It’s all about the Connections

Since I returned from Malaysia and a successful ERS training I have been kept very busy with work and play. April began with a trip to Hebden Bridge to see my friend Angus and celebrate his 50th birthday. We had a ball over 3 days and lots of deep connections were deepened. I returned to Wiston to deliver a week long Creative Arts program, the first time we had offered this and so it was a marker along the road of Creative Arts development which I am overseeing here. Each day we visited a different story from a continent, covering Africa, Asia, America and Europe and using these as inspiration created our own dramatic productions for performance at the days end.

The week was fabulous and I got to work with some very creative volunteers: Mhari, Johnny, Skye and Deborah and also had the chance to work alongside my daughter Bethan Dear for two days. All in all the week was amazing, the kids and fun and so did we. Roll on next year.

I left the creative arts week behind and headed for Newcastle to run a Rhythms of the World weekend, hosted by my mate Simon Wood. We had a wonderful two days of rhythm and song and a couple of beers along the way too 😉 The only downside to the weekend was seeing Utd beat City in the Derby 🙁

We rounded off a wonderful two days of music making by going to see Thomas Truax perform at the Mining Institute in Newcastle, a wonderful old library room. The performance was extraordinary and I would highly recommend seeing Thomas. Here’s a wee clip of him doing his thing.

From Newcastle I headed South towards Hull and a meet up with Donna Marie Smith. Donna is a recent graduate of the Arthur Hull drum circle training we hold here at Wiston and my newest Mentee. She has set up a project called Humber Circles and is in the midst of a facilitation marathon of 20 consecutive weeks, along with her regular work in community music and performing with Althea Sound. I was there to critique Donna, to watch her work and offer feedback and support. She did an amazing job and the Hull Drum Circle community is in very good and caring hands. Pre drum circle work we had a day to kick back a little and play some guitar. Donna records everything and so we ended up with a jam session on tape so to speak. She was very complimentary about my voice and encouraged me to own it.

Here are the songs we recorded.

I arrived back from Hull inspired to play my Guitar daily and practice singing ( so far so good…1 week later)I arrived in Glasgow in time to run a ROTW class which was giggleicious.

No time for any rest and The Wee Drum Gathering was upon me. Another spectacular weekend of creativity, music, song, improvisation and fun,fun,fun. Check out this BlOG with photos and words about the weekend.

A couple of quieter days here in the sunshine at Wiston to catch up on emails, paperwork and meet up with Meg from Tinto Music and Arts to plan our upcoming events. This Friday morning see’s me hop on a short flight to Dublin to facilitate a drum circle at Sinead’s Big Day and catch up with some of the Irish drum community.

Gratitude has been a big word for me this year. My daughter recently gifted me two Indian bells joined by a wee rope to ding 3 times every morning in Gratitude.

They are being dinged.

Every Day.

Looking forward to the road ahead with a Mindfulness Retreat here at Wiston, Drum Trek, The Iona Drum Gathering and another Drum Circle Training with Arthur Hull.


Hope to meet you on the road ahead.


Paul xxx