The only worthwhile legacy? Memories…….

August 6, 2010

If “The Knitter” is about one thing above everything else crammed in there, it’s about memories. What they are, how important they are, how they can play tricks on us, but most of all how in the end they are what define us all and how much our lives were really worth.
More important than our [...]

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The Knitter, Doctor Who and the X-Factor.

July 14, 2010

A fair amount of The Knitter is set around a small area of West Lothian that just happened to sit on some enormous coal seams. I’ve talked a lot in the book, and in previous blogs, about the talent that has been produced, and gone largely unnoticed, from among the coal miners – including my [...]

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The Knitter, Music …… and Glastonbury Moments.

May 23, 2010

Music features in so many ways in The Knitter, as it has done throughout my life. My dad playing his accordion or mouth organ was a constant memory growing up; singing at parties; singing in Church; gyrating to Tamla Motown songs at the dancing on a Saturday night; even the way memories of music plays [...]

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Miners and Poetry

May 3, 2010

As readers of “The Knitter”, and anyone who has browsed through this site will know, my father wrote many poems throughout his life, most written while working in the coal mines. Chatting to people since the book was published, and questions I’ve been asked at readings has shown the shock most people not from that background [...]

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The first reading and talk at a Junior School

April 1, 2010

I had always planned to arrange readings or talks at local schools – but hadn’t found the time. At least not until after my young nephew Jack took a copy of “The Knitter” into his junior school and suggested to his teacher that I could come along and give a talk during their “book week”. [...]

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From Schools to Mining Museums – Readings and Talks

March 14, 2010

It’s been a good first couple of months since The Knitter was published. Frustrating because working full time and trying to sell a book don’t sit well together. I’ll have to work on that one! Really motivating and gratifying at the same time, after some really positive early feedback. It really is an incredible feeling [...]

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“We Didna Forget”….or did we?

February 17, 2010

“But glad tho’ we be tae show them oor thanks,
when we’ll talk nae mair aboot guns, ships or tanks.
there’re some puir bit laddies we maun keep in min’
They’re lying sae faur,  sae faur frae their kin’.
So mind a wee  prayer, it’s no much tae ask
It’ll help the puir laddies tae finish their task.
They died for [...]

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Where have all the “Tossing Schools” gone?.

February 13, 2010

Gambling among working class people takes many forms,  and the type of game favoured says a lot about the people, the culture and the times. For central Scotland, betting “on the horses” has always been a staple, as it is in many parts of the UK.  To a lot of people though, placing what to [...]

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The Launch of The Knitter.

January 31, 2010
It’s been a long time coming, but The Knitter has finally hit the shelves, e-bookstores and will soon be coming to a reading near you! For all of you getting this email who have already been hit by some other communication, or might even have already bought a copy – apologies if you feel like you [...]

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How can a 16 line poem “The Knitter” lead to a 330 page book?

January 28, 2010

The Knitter
Three nights it came in sleep, that vision clear
Three nights!, each ticking second seemed a year.
Three nights as she with silent needles plied
And wove a shapeless garment, rainbow pied.
“What knittest thou?”, but she, unheeding, heard
Nor lifted eye intent on ghostly cord.
Again, “What knittest?” as the words arose
On ashen lips, in fear the question froze.
Mine [...]

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