Many years ago, when I became employed as the Glengyle shepherd, my new shepherding colleagues and neighbours in the glen were only too keen to start telling me stories about the history, wildlife, folklore and legends of my new home. After all, for the next 25 years I would be soundly sleeping in the actual house of Rob Roy MacGregor, freedom fighter and outlaw.
With 850 blackface ewes, grazing over four-square miles of Scottish mountain, I found myself moving daily amongst my flock, stepping carefully through the shadows of history, all the while being surrounded by Highland wildlife. A 2,000ft climb to my top ground could be well rewarded by the most amazing views, taking in 13 counties on a clear day.
Throughout history, long before schools and formal education, it would have been generations of storytellers who passed on all knowledge and information. Stories were also used to explain things that were otherwise quite inexplicable and, of course, as cautionary tales for unwary children. Storytelling is very much alive and well in Scotland. I am just one of them.
Tall tales for everyone
Storytelling for schools & clubs, guided walks and ghost tours
John is very much in demand for storytelling events in schools and nurseries – often working with teachers to link with current topics or book week. Halloween, of course, is prime season for ghost stories and spooky walks. Storytelling is also becoming very popular at weddings, particularly those taking place in castles or other historic venues.
Talks for all
Commentator for Highland Games, tour guide for coach parties & cruises and an after dinner speaker
Regular commentator at Stirling Highland Games, as well as others: the most recent being Blackford Highland Games. John has an extensive personal contact list throughout Scotland and has arranged numerous guided bus tours for home grown and foreign visitors alike. These have been tailored to suit: some preferring distilleries and others history. As an after-dinner speaker, John is highly entertaining over a wide variety of topics. He has in the past been engaged as a motivational speaker for the Scottish International Rugby Team.
ILearn about your favourite tipple, be it Whisky, Wine or Gin
As well as weekly whisky, wine and gin tastings at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa, there is also a lot of demand for tastings at conferences, weddings, Burns suppers and other special events such as St. Andrew’s Day.