142 entries in this archive

Wednesday 26 January, 2022

Kith and Kin ( a novella, 46,000 words, about 2 hours read time)

This story has been a while in the making. I started it in the summer of 2017. Its first iterations were subject to very careful scrutiny by Kareth Paterson who made many corrections and gave me a wealth of suggestions to help make it more readable and, hopefully, more entertaining.

Thank you Kareth. (All remaining errors and typos are entirely mine!)

This tale is set on North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, a place place of pilgrimage each June in pursuit of wild brown trout. Anyone who knows the island will recognise that the approach to the croft I have given is a confection, albeit the croft itself and its location is typical of older crofts located on the edge of the wild Atlantic Ocean. Further, anyone who knows the Outer Hebrides will recognise that WIND is a major factor in peoples lives.

The tale includes a version of a reminiscence from Louise Cook the owner of Shoreline Stoneware Pottery and Gallery. Thank you Louise.


However, as you will soon discover, the characters and their actions are a work of fiction written in what I think of as a ‘modern’ Readers’ Digest style.

Go on, give it a go!.

Wednesday 26 January, 2022

Snow Choir (800 words, 5 minute read time)

This short story was written for Writers’ Circus, on the topic of ‘Snow’.

Reach for your tissues!

Tuesday 21 December, 2021

Soft Rains (about 7 minutes reading time)

This is a short story sparked by a Writers’ Circus challenge on the theme of ‘Climate Change’ as it was set just after the COP26 event held in Glasgow in November 2021.

Although I know the intention was to lead us to discuss climate change per se, my mind did not take to the idea; from the outset I was off on a different tack, albeit our protagonist has green and organic tendencies.

Read on. . . .

Sunday 19 September, 2021

Glee Club (11,000 words, about 40 minutes reading time)

This story was written in response to a Writers’ Circus challenge on the theme of friendship.

Once I started tapping the keys, the story kept kept coming at me, relentlessly, and I was on track for submission on the due date of Tuesday 14 September 2021, the second Tuesday of the month.

However, its completion was delayed as an other tale took priority (see “Smugglers’ Cove”) which I posted to this website a few days ago.

The central idea of the Glee Club is based on fact. In the story the hero called Jimmy Shaw is based on an equally lovely man called Jimmy H who came to see me down through many years in business. He was a technical rep whose firm provided pumps and pressurising systems for buildings.

Some of you reading this may recognise Jimmy H, a man whose pockets were always filled with sweeties. As far as I knew him, Jimmy H was a non-smoker, teetotal and never once used foul language or the like. In my mind’s eye he was a true Christian gentleman. And yes, Jimmy H was indeed a BB Captain. I did not know him socially and know next to nothing of his family background.

However, before I knew him through business, I had met him several times during my time at the YF at Forsyth Memorial Congregational Church in Govanhill. Jimmy H was the star singer in a small Glee Club group who came to entertain our church audiences many times, singing a repertoire of songs old and new.

Now, please, I ask those who read this story to keep in mind that what you are reading is a work of fiction. Jimmy Shaw and his wife Irene and the other characters are from my imagination. Read on.

Tuesday 14 September, 2021

Smugglers’ Cove

This is a story about a couple called George and Linda and their dog called Bella.

In May 2021 we visited Silverdyke Caravan Park at Cellardyke in the East Nuek of Fife, a favourite haunt most years. Alongside us in their motorhome we encountered the exuberant, tail wagging bundle of energy called Bella, a brown and white spaniel.

We chatted about this and that and I took the opportunity to pass Linda my contact card, inviting them to visit www.thebuzzinbee.co.uk to access “Rosemarkie Remembrances” and “Doodle and the Dolphins”, old stories involving caravans and dogs.

Last week, September 2021, we found ourselves alongside the delightful dynamic trio again. Linda was quick to remind me I had promised a story featuring Bella.

The next morning I started tapping the rough outline on my iPad and by the end of our short break, the tale was ready for transfer to my laptop to be edited and checked.

As they were about to leave to return to their home in Peebles, I told them to expect Bella’s story soon and asked their indulgence regarding my invented dynamic for their dialogue, crafted to create the story duly published herewith.

Be assured that Caiplie Coves and Kilrenny Church with its cemetery and the tomb of the Lumsdains do exist.

The rest is fiction.

Or is it?

Wednesday 18 August, 2021

Tishala (1,000 words, 4 minutes reading time)

This is a little tale about a cat called Tishala.

It was prompted by a Writers’ Circus challenge, “A day in the life of a cat”.

Friday 16 July, 2021

Never Again ( just 600 words, to be read with morning coffee?)

This tiny tale was penned in response to a Writers’ Circus challenge entitled, “There was a time. . ..”.

Ah, yes, as regular readers will suspect, there is another longer tale on this same theme, a story still in the making. However, as the deadline approached, I knew the longer offering not be ready.

Then, while awake in the night, ‘Never Again’ came to mind, almost fully formed.

Read on, why don’t you?

Sunday 30 May, 2021

Cafe Myra (1,000 words, 5 minute read time)

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

If Only! (4,000 words, 20 minutes to read)

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

Kinnoull Gardens ( 6,300 words, about 25 minutes)

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.

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