sided glen with a river tumbling through it, most definitely well worth a visit.
From these visits, a story was planted and grew over the time of our short break holiday.
Tuesday 25 May, 2021
This tale was written while we were on holiday in our tiny old caravan at Silverdyke Caravan Park, perched above the remains of Cellardyke sea-bathing lido, long abandoned with the advent of foreign holidays, heated outdoor swimming pools and long stretches of golden sand beaches lapped by warm seas.
The story wrote itself with a little help from Linda, George and their eighteen-month old spaniel Bella, our delightful near neighbours on the site.
Saturday 1 May, 2021
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.
Sunday 28 March, 2021
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.
Saturday 20 March, 2021
Here you will find a PDF song sheet and an MP3 music file of A Capella songs sung by me over the last few months and sent individually to Zac (Isaac Rory Bonthron) our grandson born on 4 August, 2020, in Abingdon near Oxford.
I am keen to ensure Zac gets a chance to hear and sing these songs.
They are all Scottish gems except Edelweiss, a song I love to sing.
Why not grab a copy of the words and sing along!
Here we go. I hope you like them.
A Gordon for Me
Ally Bally Bee (Coulter’s Candy)
Bee Baw Babbity
Red Yo Yo
Braes o’ Killecrankie o’
The Jeely Piece Song
Ye canny shove yer Grannnies
Wee Cooper o’ Fife
Skye Boat Song
Will ye no’ come back again?
Sunday 14 March, 2021
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!
Sunday 14 March, 2021
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.
Monday 8 March, 2021
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.