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Elmlea Schools Final Mar2010
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Elmlea Schools Final Mar2010

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First talk given to a school on the story of what led to the book "The Knitter".

First talk given to a school on the story of what led to the book "The Knitter".


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  • 1. Visit to Elmlea Junior School – 30 th March 2010 How a 16 line poem became a 330 page book
  • 2. “ She with some infernal magic rife, Entwined her needles with my passing life.” From the poem “The Knitter” By John Mallaghan (Snr.) What I Hope to do … .All in 45 minutes!
    • Tell some interesting stories
    • Talk about my book “The Knitter” and what inspired it
    • – and read some short extracts
    • Convince you that poems can be the most powerful way
    • to tell stories, share memories – and preserve them.
    • Inspire some of you to want to write!
  • 3. The Author….a few years ago!
  • 4. My Father in the Home Guard, World War 2
  • 5. Germany invades Poland on Sep 1 Britain declares war on Sep 3
  • 6. My dad playing some music to my son and daughter (around 1985)
  • 7. "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."  Mahatma Gandhi
  • 8. “ She with some infernal magic rife, Entwined her needles with my passing life.” From the poem “The Knitter” By John Mallaghan (Snr.) What the poem “The Knitter” means to me:
    • The importance of memories, and keeping them alive.
    • The importance of families, and others close to us, to help us make sense of our own lives
    • Knitting as a great metaphor for life:
      • Starting out from a very simple beginning, where everything looks almost the same.
      • Full of potential, impossible to tell what it might turn into.
      • With the right help and simple actions, the simple beginning can turn into something complex and beautiful
  • 9. “ The Knitter” herself – my mum Finally gets into her local newspaper at 96 years old!
  • 10. “ The Chapper-Up ” “ Should you lie a wee while before rising Tae jump right away you are loth The pow’r o’ his lungs is surprising And the whole villages kens yer sloth”
  • 11. “ Wee Ann’s Fairies” “ Down the chimney, ‘ neath the door through the keyhole more and more”
  • 12. Visit to Elmlea Junior School – 30 th March 2010 A Few Final Thoughts
    • Don’t judge people from appearances
    • Everyone, and every family has stories to tell
    • – discover them and keep the memories alive.
    • If you have a story to tell – don’t wait for someone else to tell it!
    Write that book or those poems yourself!
  • 13. “ L earn as if you were to live forever.”  Mahatma Gandhi Visiting 10 Downing Street in 1931 A Final Thought From Mahatma Gandhi