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Friday, 29 February 2008


Windy today but not as bad (yet) as was forecast. However I cancelled my night out on the town tonight in case the weather worsened and I couldn’t get home over the weekend.

There is a “Foy” scheduled for tonight in Stromness. Not sure where the name “Foy” comes from (maybe a Norse word?), but here it is the name given to an evening where local writers read their prose or poetry, together with contributions from musicians. The local Arts Society usually organise the events and there is generally an opportunity to talk to the performers afterwards as well as catch up with friends.

However for me to be able to attend evening events I have to make arrangements to stay over on the Orkney Mainland as our last ferry home in the winter is 5.45pm! Fortunately I have several friends who don’t mind giving me a bed for the night. But as I say the weather forecast is such I wasn’t sure if I could get home over the weekend so I shall just stay snug on Graemsay instead.

We only have ferries alternate weekends in the Winter so it does curtail jaunts off the island. Next week I was hoping to attend a book launch but we don’t have a boat that weekend so will miss out on that. A local writer, Pam Bessant, has just had a book of poems published (“Running with a Snow Leopard” published by Two Ravens Press). I’ve been to several evenings where she has read some of her poetry and I find it really resonates with me. She writes on a range of subjects, including Orkney and the landscape. But she also writes about being a mother and watching her children grow up, and I heard her read a very witty and cheeky poem about The Devil in a Singles Bar”, which is one of a group of poems on a theme that are still “work in progress”.

Stromness is quite a literary town, where a number of writers choosing to live, and so there are often evenings with local writers reading extracts from their work. We also get visits from Scottish writers who work with the schools as well as give readings in a local pub – they are my favourite as the room used has a lovely open fire, and the audience can take their drinks and listen by the light of the fire to wonderful stories. I just love being read to, I can just relax and give myself up to the magic being woven by the Storyteller.

Ah well, no storytelling for me this weekend. I shall content myself with the printed word instead and wait for the Spring when I can hopefully expect weather to be better for jaunts “abroad”.

1 comment:

  1. "Foy" - what a lovely word. Obviously all of us who do any writing at all have a love of words. Today's entry made me think of my cousin, Sue Wheeler, also an island dweller. Sue is a poet and lives on Lasqueti Island in the Straits of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the mainland of Canada. Here is a link to a lovely essay, with some embedded links to some of her poetry.

    This might give you something to read this weekend.