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Poetry Picnic at Culzean Castle, Sunday 29th May 2011

The readers…Rowena M Love, Sheila Templeton, Catherine Czerkawska, Alison Craig.

When we first published our poetry collections as the Makar Press in 2004, we had the bright idea….I think it was yours, Rowena?…of offering a Poetry Picnic at Culzean Castle as part of the Burns Festival. This was such a success, it’s been repeated every year since then.

We gather in the Walled Garden; people spread their tartan travelling rugs, get out their picnic hampers, loll about on the soft grass under a baking hot sun, cloudless blue skies…and listen to great poetry!

Well that’s more or less how it has been. Maybe I’ve got a tad carried away about the ‘baking hot sun’, but that’s truly the only exaggeration!

This time, though, the weather refused to play nice. Gales, driving rain, soaking grass meant that we had to do our reading in the Auditorium, a lovely lecture space in the Visitor Centre.

We were disappointed that our usual alfesco ambiance had been snatched away. But, the compensation was…the Auditorium turned out to be a really terrific space to read in. Fabulous acoustics. So we soon perked up. And our audience expanded from only 3 people…to over 30, by the end of the reading. What a great bunch of poetry fans! The warm response was exactly what was needed. We were so delighted, we gave them an extra 20 minutes.

It was great seeing some new faces…and also welcoming old friends. Thank you very much all of you from the club, who came along to support.

When we came out into the day light at 2.30pm, we found the skies had cleared, it was a beautiful afternoon. The courtyard tearoom beckoned!

So there we were, maybe 15 of us, (counting babies and children), lolling about, in the sunshine, sharing goodies, laughing a lot, drinking enough bought coffee to justify sharing the contents of the never ending hamper produced by Helena and Lesley!

Honestly, it was like the magic porridge pot! just when we thought every scrap had been consumed, Lesley produced the most gooey-yummy caramel and cream confection WITH NO CALORIES. Listen, who am I to contradict a clearly scientific pronouncement with the weight of knowledge behind it?

Another magic Culzean Castle Poetry Picnic!

Sheila Templeton 30th May 2011

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