Storytelling at Insch Primary School

Whit a grand day I hid yesterday at Insch Primary! 
I told stories to two assemblies – what great kids! They were all so enthusiastic 

The P1 – P3 children heard about a wee boy who became king even though he thought he had failed – one of my favourite stories that promotes resilience, bravery, honesty and hard work.
Then the P4 – P7s got my current favourite story, Tatterhood! She’s very much my hero at the moment. Anything with trolls is good though 


Tatterhood – my current favourite!  by

Later on in the afternoon the school emailed me a list of questions from the children which I’m looking forward to answering today

How do you memorise the stories?
What inspired you to be a storyteller?
When did you start storytelling?
How many stories can you remember?
Which story is your favourite?
Why did you want to be a story teller?
Why do you like telling stories?
Why did you choose those particular stories?
How old were you when you started storytelling?
Who is your favourite character in the 1st story you told?


I’m chuffed and excited to be currently working on some new stories for SPECTRA 2020!
Professor Jigget and myself will be telling our tales of “Monsters from the Deep and Stories from the Sea– creating a world of intrigue and wonder through words and performance. ”

SPECTRA exhibits will be throughout the city centre, but we’ll be performing at Marischal Square at 6.30, 7.30, 8.30 and 9.30pm.


More details here:

Family HiSTORIES – Grampian Association of Storytellers

The Grampian Association of Storytellers met last night with a theme of “Family HiSTORIES” – so this could be any family stories that have been passed down or perhaps anything that you’ve discovered whilst researching your family tree.   We had some great stories and good attendance.

I started researching my family tree ohhhh I don’t know – way back!  Probably around the same time I started showing interest in being a storyteller.  Luckily my grandfather, Andrew Middleton, and father, George Cordiner, both lived into their 90s so I was able to ask them lots of questions – and both were nae bad at tellin a tale!

However, I went for something I’d uncovered in the British Newspaper Archives.
I found out that my great-great grandmother, Isabella Jemima Smith, of Aberdeen had been married before – to a local celebrity “The well known pedestrian Joseph “Joe” Leith.”

This had me confused. Famous for walking?  Well, yes.  It was a well attended sport in the Victorian times. In 1879 Joe came second in a 48 hour walking match held in the Music Hall.  There were 4000 spectators over the course of the match, with 2000 there at the grand finish!

We then followed Joe’s various mentions in the local press. Some were humorous (giving evidence in court that the Blind Society Band had played “Affa Coorse”) but ultimately they followed his decline in the public eye from being a good sport and well liked to making yet another appearance in court for drunken and violent behaviour.  Ultimately his story ended in murder.  No, not someone else’s but his own at the hands of a slaughterman, William Erskine who had suffered 2 hours of haranguing from a drunken Joseph.

His widow married Adam Rettie, a drover.  Joseph had also been a drover and I wonder if they had been friends.  Adam was my great-great-grandfather and I’m lucky enough to have recently found a photo of him and Isabella online.

Learning English in Aberdeen – a beginners workshop

On Thursday I was invited along to the Language Cafe ( to do a storytelling workshop for adults who are improving their spoken English.  There was a great turn out with 32 people there with everyone willing to have a go.  After an introduction and fun warm up, we split into groups to each tell one truth about ourselves and one lie with the others in the group guessing which was which.  Participants then had the chance to expand – turning it into a story!
I then told one of my favourite Scottish Tales – The Laird of Morphie.

To find out more about the group, go to their Facebook page (linked above)

“Want to learn English or improve your language skills in Aberdeen? This page will have up-to-date information about classes, conversation practice, and relevant events. It’s updated by people from a range of organisations, including Grampian Regional Equality Council, Aberdeen City Council, various Community Centres, Aberdeen University, Aberdeen College, the Workers Education Institute, International House, and others.”

An Evening of Stories with Tony Robertson, Family and Friends

Weel it’s been a grand wik for tellin stories!

On Wednesday night I was privileged to join friends and fellow storytellers at an event at the Elphinstone Institute celebrating the stories of Stanley Robertson who passed away 10 years ago.  Stanley, his stories and his songs have been a huge influence to me and many others and it was jist braw to settle back and listen to some of the best.

The Elphinstone Institute said
What a wonderful evening of stories in honour of Stanley Robertson! Many thanks to his son, Anthony Robertson, for compering the evening and inviting family and friends.

The all-star storytellers included Jackie Ross, Grace Banks, Bob Knight, Fiona-Jane Brown, Pauline CordinerSheena Blackhall, Nicole Robertson, and Tony himself!

Thanks for the creepy tales, the funny tales, the romantic tales, the weird tales, and the classic tales! It was great to see the deep influence that Stanley has had on so many storytellers.

Hae a look at aa the photies here –

Storytelling at Skene Square

Last week Skene Square Primary School here in Aberdeen opened their newly spruced up library!  Fizzy and I were lucky enough to get invited along to tell stories to all the classes from Nursery to P7.

Super listeners and a super new setting to tell some tales!  Thanks for having us 😀