And I Thought I was Organised….

I’ve been working on gathering together the articles I wrote for the now sadly defunct Scottish Memories magazine with the aim of bringing them out as a collection. They were written over a period of four or five years and were illustrated by photographs taken by my father, a keen amateur photographer.

I had copies of the magazines the articles were in but where were my originals that I’d written? I needed them so that I could combine them all in one big file prior to publishing them. So I searched among my documents on my computer, especially in one file clearly marked ‘Articles’. Were they there? No.Sc Mem

I discovered one file named ‘Scottish Memories’. Aha! I thought. This is where they are. Well, three of them were. Only another 17 to find. I used the search button, I used Finder, I hunted through iCloud. A couple more appeared. Then I tried my external drive on which I’d gathered all my files from when I switched from a PC (I refused to begin to tackle Windows 10) back to Apple three years ago. Yes there were some more. Eventually I found all of them apart from one. After ages spent looking for it, I gave up and typed it in again.

And if I thought the hours I spent doing all that was bad, then the hunt for the photographs took even longer. The originals are kept willy-nilly and totally randomly in several boxes. When I started writing my articles, I would spend many a happy hour trawling through them looking for the best to go with the topic. I would scan them in and some I would even remember to save on the computer.


The photo boxes and albums

So yes, there were some in the file marked ‘Scottish Memories’, some in iPhotos, some in a file I had called ‘Images’, some in Photos, some in My Pictures…. yes, they were all over the place. And they all had to have the resolution reduced to a figure suitable for publishing in ebook and paperback form. And as for the ones I hadn’t bothered to save, it was back to rummaging through the boxes again.

All this has taken days, weeks even of disorganised searching and foraging, rootling and fossicking, mutterings about what I plan to do with it all in the future, and promises to do better.

Now I’ve got articles and photos together, I ‘only’ have to prepare it for printing and publishing.

And have I sorted everything into organised piles, files, boxes?


I guess I’m not as organised a person as I thought. And I don’t think I’ll change.


A Breath of FreshAyr

FreshAyr opened with a rollicking start last week aided and abetted by various members of Ayr Writers Club, Scottish Screenwriters and many friends and

There were readings and sketches, music and coffee and it all went down a treat. Even the sun shone to help it on its way.

Robert Singer, the powerhouse behind it all, is hoping to develop the area into a creative arts centre showcasing the work of local artists, musicians and writers.general view

Herborg Hansen, the project coordinator, commented that,

the event showed a lot of support from creatives and set an example of what can be achieved by collaborating in reviving Ayr’s culture and town centre.


Some of the actors in a sketch

FreshAyr is still in its very early stages and is run as a voluntary organisation. But we are expanding and recruiting and before long we hope be a charity organisation that turns café profits into creative action. But we depend on the collaboration from the community and urge people to get in touch regarding future exhibitions, performances or even if people want to get involved in supporting the project going forward.

janiceThere was a lot of enthusiasm and interest shown by the Saturday shoppers in the town who ventured in to see what was afoot.

I did a couple of sessions for kids, one a deliberately noisy session with Miss Hullaballoo  who insisted that everyone, including parents, join in a singalong of Rock-a-Bye-Baby and Sing  Song of Sixpence as loudly as they FreshAyr

For the grown-ups, among others, Jennifer read her award winning story, Magda, Carolyn read a monologue and I met Robert Burns in heaven in my piece. Martin Bone, Douglas Skelton and Gail McPartland read extracts from their recently published novels while other members read short stories and poems.

And we even sold quite a few books!20170805_123554

my booksFreshAyr’s Facebook page is here for further information on upcoming events.


FreshAyr on Saturday 5th August

Exciting things are happening in Ayr right now. Apart from the demolition of empty shops and offices to make way for a new development to enhance Ayr’s riverside, things are afoot in Newmarket Street.Write Around The Corner Outside(1)

Queen’s Court is being developed as a centre for the creative arts in Ayr. It will include a gallery, a meeting and performance room, a cafe and and a shop. And it all kicks off this Saturday!

Ayr Writers Club will be doing a series of readings and performances of their work throughout the afternoon and of course I’m involved.Write Around the Corner Programme Inside

There are four parts to it all. We start off at 1pm with children’s stories and activities, then at 2pm, it’s the turn of the fiction writers where all kinds of tales will be told, 4pm sees the non-fiction writers of memoir and biography taking the stage and at 5pm, fun will be had with live music, stand-up and comedy sketches.

We’ll also be selling our books so don’t miss it!

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