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New Words 2010

Review: Raspberry Ripple

Huntly Writers blend essences of Battlehill Wood with the secrets of Rizza's ice-cream


Wednesday 22 September 2010

Original listing

The Conservatory, Rizza's Ice Cream Factory, Huntly [Map]

Raspberry Ripple

L to R: Fiona Wilson, Maureen Ross, Haseley Hinton, Anne Rogers

Photo by Ruth Bean

The resounding thump of the drum nearly shot me out of my seat!

It was however a fitting wake up call to a dynamic evening ahead, my first experience of the Huntly Writers and this, their annual extravaganza, Raspberry Ripple.

Surrounded by temptations and colour in Rizza's Ice Cream Factory's foyer on Steven Road, Huntly, it was indeed an unlikely venue, reminiscent of the diverse theatrical abodes of the Edinburgh Festival.

Talent stacked up, one after the other (how has all this creativity passed me by I wonder, after more than three decades in the area?!), interspersed with musical interludes that in themselves, with poignant violin and guitar, inspired and evoked atmosphere.

The snows of last winter have left their mark on the group and its numerous repercussions are now indelibly immortalised by their pens. In the Cabrach Winter by Phyllis Goodall, and the highly evocative and humorous The Flood and the Sign by Linda Smith I was left with a creeping post autumn solstice dread of what is to come, all too soon. The Wreck of Evangeline by Anne Rogers was also suitably lowering to the spirits.

However, after some wonderful readings by all members of the group, Fiona Wilson's On being Sixty gave me hope for the future and Annie Lamb's The Hound's First Case took me back to childhood, Listen with Mother, and reminded me of the extraordinary diversity of literary talent in and around Huntly. Laugh we did with Margaret Grant and her tales of the octopus, and Anne Forbes ensured we kept focused on our historical roots with her piece on The Gordons and the Coat of Arms which is never a bad thing!

Initially sceptical I was quickly beguiled (this is after all, just Huntly!) as I was led from one gem to the next with ever greater enthusiasm till by the end I was as vocal as any in the chorus of Oh Huntly for me adapted and written by the Tin Hut Man (alias Fraser Wilson). I think I have found a new aspiration... to stand up there one day in the future and have the courage to read out MY work. Another long winter is just what I need... bring on the snow and the rain, just leave me my laptop please!

Lucy Aykroyd

Promoted by

Huntly Writers

Supported by

James Rizza & Sons Ltd.
North East Writers


Supported by Aberdeenshire Council

Vibrant Aberdeen

Aberdeen City Council

Bookfestival Scotland

Scottish Book Trust

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