Skyscrapers and String

Washed out…

So here I am, up and dressed with no place to go because I’m sweating and taking antibiotics for a ghastly infection.

It’s one of those medieval lurgies where you become feverish and almost out of body experience-like. If that’s a word…

However, one constructive thing I’ve found I can do is washing clothes, so now everything in the house that isn’t nailed down is either on the washing line or hanging off something indoors.

I’ve stopped now for the day as we have no tumble dryer and I’m keen to catch up with the tv show on Queen Victoria and the episode I’ve queued up is apparently showing how she sorts out the Irish Potato Famine.

You can tell I’m not a monarchist can’t you.

Anyway, any port in a storm.

So before I start watching the tv I’m going to go online and order myself a new tumble dryer.

I hope you’re keeping well.

I have so much to do and I’m keen to get on with all my plans but I’ll have to keep taking the tablets and get better first.

As you can see, dear Bandit has been keeping me company. Cats are great when you feel lousy!



I’m feeling sorry for myself, I’m on the settee and trying to work up the strength to collect the prescription from the chemist.

I was lucky to get seen by the doctor quickly, delighted to get treatment, and despite swearing off taking antibiotics ever again, it’s funny how when you’re that poorly you can’t wait to get them down your neck!

No swim today just lurking about indoors.

Having said that, this morning has otherwise been glorious – I watched a plump robin singing his heart out at the top of next door’s tree, I have been fussed by my Kittehs and I have plans to bake something this afternoon.

It’s nice to have plenty of knitting and I managed to force some bacon and eggs down for brunch.

It’s not all bad! I’m trying to channel my inner tiger….he seems to have the hang of the enforced leisure thing….

Magazine overkill..

Yesterday I showed you last week’s loft boxes which had blocked the upstairs hallway all week long while I was concentrating on the poetry festival.

I decided to go through them yesterday and asked Jon to bring down another 4 boxes, he said there were magazines in boxes, I said, let me at them!

So, yesterday, any handbags from the first boxes went upstairs to clutter up the bedroom hooks, the yarn, all of it, to the shed, and one clutch bag went into the charity shop bag along with 2 childrens backpacks.

I opened the box of magazines and sat looking at them happily until Jon took them out of my hands down to the shed as we were nearly out of day.

So this week, which looked so relaxing from last week has morphed into a busy one because the chores I had minimised to accommodate editing the poetry magazine then prepared for last week have all queued up and need attention and I now have umpteen loft boxes to unpack.

To cap it all, in one of the boxes was some stuff relating to my Grandad, and I found a wedding invitation he had kept from May 1945.

I asked Jon to google the town and it turns out Grandad was actually in Iran in 1945. Google also said that there was an invasion of Persia during WW2 to safeguard the oil supply.

My brain is still trying to process that.

And I found loads of shawls and cardigans in the boxes, I shoved those in the wardrobe.

And last night, instead of sleeping, I sat thinking about the technicalities of making a huge lace scarf into a jumper….

That’s my work cut out….

Stash denial

Lately, if, like me, you’ve been watching current events unfold in the news, you will see that various politicians on different continents are in complete denial about truths staring them in the face.

Whether it’s climate change, what constitutes justice or the abundance of money just waiting to be poured over the NHS, I’ve heard it all.

There’s a collective sigh being emitted from the electorate on both sides of the channel and the realisation that if you bother voting you can still be landed with a selection of turnips and planks ruling the country.

And how do you get rid of them?

This is as shakespear would say, is the part where the knives come out, but we’re democratic and don’t do that, it’s not Macbeth!

If they change the rules to ensure they cling to power you can see why the downtrodden people get desperate ideas!

I’m not harbouring ideas of a political kind today.

I’m having a harsh realisation of my own.

‘We must empty the loft ‘ seemed a reasonable idea and that logically follows that Jon will not only go up the loft ladder but he will come down carrying boxes of stuff. Hmm.

Well he has been up, as he was bidden, and he has returned down again with 4 boxes.

One box was solely handbags, now they are all good handbags I want to keep and the handbags are hanging off every hook in the bedroom now with no homes.

I have three boxes in front of me now, I’m still drowsy after a splendid long sleep and a lie in, and I must confront my own deceptions…. look at all this stuff!

Judging by staring through the plastic (I’m trying not to panic) one box has yarn, two boxes have knitted objects, there’s paperwork, more handbags and a gameboy in a case. Sigh!

I’ve run out of room downstairs for anything after my birthday brought me books and I have wool in baskets for the cardigan I’m knitting.

I have no empty cupboards.

There’s my shed, that’s still got room, but realistically, I have to draw a line on the number of projects I can tackle.

And look at all the shawls hats and cardigans in the boxes!


All mine…

Hello everyone,

It’s the weekend, I’m really excited to be able to relax now the poetry festival is concluded.

Last night was lovely, I dressed up and felt glamorous, I saw some lovely friends, and, despite dreadful nerves all day I read two poems and was given flowers for arranging all the poetry events.

Today I feel such a quiet sense of achievement and am pleased to have no arrangements to worry about.

I’m looking forward to having a swim, walking around the park, sitting in the shed and reading.

But not all at once!

I’m hoping the weather stays dry for a few days, I need to see about framing my embroidery and plan Jon’s birthday. He never wants to do much on his birthday because I always have such a giant series of events for mine… or so he says!

It’s going to be a quiet and busy time catching up with the housework and my writing,

Proper relaxing and constructive autumn days.

And of course, there’s still the new bath to look forward to! But that’s Friday. The week belongs to me!

The birth of poetry…

Hello everyone,

It’s the last day of the poetry festival and I’m amazed at the sense of achievement it brings to see how far I’ve come in the last two years.

Two years ago I was a mess.

It was like one of those scenes in an action film where Bruce Willis emerges from a bomb scene, dazed, bruised and limping, barely alive but still moving away from the devastation.

I toddled innocently into a poetry class in my local library and all the other people handed round poems they had written and were working on. I had brought nothing with me as I had missed the first session.

But I knew I had some poems, admittedly ones I had written over 15 years earlier, and if I could find my old pc out of the loft, boot it up, I could bring the poems back up and use those next time!

Also I knew I had handwritten poems in notebooks somewhere but, given the scale of the boxes and muddle loft wise the pc was the easiest option.

Well we found the pc, covered in dust, brought it down, laughed at the state of antiquity of it (I did the first half of a computer science degree course on it!) wired it to my daughter’s pc and got it going.

It came to life making all sorts of dying and unhappy noises.

I had no way of emailing the poems so I had to kneel on the floor and photograph the screen then come down stairs and type it up on the laptop.

Well, three quarters of what I’d found was absolute rubbish but one poem was alright.

I took it the following week, back to the class and it fared quite well feedback wise and I felt I’d made a good start.

The extremely clever and imposing lady who ran the class was showing us how to come up with ideas for new poems, how to get them into shape and there was this two week opportunity to go over what we’d written in class so it was a steep learning curve.

Anna, (the lady teaching us) also started to talk about poetry, you know, famous poets you had heard the names of, and loads I hadn’t.

Also she would talk about how rhyming works, about how words sound; about how things should be read out. All sorts of words I’d never heard before issued forth.

After the classes I would fiercely google poetry terms and try to make sense of it all.

The biggest stepping point was realising how big a subject poetry was, and how many poets there already was in print. All of whom I had never read or studied.

I started to look back at my schooldays in a different light.

Previously I thought I had the widest possible education, I studied and loved so many wonderful subjects, I learned Latin and Greek, was taught how to appreciate art, even modern art, I loved history and drama and English I could have taken Russian, but I chose French and Spanish.

But poetry passed me entirely, even though my diaries and notebooks were full of teenage verses.

Luckily, I have an excellent library and one of my favourite days out takes me to a second hand bookstore next to a sublime French bakery.

Dragging my beautiful Daughter along with me, I would forage the shelves of vintage Penguin books, buy whatever they had then go for coffee and cake in the French place.

There I would eat something wonderful, smile with excitement carefully open the little paperback and pick something to look at.

I still remember my Daughter’s embarrassment at me forcing her to listen to me reading aloud – and weeping – whilst reading Lorca in Spanish being moved by his writing as never before.

Well that’s my story.

Poetry is important.

Read it to your kids.

It makes your spirit soar and if you write even small and dull things at first you can make progress.

Once you write and read poetry regularly, you find yourself elevated in mood and poetry helps you evaluate your feelings. It puts you on a firmer footing emotionally and you become more resilient.

When a friend died unexpectedly a year ago, I was shaken with grief. I sat and wrote and wrote and realised I hadn’t processed previous bereavement and I am still very pleased with how poetry helped me cope.

Now, two years have passed and tonight I’m reading my poems to an audience for the third time this week. And I’m loving every minute.

I still know very little about poetry and I know I can write better with more practice. I’m still scribbling things down that Anna talks about and googling fiercely when I get in.

Imagine what it’s like to read a poem out loud in front of everyone you know, in public, letting the world know your deepest emotions. Looking into the eyes of your soul mate while you tell everyone about how wonderful he makes you feel.

To put it mildly, it’s a buzz.

Nostalgia towards the end

Hello everyone!

Yesterday I wrote about all the difficult bits lately and everything felt very much uphill.

What a difference a day makes, so the old song goes and it’s fact.

Whatever faces you, no matter how massive or daunting or frightening or upsetting, try to bolster yourself with the knowledge that time will fade it.

Advice is great, but often comes too late to be of any help.

One good thing about getting older is that by the time you reach my age, you’re on your second cycle of sodding everything up and if you’re lucky, your memories of the first time are in the forefront of your mind and alarm bells will ring before you’ve gone and done it to yourself again.

It’s like my passion for curry.

When you go out for a meal, you try to dress up a bit and if you have a new top that’s likely to come out of the cupboard for an outing.

With dinner comes wine and before I can say ‘prawn puree’ most likely something I’m eating has made its way onto my outfit.

In the past the stained garment would have been sadly consigned to the wheelie bin but this year, I found out that the enemy of bright yellow tumeric is white vinegar and sunlight. Ha! Be banished forever evil yellow stains!

I’m cruising downhill with this week of performances, last Night went brilliantly and yet again, even though I was sick with nerves and worried about how the whole thing would come off and didn’t sleep beforehand, it ended up being fantastic.

Even though performing poetry was acutely outside my comfort zone and I was skittish and hyper and I hated how I felt I can’t wait to plan another show and hope all my poetry friends will agree to help.

It’s a great feeling to be terrified and press onward and face my fears. I feel amazing today and it’s being part of something greater that’s the real thrill; watching my friends flourish and demonstrate how talented and incredible they are.

As we stood to have our picture taken together I had both my hands gripped happily by a friend on each side, out of sight of the camera.

As Li Po would say, “It’s no small thing.”

Just a bit left to go…

Hello everyone,

What a time I’ve had of it lately.

It’s been utter turmoil, bereavement, unkindness and weird behaviour from people I hadn’t anticipated and Birthday highs and happiness, excitement and fabulous happenings.

I’m running around trying to do the best I can for the greater good and if it weren’t for my family and good friends I would be hanging on the ropes, ready to throw in the towel.

In life, I’ve learned that great things follow effort and commitment, investment in time and energy; and being afraid and outside my comfort zone is something I have learned to get used to.

So here I am mid week through the poetry festival I’ve arranged, the magazine isn’t ready for the show tonight, I didn’t get any sleep and my bath won’t be fixed till next week.

Once I finish this post I’m going to shower and put my best face on and try to salvage everything that’s gone wrong.

Because I have been out every night and preparing all day the house is a tip.

I’ve eaten strange things late at night and watched a fully grown man sit and slowly lick all the chocolate off a digestive biscuit during a poetry recital. I’m not making it up.

I’m yearning for order and normality to be restored yet I am honestly planning to do more, not less. I need my head examined.

Here you can see the tiny corner left to stitch on my embroidery.

It’s Wednesday today, we have our show tonight at 7pm, tomorrow I’m not going anywhere and the last performance is Friday evening.

I have given my all and there’s just a bit left to go.

Wish me luck!

My eye!

Hello everyone!

Today I’m a year older as it was my birthday yesterday and I have the matching hangover to go with it.

Hangovers are not great achievements, or something to be proud of, however, when it’s your birthday and the mood takes you, and if you’re out celebrating then it’s not a surprise to find you wake up with one.

Today I slept, did some light knitting, looked at my new books and pottered around.

Yesterday was splendid, I felt really happy and delighted with the path my life is taking.

Tomorrow is back to work, I have responsibilities to fulfill and it’s all good.

I’m writing a love poem at the moment and it’s great to let it sit for a while before going back to it. I’m hoping it’s going to be one of my best ones.

Next week is a full week of poetry events, I’m hoping some of my friends will drop by.

My mentor and friend Anna’s showcase is on Monday to start proceedings off with a high, it’s free to attend all week, so please come by if you can.

Last knockings

I’m just on the end of a big piece of embroidery and I’m sad to finish it but pleased to start something new.

This morning Jon moved the big tapestry down the frame so I can do the last 5 rows of sky and branches.

It’s my birthday tomorrow and I’m looking back over the two years off from work I’ve had and I’m very proud of my progress.

It’s been great to get properly organised indoors and once the loft is tackled I will be there. Grandad’s medals are up there and I’ll be happy to have them back on the wall, where they were originally.

The front and back garden are finished bar clearing away some redundant items and both spaces are very beautiful, and serene.

I’ve finished the big edit a magazine for the first time project and hopefully I will have a box worth printed shortly.

Over the last two years I’ve read some amazing books and they have reshaped me on the inside, I have an exciting list still to read and some super books lie around on shelves here waiting to be read.

I’m still wrestling with big project conflicts, I tried to write down all the things I want to do and the list went over 40 items inside 10 minutes.

I’m going to go back and look at the list later and think about it some more. I will have to make a master plan over a long time span.

And, great news, we have a good quote for the bathroom to be fixed. Phew!

I’m on the last knockings of a lot of things. After the Poetry Festival concludes at the end of next week I will really be ready to start a new phase, but look how far I’ve come in two years, it’s amazing!