Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Bairn Books

Jessie the Jumbo is available now online, free to download on Smashwords.Jessie the Jumbo is a selection of tales written originally in English for the hugely popular ‘Nickety Nackety’ children’s programme which was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland and produced by Frieda Morrison. It drew fan mail letters from children all over the UK, and quite a few adults too, lorry drivers and tractor men amongst them. The format was trialled in Edinburgh nursery settings by Frieda Morrison to assess the reaction from the intended audience. A cast of the finest actors and actresses in Scotland dramatized the stories and brought the scripts to life. The selection of tales in Jessie the Jumbo, drawn from the Nickety Nackety Collection are those written by Sheena Blackhall, and here reset in Scots. The book will be featured on Frieda Morrison was the first mentor of this much loved North East children’s writer, and commissioned her earliest children’s tales

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Poems: The Mongolian Spot

Title: The Mongolian Spot.Poems & in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall.Published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire.Printed by Thistle Reprographics,55 Holburn Street Aberdeen.Cost: £3.00.Copyright: S. Blackhall 2014 Cover: Mongolian Musician This is a file from the Wikipedia Commons. Information from its description page is shown here:Sambuugiin Pürevjav of Altai Khairkhan (an overtone singing ensemble from Mongolia) playing a morin khuur near Centre Georges Pompidou in 2005.Author : Eric PouhierDate : Octob. 2005 This book is dedicated to Philip & Vicki Watt,Fadlydyke Farm, New Deer. Some of these poems have previously been published on Other pieces will be published by Forward Poetry in May, 2014, in the following publications: Light up the Dark, Darkest before the Dawn, and Candlelit Thoughts. The extract ‘Fyvie’ was taken from a Doric play written by Les Wheeler and Sheena Blackhall. The poems Smack Heid Debbie and The Warld Accordin tae the Rev Angus Macstrewn were taken from a prizewinning play ‘Nichtshades’ also written by Blackhall & Wheeler. The Commonwealth was written as part of a project on the Aberdeen Reading Bus funded by Fairer Scotland. The Great Tapestry of Scotland was written to perform at an event in Aberdeen’s Tunnels, organized by the National Collective, (artists and creative for Scottish Independence). Several poems were inspired by works in the Scottish National Galleries of Scotland, one of which was short listed in the Inspired? Get Writing! 2014 competition. The House of the Russian Dolls was Blackhall’s response to the Scottish Book Trust’s general invitation for people to write a story about the meaning of home.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Poems: Hare's Foot: A Poet's Notebook

The Poems: Hare’s Foot: A Poet’s Notebook : Pamphlet no 99 Poems & Tales in Scots & English, printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen, Cost: £3.00 pub 2014. Some of the stories are Blackhall’s own versions of travellers’ tales learned from the late Stanley Robertson. Many of the ‘snippits’ of folk lore and UFO sightings were encountered by the poet whilst researching an upcoming book on urban myths and legends. Some inspired poems, others did not. Some of these poems are to be found on

The Poems: Pirrins and Magnus

The Poems: Pirrins and Magnus: Pamphlet no 98: Poems & Tales in Scots & English, Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen, Cost: £3.00 pub 2014. All of Blackhall’s poems in Scots and English, are now uploaded on The first section of these poems was inspired by material from the Terezin (Theresienstadt), concentration camp. About 5,000 drawings survived, created by the 15,000 children who passed through there to the death camps, most dying in Auschwitz in the Summer-Autumn of 1944. The drawings feature in the book of Jewish Art Treasures from Prague:The State Jewish Museum in Prague and its collections, Lund Humphries, (London) in Association with the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester. Edited, with a foreword by Professor C.R. Dodwell, LittD FBA. Some of these poems have been, or are about to be, published in the following: Ever Watchful: Forward Poetry, Vice Verses ( Jan 2014). There is Another Xmas, Malfranteaux Concepts, Christmas (1913). Highland Cow was broadcast on Mooney Goes Wild, Raidió Teilifís Éireann,. The tale Hide an Seek was published in the Autumn issue of Northwords

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Stories: Aberdeenshire Folk Tales

Aberdeenshire Folk Tales By Grace Banks & Sheena Blackhall, Pub by The History Press, 2013 ISBN: 9780752497587. The folklore of the North East provides a rich tapestry for the tales within; from Celtic and Pictish origins meet witches, selkies, smugglers, fairies, monsters, despicable rogues, riddles and heroes. Tragic events, spellbinding characters, humour, romance and clever minds are bound together by two well-established storytellers living and working in the city and shire of Aberdeen. Some of the tales in this collection are based on historical fact while others are embedded in myth and legend. All the stories are set against the backdrop of this lovely and varied landscape. Sheena and Grace have both been inspired in their storytelling and singing by the traveller, raconteur and balladeer, Stanley Robertson. - See more at:

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Poems: Shards

Title: Shards. Poems & Tales in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire.Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. Cover: Based on The Door to Freedom by Rene Magritte, 1936. Cost: £3.00.Copyright: S. Blackhall 2013. For more information on other publications by Sheena Blackhall, visit or the on-line catalogue of the National Library of Scotland Some of these poems have previously been published on ‘They Feared’ will appear in November published by Rain Poetry Books (Keith Murray). ‘A Royal Baby’ will feature in New Beginnings by Forward Poetry, 2014. ‘A Young Iguana’ will be published in Animal Antics by Forward Poetry 2014. ‘The Inconstant Lover’ will appear in Poetry Obsessions by Forward Poetry, also in 2014. ‘Screivin in Scots’ will be published in Lallans 83. ‘The Wall’ was the winning entry announced at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival in Glasgow on 19th October2013. (Bipolar Scotland ran a short story competition on the theme of ‘First Love.’) ‘Chardonnay’ and ‘The Rowie Song’ were specially written as performance pieces to celebrate Aberdeen Arts Centre 50th anniversary in October 2013, at a civic reception in Aberdeen’s Town House. ‘The Yowes an the Tortoises’ is a Scots owersett of a traditional Nigerian tale told by a parent on an Aberdeen Reading Bus Project. The current project, Global Blethers, is funded by the Fairer Scotland Fund.

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Poems: The Aye-Aye

Title: The Aye-Aye, Poems in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall.Published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire. Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen.Cover:Aye-Aye (from the www).Cost: £3.00.Copyright: S. Blackhall 2013.The first poems in this pamphlet were written in response to mysterious paper sculptures appearing in Scotland: Catriona Low, publisher of Severin Books, is constantly on their trail. This pamphlet is dedicated to her for alerting me to each new discovery. Most of the poems were written during the summer of 2013, during stays on Jersey and St Malo. The Dream o the Restless Bairnickie is published in ‘Pushing Out the Boat, Issue 12’. Thank You Spring will feature in ‘Spirit of Spring’, a Forward Press Anthology due out in October. Memorial Day & Birthday are due to appear in ‘Shadows’, a Malfranteaux Concepts publication compiled by Keith Murray. A Puckle Doric Wirds I like and Fitbaa were written for inclusion in a forthcoming anthology compiled by Mark Pithie for a 2013 Doric Festival event. The Japanese tanka owersetts appeared in Southlight magazine. Thanks are due to Les Wheeler for his continued encouragement and support in agreeing to publish this little pamphlet. Re. The Cro-Magnon Poem My half brother, Charles Middleton Ritchie, died in Canada within a year or so of our first meeting. My younger brother, Ian Middleton, predeceased him. A woman can only access paternal DNA via a close male relative and I was delighted that my nephew Scott Ritchie, in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, agreed to submit a sample for analysis. The result was as follows:
The male line of our family DNA carries the mutation M343. The paternal haplotype is R1b. Haplogroup R is thought to have appeared some 30,000 years ago in Central Asia and is widely spread all over the world. The mutation M343 is linked to one of the subclades of Haplogroup R called R1b which is thought to have been part of the recolonisation of Europe following the Last Glacial Maximum. The R1b expansion was closely linked to the spreading of the Indo-European languages. This makes us direct descendants of the Cro Magnon people, the modern humans who painted the "Lascaux Cave" in Dordogne in the South of France. These paintings can be regarded both as a testimony of the artistic skills of our ancestors but also as a sketch book of their life during the last glacial age. R1b can be found in more than 80% of the population in England, France and Spain. In western Ireland, R1b is found in nearly 100% of the population.

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Poems: Goosebumps for Beginners

Goosebumps for Beginners:Poems & tales in Scots & Sheena Blackhall Published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen Cost: £3.00Cover: Image of Geese ( in the Public Domain) by Tom Kelly, US Fish and Wildlife Service Copyright: S. Blackhall 201 3For more information on other publications by Sheena Blackhall, visit or the on-line catalogue of the National Library of Scotland The Trouble with War has been selected for publication in The World at War- Poems from the Battlefield in September 2013 (Forward Poetry). Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Mother has been selected for publication by Forward Poetry in the anthology A Mother to Me, due for publication in September 2013 Valentine Card has been accepted for publication by Forward Poetry in the Anthology Endless Love- Heart’s Desire, due out Sept 2013. A Day to Remember has been accepted for publication in ‘A Day in Time’, Forward Poetry, due out in September 2013.
Most of these poems were written in June (22nd-28th) 2013 on retreat at Dhanakosa, Balquhidder. The English poems will eventually be published on Thanks are due to Les Wheeler for his continued encouragement and support in agreeing to publish this little pamphlet.