Nourish is a lovely word.

So is puddock.

I recently had the pleasure of being at Nourish’s conference in Glasgow. Nourish is about forming connections. Between people and the food they eat. Consumers and producers. Local and international. Worthy and tasty stuff. I had hunners of hummus and sourdough bread. We have become increasingly alienated from our food – despite its dizzying availability. The theologian William T. Cavanaugh talks about how we get materialism wrong when we think of it is as being the love of things. Materialism is more accurately a hating of things – never being satisfied with what we have but with what we could have. Materialism is about hunger, not being fed.

We need to rediscover and re-appreciate our food. Organic has become a seven letter word. Something elitist when really it shouldn’t be. We should reclaim ‘organic’ for everyone and do our best to promote food security, stability and creativity.

We may all eat food but food is not all that feeds us.

We need stories. Better stories about our food and where it comes from. We need to see the stories

because good stories always win.

I am an Apprentice Storyteller with the Scottish Storytelling Centre and I was delighted to take part in a recent showcase of Apprentices last night. It was fantastic to share a stage with such a fantastic and diverse range of storytellers who each take the concept running in a different direction. We are hugely grateful to the wonderful Janis MacKay for being our mentor and giving us this opportunity.

Yesterday was the birthday of the late George Mackay Brown, the mesmerising Orcadian storyteller, poet and journalist. Part of the centre is dedicated to Brown but I knew little about him until recently when, discovering I would be performing on his birthday, I sought out some of his books. He wrote in such a clear, compelling, humane way. It was an honour to take the stage as a young buck in a long tradition on such an auspicious occasion. David Campbell – our esteemed elder of stories last night recited the fantastic poem ‘Beachcomber’ by Brown which you can read here.

Nourishing stuff indeed.

And as for puddock. Well Lynsey, a fantastic fellow storyteller, told a charming tale last night that featured puddocks prominently. A puddock is Scots for a frog. There is so much more in the word puddock than there is in the word frog. A puddock looks more like a puddock than it does a frog.

Likewise there is so much more in the word ‘nourish’ than there is in the word ‘feed.’

Let’s not just feed ourselves.

Let’s nourish ourselves.


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