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 JOIN THE SHOW WITH MY GOOD WISHES. 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! Sweatin, 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 – Hellish!
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.
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.
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. Gadgetry, Electronics, Not always really being together Tends to be their community.
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