Caught by the River


27th February 2010

Grace Maxwell is the partner of songwriter/musician, Edwyn Collins. Together they have a teenage son, William. In February 2005 Edwyn suffered two brain hemorrhages. He then went on to contract the MRSA bug whilst recovering in hospital. He was lucky to survive but everything changed.
This is the story of them rebuilding their lives. It is frank, honest, angry and at times, very, very funny. It was published in hardback last June and is out in paperback (with a brand new cover) next week.

The publisher, Ebury, has given us two copies to put up as competition prizes. To make the prize even better, Edwyn and Grace will sign and dedicate the winners copy. To be in with a chance of winning one this is what you need to do;

1/ be a Caught by the River member. If you aren’t already, all you have to do is put your e mail address in the box at the top of this page. Don’t worry we won’t abuse it.
2/ answer the following question correctly; In the 1970’s and ’80’s, Edwyn was in a group called Orange Juice. What was the name of their first record label?
3/ send you answer to

The competition closes at midnight on Tuesday, March the 2nd. The first two correct answers pulled out of the keep net are the lucky ones.

I’ll leave you with something that Grace wrote for us back in September 2007. It ran under the heading ‘To Fish the Burns’ alongside a short piece from Edwyn. We later published both of them in our book ‘A Collection of Words on Water’

To Fish the Burns.

Edwyn’s grandfather taught me to fish too on my first visit to Helmsdale in 1985. Not on the Helmsdale of course, that’s for the super toffs. Prince Charles comes up most years. Although his grandfather was an expert salmon fisher himself, he preferred the burns that come tumbling down the craggy hillsides and down in to the river. Rough stuff indeed. I spend more time on my arse in the burns than anything else. Edwyn’s description is perfect. It’s not proper fishing. It’s a bit mental really. It’s just rocks and really steep sides and getting your hook snagged in the gorse and the alders and getting eaten alive by the midges. The trout taste great though. I’m better at getting them than Edwyn because I have more patience and also obey the grandfather rules to the letter.

One day when he was little Edwyn and his sister were walking up the Strath with their grandpa and an old tweedy toff was fishing the river with his ghillie. He’s got a salmon on the line and grandpa’s going “Oh dear he’s an old man. He’s struggling, look. He’s too old, you see. He’s handing it over…..” and on and on. They run into him later on and he says to grandpa, “I did so enjoy your running commentary. Would you care for a fish?” And proceeds to show off his enormous haul in the back of the car!