Balloch Open Mic – Vale Lad ‘Done Good’ – again
Paul Murdoch, a multi-talented but very modest man
I’ll mention a few of his talents on his behalf – writer of children’s/Y.A./Adult books. Singer, songwriter, musician (guitar, keyboard) wild-life photographer and writer, Pictures Screen Writer at SMA Talent.
The ‘Stop Press’ news is that Paul has been asked to play in a concert in Holland at the Patronaat, the biggest theatre in Haarlem. The working title is MACCA! It will celebrate McCartney’s 80th birthday in 2022. The event will take place on June 18th. Our Paul is just one of many, mostly Dutch musicians, who will play. He is on lead guitar but there will be brass, strings etc and lots of singers. At the moment, he’s doing a guide vocal for rehearsal purposes. The first physical get together, virus permitting, is in April/May 2021.
Paul Murdoch at Balloch Open Mic
On his visit to the Open Mic Paul gave us a flavour of his musical ability with the self-penned ‘Let Me Read Your Mind’ with guitar accompaniment. The song, ‘Golden Rust’ drew a few lumps to throats. I rather liked the third song, ‘Drivin’ Home, Never Fall Out’. Paul did comment that he enjoyed the opportunity to perform his own songs as many of his appearances involved ‘covers’.
The songs were interspaced with readings from his many books written for children or young adults. Paul travels the U.K., Europe and the world meeting children, getting them to talk about issues that concern them. His passion and enthusiasm were obvious.
The book ‘Sunny’ deals with sectarianism and racism and is now in the process of being adapted for a T.V. series. ‘The Egg Thief’ deals with environmental issues. ‘The Eden Seed’ draws on Paul’s pharmaceutical background and deals with the possibility of a ‘live forever’ seed. Stories of fleas, ticks and extinct moths caused lots of laughter. We won’t mention the Hunterian! The evening finished on a musical note with an acoustic version of ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
Paul’s slide show of ‘Balloch to Bali’ unfolds the story of how a publishing error led to Paul’s children’s books ‘Tiffy and Toffy’ not being pulped but sent to UNICEF and other charities and thence to several countries to be used in the teaching of English.
(Flickr user: afternoon, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Paul spent a month in Bali. Ah, exotic dancing, beautiful scenery, white, sandy beaches. Er, not exactly. More of a jungle with all the wildlife (especially the little kind!) that it entails. And that truly outside toilet which gave Paul the chance to admire the beauty of this natural world. The six schools who welcomed Paul were in villages close to/actually in the jungle. All the children were obviously thrilled to meet the author of their books but Paul also learned much from them. It was very much a two-way experience, educationally, musically and culturally. Despite the ‘hardships’ Paul felt the whole happening was worthwhile, turning what could have proved to be an expensive mistake into a positive.
Prior to Xmas Paul worked with the WDC and the NHS doing outdoor photography workshops with their Levengrove photography group. They produced a lovely Levengrove calendar and they will continue with creative writing workshops soon. He is now busy running 50 miles in January for Maggie’s Centres – They support families through cancer.
Old Bloke Goes Running
His latest book is ‘Old Bloke Goes Running’ which Paul describes as ‘A real tale of a guy in his fifties who got fit the easy way – run a bit… have fun a bit…’
It may at first be thought an irreverent look at ‘getting fit’. But on closer inspection it proves to be a valuable step by step approach to how anyone can achieve fitness without the rigours of the usual routines. Paul takes us through his own journey in very readable fashion. I loved the throwaway/tongue in cheek humour. Even the pictures are amusing, especially liked the woolly hat with built-in light. Humour pervades throughout, including amusing anecdotes such as the study of sports watches available. This is the lighter (no pun intended) of losing weight and getting fit.
But there is a serious side. Paul stresses the importance of ‘seeing’, being aware of traffic, conscious of hidden dangers. Preparation of clothes, basic equipment, checking with your doctor on personal medical conditions – all before a foot is pressed into your personal plan of action. Sound advice and inspirational despite the light-hearted approach. Paul makes it sound like fun as a whole new world opens up with a change of lifestyle but not on any drastic scale. Paul also addresses diet but is not precious about it. He still enjoys wine and beer and has a weekly treat – an Indian or Chinese take-away.
Not the strict undo-able some books suggest this just might inspire people to give it a go. And even if you not inspired you will enjoy the read. Trust me!
Paul, you’re not an ‘old bloke’ at all. You’re someone who’s having fun and living life. As your mum said, ‘You’re a long time deid.’
Old Bloke Goes Running’ by Paul Murdoch available on Amazon.co.uk, kindle edition £3.19, paperback £7.26,
Paul’s talents, accomplishments and projects are many. Author of children’s books, world-wide talks, workshops, author visits, health guru, lover of nature and an accomplished singer-song writer, Paul says he hasn’t decided yet what he wants to be when he grows up. Don’t grow up Paul. We like you just the way you are.
Check out Paul’s own website for all his books and music activities.
But there is a serious side. Paul stresses the importance of ‘seeing’, being aware of traffic, conscious of hidden dangers. Preparation of clothes, basic equipment, checking with your doctor on personal medical conditions – all before a foot is pressed into your personal plan of action.
Paul, you’re not an ‘old bloke’ at all. You’re someone who’s having fun and living life. As his mum said, ‘You’re a long time deid.’
‘Old Bloke Goes Running’ by Paul Murdoch available on Amazon.co.uk, kindle edition £3.19, paperback £7.26,
- The 2022 Booker Prize
- Lapidus Creative Writing with Lesley O’Brien
- Aye Write: Jenni Fagan with Claire Mitchell QC and Zoe Venditozzi Witches of Scotland Podcast
- Book Launch: The Pharmacist by Rachelle Atalla
- Modren Makars Launch Event
- Aye Write: Karen Campbell and Nataliya Deleva
- Book Launch: This Script by Jenny Lindsay
- Creative Conversations: Michael Pederson
- Aye Write: The Kavya Prize
- Aye Write: Graeme Thomson with John Dingwall
- Aye Write: Beyond the Swelkie
- CARLA Book Launch at tell it slant
- Glasgow Literary Lounge at the Scotia Bar
- All Becomes Art – Poems to Joan Eardley
- Aye Write 2022: Scotland’s future. Gerry Hassan, Joyce McMillan & Prof Tanja Bueltmann chaired by Simon Barrow
- Colonial Seeds / Seedy Social / Community Meal
- Aye Write: MORE FIYA: A Celebration of Black British Poetry with Kayo Chingonyi, Janette Ayachi and Dean Atta
- Aye Write 2022: Introducing Debut Authors
- Aye Write: Douglas Bruton introduces…Kenny Boyle, Claire Alexander, Adrian Keefe and Charlie Roy
- Aye Write: Karen Campbell Introduces… Kirsty Capes, Louise Nealon and Emily Edwards