Johnny ‘Caledonian Cowboy’ Gauld rode into town last night to lambaste the GWC with his unique mix of poetry, piping and rambunctious banter. In light of the social nature of the evening we had all relocated to the bar area in Ardgowan and thanks to a free bar, courtesy of GWC’s coffers, were all settling in nicely when the evenings entertainment began.

And it did all begin with a bang, as Johnny did not so much recite his poetry but acted it out, striding up and down between the tables engaging one and all with his rich Scots dialect and ribald humour. Johnny is above all else a natural raconteur and he regaled us all with the tales of his life adventures and the stories and poems they inspired. Having gone walkabout in Scotland, Johnny tried creel fishing in the North sea, weaving Harris tweed and even worked in a distillery (ah the sacrifices writers make for their art) all resulting in his book Gaun a Daun’er’. Later he expanded his travels to the rest of the world resulting in another book jam packed with stories and poems ‘ Fae Scotland Tae the World’. Whether writing about scabbie dogs or scary weddings or just the funniness of farting, the Caledonian Cowbaoy has a unique and infections style about his writing that certainly entertained us all.

I do admit to skulking towards the back of the room when Mr Gauld took the dead cat out of the box and I confess to a certain apprehension when he began inflating it under his armpit. However the resulting tunes were played with great dexterity and demonstrated a mastery of his instrument that had everyone’s toes tapping.

The evening ended with a question and answer session. A researcher, writer, recitalist and promoter, Johnny certainly has the four ‘R’s covered. OK maybe not four but at least three at a push. He is certainly an inspiration for ALL would be writers out there. The DIY option is open to us all. And above all the most important thing is… ‘TO KEEP WRITING!’

Next week we have another guest speaker Robert Hamilton on the subject of Martin Luther King Jr.

Onwards and Upwards.