Surely Not Already?

1 Sep 2012

GROWING older brings with it more than just creaking joints and a bus pass.

THE vague conviction that time is speeding up grows ever stronger as each year flashes past seemingly a notch or two faster than the one before, and units of time that once seemed interminable – days, weeks, months – become fleeting.

THE specific event that has driven me to these observations is the arrival in my inbox of a press release from Eden Court Theatre regarding their annual panto (I wasn’t there, but various characters from Mother Goose were apparently frolicking in the environs of the theatre last weekend – and they have the pictures to prove it).

Mother Goose and friends set the scene for this year's panto at Eden Court

Mother Goose and friends set the scene for this year's panto at Eden Court

Surely it can’t be anywhere close to that time again? We are still awaiting the arrival of summer (although for statistical purposes, the last week in August is officially the end of that elusive season), and here we are promoting the Christmas panto. I think I need to go and lie in a darkened room for a while – but the theatre’s panto has been one of their success stories, and will doubtless do well again this year.

A more in-depth look at the theme of ageing and creativity takes place in October with the Luminate festival. Anne Gallagher, the director of the festival on behalf of Creative Scotland, has been deeply impressed by her experiences as she travelled the country seeing the many diverse ways in which people have responded to age in their creative lives.

“People have shared their stories of how their creative lives have changed as they have aged, with many discovering or nurturing new talents, and others having their lives enriched by the opportunity to take part in a new activity. There is growing evidence of the importance of creative activities to our wellbeing as we age, and Luminate wants to shine a light on the many opportunities that are out there in Scotland.”

Luminate have re-launched their website with full details of the many events around the country running throughout October. At the same time, the Moray Feelgood Festival, a response to the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival 2012, will explore issues of mental health and well-being in a three-week event that opens on 1 October.

More immediately, the Blas Festival is about to hit stages across the Highlands this month, and it is good to be able to welcome an event that seemed in danger of succumbing to the current financial pressures besetting the arts and their funders. Long may it flourish.

The long awaited and often controversial Mareel venue in Shetland finally opened its doors last month with a couple of concerts from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, two years and many problems behind schedule, although no one bothered to let us know – the first I knew was when I heard it on the national news.

Given that Northings is not exactly a newcomer on the scene, it would have been nice to have at least a press release to run. From what I can gather these initial events are pretty much an easing in process, with a more formal grand opening to come later in the year. Now that it is up-and-running, we wish them well, and if they would like to let us know what they are doing, we’ll even give them a bit of free publicity.

Kenny Mathieson


© Kenny Mathieson, 2012