Bus continues on its journey of lowlands language

15th May 2009 at 01:00
The driver of Aberdeen's Reading Bus has become a published poet

The bus went on the road nearly three years ago, to improve family literacy, with a focus on schools and communities in the city's more deprived areas.

A 40-year-old father of three, Norman Innes has been surrounded by books, authors, poets and children, since he started driving the city's most colourful bus. He is a keen reader but decided he would have a bash at writing one day and came up with a short verse in Doric - Kittlins.

Reading Bus co-ordinator Jenny Watson was delighted at the result, which is included in an illustrated anthology for young children, Nae Bad Ava!, launched yesterday at the Word Festival in Aberdeen.

Norman was waiting to pick up Doric poet Sheena Blackhall when he penned his effort: "It just came into my head and I thought, `I'm going to write that down'", he says.

Ms Blackhall then helped him translate one or two words into Doric. "When Jenny phoned and told me they were putting it in, I thought, `Brilliant!'" says Norman.

His wife Mandy only learned of his poetry when it was displayed at an exhibition about the Reading Bus at the Scottish Parliament.

"I'll try writing one or two more and see what they're like," he says.

The new volume Nae Bad Ava! follows the children's anthology Fit Like, Yer Majesty? which has sold more than 10,000 copies since it's publication last September.


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