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My family and friends are not in the least surprised that I enjoy performing on the open mic and one of my regular gigs is with a group called Hotchpotch in the city of many discoveries. On leaving teaching I missed my audience and doing poems and stories on an open mic fills part of the gap. So far no one’s thrown anything other than looks! Whereas with some audiences of half man half duvet/half woman half nails teenagers teachers would experience the phenomenon known as consumer resistance! None of that at Hotchpotch though people do consume heavy duty Colombian coffee and alcohol!

It’s a very inclusive group in that we don’t edit much other than on a time basis for each individual contribution. One person’s meat is another’s poison and all that. People are trusted to be challenging thoughtful and creative but not offensive. Participants can listen without performing if they wish although the reverse of performing without listening is considered rude. I’ve never seen anybody do it.

We used to meet in the basement of Brae’s Bar on the Perth Road but then they upped the rent. Our next berth was the Cafe Borsa in Meadowside. The building Dundee’s former Chamber of Commerce is also the city’s ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ but that’s too much information. Though it is appropriately only yards from the statue of Rabbie Burns in Albert Square. Cafe Borsa closed to make way for a brew dog pub and so now we have a new berth in the Burgh Coffee House over on Commercial Street. Now I won’t make next week’s meet as she and me are awaiting the arrival of our first grandchild! But do check out Hotchpotch Dundee on social media and if you’re ever in town pop along! You’ll be made welcome.

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