Annan Day Centre

Early in 2022 Stuart Paterson worked at Annan Day Centre as part of Autumn Voices Third Age Plus Pioneers, which you can read about here.

The Centre was delighted to welcome Stuart back in June and July 2022, when he ran informal writing workshops on the topics of wellbeing, health and community. Stuart commented, “the writing we came up with was and still is so very entertaining, insightful and unique, individually and group-wise”.

We are pleased to present a selection of their writing. 

Our thanks to the Centre’s Manager Emma Irving, all its helpful team of volunteers and to all those who joined in and shared their words and love of life with Stuart.

The Age of Long Days

Company Much Needed
When speaking to friends 
Keep the conversation light-hearted.
For example. Don’t say Doing Nowt, say Today.
I am relaxing and with the Greatest of Ease

If you think it seems as if we are
Living in the age of Long Days,
Do not complain, think about it,
That is what we want with 
Many more for years to come.

That is the good thing about
Transport There and Transport Back.
If you think you have over relaxed
Just remember there is
Another day not broken into.


The Day Centre

Ah get ma paper,
Sit here and read it
A cup o tea,
Get the dinner,
Then Ah dauner 
Back up the road hame.

Ah enjoy 
Ma cup o tea here
And a blether.
Whit mair can Ah ask fur?



I thank God every day,
I think myself lucky
To be able to do the things
I can do at my age.
To have the family that I have,
To have the family I’ve got,
It’s all about that for me, aye.

I wasn’t married but I’m
Blessed with a wonderful daughter,
Two granddaughters, 
Two great granddaughters
Two great grandsons.
My granddaughters take care of me,
Both are such good women.

I was brought up by my dad,
He was great for me
And my two brothers left at home.

I was more like a mum to my youngest brother,
He was 3 and I was 11 when mum left.
He never married, lived with me,
Aye I brought him through and am 
Just glad I had him as my brother.
Now he’s been gone a while
And I’m still here,
I’m lucky to have what and who 
I’ve had and still have 
In my life at my age.



Ah love ma gairden,
Look eftir ma flooers
And ma vegetable patch.

50 onions
A row o gairden peas
A row o beetroot
A row o turnips
A row o carrots
A row o tatties
50 red onions
A dozen roots o rhubarb.

When ma wife wis alive
She’d cook it aw
And pit it in the freezer,
Made jams and chutnies.

We grew and stored it aw
Cos that’s whit ye dae wi a gairden
Ye keep together.



An 81 years-old woman,
It’s her first Glastonbury,
There wi her family,
Sleeping under canvas. 
“Get yourself to Glastonbury,” she said
“You’ve never lived til you’ve been to Glastonbury!”

Ah would love tae go
If somebody would pick me up
And take me doon there,
Bring me back again.

Ah would go, aye.
Ah’m still young in the top storey.


The Hottest Day in Annan

It’s too bloody hot
We complain when it’s cold
An yer supposed tae get a new boiler
An then it disnae get put in!

Some folk love it,
I can’t cope with it,
My body’s not acclimatised to it,
It likes the Scottish weather and
We get four seasons in a day,
I never know which one is which
But I like them.

I can take it or leave it,
Too hot I’ll no gan oot in it,
Too cal I’ll no gan oot in it.

Hottest day on record?
Here’s a good word for it –

Brian, Ian, Joyce, Lilian


There are mazes where you go in
And get lost,
My age, your age,
All different age groups.
Life is like a maze
You don’t want to leave.

I’ve been to a maze many times,
You go round the corner,
Go round many times,
Come out,
Go in again,
Keep going.


Mental Health

There’s maybe snaw on the roof
But there’s still fire in the grate.



Geriatric food is runny mince,
You’re just wanting health but
I’m here for another day, thank goodness –
My health, my happiness
And finding the things that I can still do.

Making sure my clothing’s not inside out
Or back to front first thing in the morning,
That’s the challenge of the day.
Nice friends, good neighbours,
To mix with people of all ages,
Go out as much as I can and
Join in clubs, join in functions,
Always being amongst people,
Blethering, having a good 
And the very best of laughs.

Jeanette & Doris


Ah used tae milk the coos
But Ah never milked bi haun.
Ah couldnae get the
Milk oot them at aw.
The milk can wi the units,
The coo kicked oot and
Ma hand and its foot were stuck in the top.
Ma airm wis sair an it took Bill
Hauf an oor tae get them oot.

Mony a thing Ah had wi a coo,
Ah’ve been chased by a bull,
Ah’ve lambed lambs,
Ah’ve been hut on ma heid
Bi a horn and knocked oot,
Ah’ve been hut in the heid
Bi a Jacob’s tup, fower horns,
Its name fae the Bible, a rare breed.

We had goats as well,
Toganberg, a Siana cawed Annie
Wha had fower kids every time,
A Cashmere and an Angora.
He was beautiful,
His beard like the purest silk.



Ah used tae gather brambles tae make jam.
Ah’ve found a crab-apple tree 
That’s doon the Solway,
A place cawed Battle Hill
That used tae be a fishery.

At a certain time o the day
When the tide’s oot
Ye can walk across tae Bowness.
Ah wis born right on the Solway
At Dornock, lived there til Ah wis fower.
Ah walked the full length fae
Battle Hill tae Eastriggs
Afore the Covid, took ma grandkids
Tae show them the hoose where Ah wis born.

Ah used tae go tae the top o the hill
Wi ma buggy and then come doon,
There wis a dead steep bit,
And Ah’d go doon and see how far
Ah could get intae the watter
Which Ah did minny a time.

The Solway is ma community.
Things have chynged wi the tide comin in and oot.
Ah still remember those days
When Ah wis young and stupid.
Ma community,
Ma memory,
Baith still stay 
There and here.


Thank You

Ah heard a song on the radio,
A man sayin Thank You aw the time.

Ah listen tae aw
Different types o music
Ah love
Louis Armstrong,
Celine Dion
Paolo Nutini.

Ah listen tae the radio,
Ah turned ma channel aboot
An noo Ah listen tae Radio 4,
Intellectual, the things they talk aboot,
The music, The Archers,
Ah like takin part in
An listenin tae things
That become a part o me.



If ye dinnae ask
Ye dinnae get.

When ye become blind
You’ve to learn how
To use your tongue
And ask for help.

It’s the hardest thing tae say
Cos if ye dinnae ask
Nobody knows you’re blind.

Anne & Doris


The special “Being” 
Watched over me 
When I had an open-heart operation 
And made me “Well”. 
Therefore, my Wellbeing 
Comes from my very heart.


What We Want

We want to do something
Above and beyond coming here.
A group might like to go sailing,
Go away and do things
We enjoy, that are appropriate.
A proper trip,
See what everybody feels like,
On the day, what we all want.


The Wummin Gaun By On The Bike

Born and bred on The Rand in Eastriggs
On the 20th of August 1933
And Ah wis christened Jean.
Ma dad wisnae workin at the time,
He wis goin tae register me on at the Dole
And this wummin wis goin by on the bike.
Her name wis Doris and she said hello
Tae ma dad and he said Hello Doris.

When he came back he said
Ah’ve been tae register the wean at the dole as Doris
And his mither said
Ah thought she wis gonnae be cawed Jean eftir me?

Ma folks continued tae caw me Doris,
She jist happened tae be gaun by on the bike,
We’d no real connection wi her
An Eastriggs is much bigger noo.

Ma birth certificate says ‘Jean’
But Ah’ve been cawed Doris aw ma life
Cos o the wummin gaun by on the bike.


The Younger Folks’ Community

Youngsters are forever
On their mobile phones,
The world they’ve got to live in.

Not always really being together
Tends to be their community.

Donald, Vi


Community to me means
Human contact and voices
Because when you’re on your own
You think of and need interaction.

Ah do What’s App
Ah do Zoom calls and groups
To combat loneliness
Pleased to see and speak 
To somebody, anybody.

My window’s too high
I can’t see folk
I can only see 
The tops of trees.

I have to stand high 
To see if anybody’s going by
So for me to see them is to know
The world is moving.

Anne, Enola & Doris

2 thoughts on “Annan Day Centre”

  1. As I know from my own attempts this process of recollection is important in maintaining positivity in later life. Often events which might be accompanied by feelings of shame or discomfort turn out to be less toxic when you write about them. And good memories can be enjoyed even more when turned into a good poem or story

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