The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly.

Another fantastic day! Got back to the hotel buzzing! A BIG, BIG thank you yet again to the DYNAMIC DUO that is Beth and Antonia!


Spent the morning with the rather brilliant P4 and P5 at Todholm Primary. I was given an incredible reception from Mrs Bell, clearly a woman who adores poetry, and she even did a curtsey for me in the reception area! For our kenning at the end of the session, we did a shark, and there were some great lines. One very clever one was from Jordan who called a shark an under-taker. Wow! That’s clever!

But we also had ‘feisty-fella’! Now there’s an understatement! Good stuff. I have to say the teachers read beautifully too in the World of Weird.

A real treat was being invited to Mrs Bell’s class afterwards to hear their ‘Conga Poem’ – in which every child had contributed a line (what a stunning idea!) – singing the praises of Scotland. The children read so well – I loved it. This was a really special moment for me. I love reading poems, but it’s equally lovely being read to. Here are just a few extracts of the poem…

‘Will Ye No Come Tae Scotland?’

Scotland has a lot of famous food like haggis mince and potatoes.

There is a lot of famous stuff in Scotland like sport, language, weather, music and animals.

Robert Burns is a national poet and songwriter, he wrote A Man’s A Man.

Scotland is famous for its mist.

Scotland is a beautiful land, why don’t you come sometime?

Good luck with your future poems, guys! A huge thank you to Daryl in Mrs Bell’s class who very kindly said I was the best poet ever!


And a massive thank you to P4 – P7 at the wonderful St Mary’s in Paisley. I had such a great time with them. We did the first elephant kenning I’ve ever done. It had some really great lines too … ‘shower-giver’, ‘rodent-hater’, ‘colossal creature’. My favourite part was the extended Q&A at the end. Wow – they had a lot of really good questions, and I didn’t even get to answer all of them! I was very impressed when one P7 boy asked me what my favourite Shakespeare poem is (no-one has ever asked me that before!), to which I responded Sonnet 18! ‘Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?’ Others asked my favourite poem I’ve ever written (Love You More – it’s for my wife and it’s on my website); how long it takes to write a poetry collection (five years); my favourite book I’ve ever done (collection – Journey To The Centre Of My Brain anthology – Orange Silver Sausage, teachers’ book – Just Imagine); my favourite poet (children’s poet – John Agard and Lilian Moore, adult poet – Billy Collins and Mary Oliver); which book has sold best ( ‘Time-Travelling Underpants’ – I’m sure it’s because it has ‘pants’ in the title!). And I have to say that there are some amazing air guitarists in P4 and P5. I think they must have been practicing! Big thanks to Mrs Mothersole and to everyone at St. Mary’s.

# # #

After St. Mary’s we made an unscheduled stop back at yesterday afternoon’s school, Braidbar Primary as Beth had managed to misplace the super important Touring Tupperware. We were greeted by the wonderful Mrs. McCowan who told us that her class had been writing poems overnight for James. They were all brilliant I thought I’d share a little snippet of Angus and Sadie’s ‘World of Wonder’

‘In the world of wonder

The gardens are lush and the grass is pure

The nicest place you’ve ever been

The birds flew and the trees grew

And in the night they’ll have a conker fight

Or catch a falling star or two

A rabbit a deer, a snail and a lamb

If you go near please stay calm

Because they will not harm you not even a bit

Not a punch or a kick or a hit.’

No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.