142 entries in this archive

Tuesday 25 May, 2021

Thirteen Starlings (1100 words, a five minute read)

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

Serendipity Antiques (short read, about 10 minutes)

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

The King’s Shilling by Margaret Reid Bonthron

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

Songs for Zac

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
Bonnie Dundee
Katie Bairdie
Red Yo Yo
Braes o’ Killecrankie o’
The Jeely Piece Song
Three Craws
Ye canny shove yer Grannnies
Wee Cooper o’ Fife
Skye Boat Song
Will ye no’ come back again?

Sunday 14 March, 2021

Early one morning

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

Singing Online

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

Point of View (600 words, a 2 minute read)

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.

Monday 8 March, 2021

Miriam’s secret (1,000 words, a five minute read)

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.

Monday 8 March, 2021

My dear, dear boys

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)

Thursday 4 March, 2021

Still the Night - around 5 mins to read.

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.

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