How To Pace Your Story – GAS Workshop

A week on Saturday (That’s the 21st May!) I’m going to be talking about Pacing Your Story at this The Grampian Association of Storytellers – GAS workshop. It’s the third in a series of three workshops for beginners (the first two having been ran by Diana Peers of Once Upon A Tune and Jackie Ross of JackieTales and Doric Books) but there is still time for you to join up for this one!

The workshop will start promptly at 2pm and will run for about 45 minutes.

The Fisherfolk Festival 2022

Here is the new updated poster for the Fisherfolk Festival at Ballintore/Hilton of Cadboll/Nigg at the end of the month!

On Friday 27th I’m going to be at the Seaboard Centre from 10.20 to 12.30pm telling stories for kids and their grown ups

And that evening I’ll be part of the “Songs And Tales of the Sea” concert at the Seaboard Centre – 7.30 to 9.30pm (£5 for adults, £2 for children)

Then on Saturday 28th I will be in good company all day at the St Mary’s Chapel site – telling Pictish tales with Bob Pegg and doing some living history with the Rhynie Wifies. (11am to 4pm)

And on Sunday 29th I’ll be Nigg Old Church for the Story and Song Feast.

Of course there’s so many other things going on, it’s going to be a real treat and I’m looking forward to attending the other events and haen some song and story fun! 😀

Doric an Scots Body Pairts

I see this poster is doing the rounds on social media again 🙂

I made it back in 2018 when I was working with P1 children – some local and some just arrived in the country with only their mother tongue. We learned all the words and pronounciations and used a bit of sign language – that way no one felt left out because it was new to many of them!

Yes there are other words folks might know – but in the end only a wee bit of space (e.g. I chose my favourite, “doup” over “dock”, “bahookie” and “bumbaleerie”!

Unfortunately the version doing the rounds is uncredited – but here’s the original if anyone wants to share it 😃

A Manic May

Why manic? It’s going to be so busy!

With May fast approaching, I’m having a look at my calendar and getting organised for the month ahead.

On the 30th of April and the 1st of May, two of our wonderful Rhynie Wifies, my Wee Imp and myself will be joining Historic Saltire at Spynie Palace for their annual Medieval Weekend. Visitors will be able to “Hear about Robert the Bruce’s campaign in the north and wander through the living history camp to experience what life was like in medieval times.”

On the 10th May I’m going to be back telling stories at HANDSS. HANDSS is an Aberdeen/shire crafts & activities club for children aged 5 to 15 years, who receive support for learning, or have additional support needs. My Wee Imp and I always love going there – it’s so much fun and we are always made to feel so welcome!

On the 15th May you’ll find me at Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair where I’ll be telling a few Scottish tales near the Tower and appearing on the Moray’s Got Talent Stage.

Then the following week, I’ll be doing the third of three beginners storytelling workshops for the Grampian Association of Storytellers. The theme of my workshop will be “Pacing Your Story” and you can book your place on the workshop by emailing

And finally, the Rhynie Wifies and I will be taking part in the annual Fisherfolk Festival in Ballintore. I’m storytelling for schools, at concerts and at St Mary’s Chapel – both as a fishwife and as a Pict! And the Wifies will be demonstrating Pictish life. Watch this space for the event poster!

So a Manic May is fast approaching. (And after that? a Jubilant June followed by Jumping July!)

Soutar Festival of Words

Fizzy and Fuzzy the Fairies with Pauline at North Inch Library

Well what a great event that was! On Saturday I travelled down to beautiful Perth and the sun shone the whole way – I had a super audience of children and their adults at North Inch Community Library and told the children some of my favourite Scottish stories which included some of my favourite Scots words!
(Bosies! Oxters! Furligorums! Heilstergowdy!)

Fizzy and Fuzzy the fairies were very popular of course and took home a beautiful picture drawn by one of the audience.

Afterwards I took them for a walk up Kinnoull Hill. For most of my life I have stared up at the tower from the A92… Wondering why it was in such a distant lonely place, who lived in it – a lonesome princess perhaps? Well finally I had time to pech up the hill to see for myself before heading back home to Aberdeen. What a beautiful view! Of course when I got there I learned there was an easier route… but isn’t that always the case!?

A Fishwife’s Shawl

The start of my fishwife’s shawl – modelled by my wee imp!

This week’s project is dusting off the knitting needles to make a more authentic shawl for my fishwife’s costume. It has been a fair while since I picked up any knitting – I used to knit when I was a student (before it was trendy) to chill out and to make myself chunky jumpers that weren’t in the shops… but it was only ever knit, purl or rib. Then I went through a phase in the early noughties when hand made gifts, floofy wool and knitting in the pub were en vogue. (My apologies to anyone who received a squinty knobbly scarf that probably went up in flames when merely in the same room as a candle!)

Now that I’m happy with my Pictish, Viking and the prospect of making my own Medieval clothing… I was unhappy with my rather modern Fishwife’s shawl which you can see in the photo below.

Telling a story with my Fishwife Puppet, Elsie.

After a fair amount of peering at old photos of fishwives (including one of my g-g-grandmother Mary Ann McConnell) and finding that there was nothing in the charity shops or available online that looked like what I needed, I decided the best thing to do would be to learn a few new stitches and knit my own!

Watch this space! 😀

(The apron isn’t correct for the North East of Scotland. Photos from our coast tend to show a dark cloth with some texture… but it’s what people imagine when they think of Scottish fishwives – the big colourful aprons worn by the Newhaven Fishwives – so I decided to go with that for my storytelling costume! I’ve already got a fantastic pair of (much mended) Victorian style boots too. )

Medieval Scottish Tales at Leslie Castle

A few photos from my visit to Leslie Castle last night with Fizzy the Fairy. What an amazingly beautifully restored medieval fortification with wonderfully friendly staff who told me a bit of the history of the place! (And the supper smelled amazing too!)

The occasion was the birthday of a Leslie gent from London who had come to stay with his family and I had a wonderful audience of 3 generations to hear stories of medieval heroes, fearsome boars, traitorous blacksmiths and fearless fairies! I was also dressed in medieval clothing from the time the castle was first built.

Fizzy the Fairy already has plans of booking the whole castle (which is a guest house) for her 366th birthday next year and inviting a whole bunch of her mates for some chaotic fairy shenanigans. However as at least one of the staff heard the tale of why you shouldn’t invite fairies in to your home, I’m not sure how successful Fizzy’s plans will be 😛

Pictish Life at St Andrews Castle

Yesterday my daughter and I had a brilliant time at St Andrews Castle with our amazing friend Nick. We were there to talk about the Picts for our friends at History Matters Limited and Historic Environment Scotland.

Although the castle itself is temporarily out of bounds to visitors (it needs masonry checks after the recent storms), they could still learn a chunk of Scottish history and see some replica items from ancient times.

History Matters have loads of reenactors visiting HES properties throughout the summer and October holidays and you can find out more by going to their
Facebook –
Instagram –
Webpage –

You can find out which HES properties have visits from their many characters by going to Historic Environment Scotland’s Events page and filtering the results by “Living History” – but here’s a handy link that will do all that for you! 🙂