January 13th 2011

January 13th 2011

So… on Thursday evening I went to my first session at the Leicester Writers Club as a guest.


I really enjoyed the whole experience and was very impressed with the quality of both the writing and the constructive criticism. I would like to be a part of such a group and I am looking for the courage and hoping I have the ability to join. I know that to be able to read my work to the members and have them take the time to listen and comment would be invaluable. Watch this space…



January 12th 2011

January 12th 2011

Just begun a new course this evening- 10 weeks of ‘Trouble Writing’ with Polly Tuckett. Really lovely to see some old faces and be introduced to some new ones. I have a feeling it’s going to be an interesting and dynamic group. I also realised how much I have missed the structure of a class, thinking to order and listening to others talk about writing. I am excited about what the next 10 weeks will bring. I am hoping I will learn new skills, be inspired to try new things, think in a different way, write more experimentally and make some new friends. Wow… I wrote a load of drivel in class tonight but hey ho, a couple of people wrote something very interesting. One guy in particular whose name I haven’t yet learned wrote something I loved. Zebra…

Work- Started pulling together ideas for Spring/Summer 2012 collections. It’s my favourite time, when we are pure of thought and ideal before the retailers get their hands on everything, pare it back to beyond it’s bones and we end up with stuff unrecognisable that  bears no resemblance to our original beautiful concept. We organised our usual kick-it-off workshop where my design manager presented to our team our direction and focus for the forthcoming season and all the designers presented back to us their research encompassing inspiring imagery, forthcoming not to be missed exhibitions, music, films, fashion and general loveliness. I was so delighted by the efforts of my three new graduates- lovely to be around such unfettered enthusiasm; a reminder  of why I enjoy being surrounded by young people. Once they have collated their findings I will post some luscious links here.

Very excited to have just booked two work trips away- one to LA and Portland,  two of my favourite US cities… and one to Paris and Antwerp- shopping heaven.

But the most exciting of all- a writing break to Spain in early April. One week of blissful indulgence, guidance and time to write intensively. Hopes are high.

Came home late after my class tonight knowing I would be met by a houseful of young people as my eldest was home for a fleeting visit and he never travels without a serious entourage- lovely… as I can’t help but join in… even though I will be completely knackered by tomorrow evening having gone to bed on Tuesday night at 3.30am talking and drinking the night away with a very good friend- (Sam I love you!) and tonight having somehow missed the chance to sleep at all. Most of the young peeps are about to go off travelling and I won’t see them for months so it was good to have the chance to see them all. I’ll miss them. We played that game where someone sticks a post-it to your head with a persons name on and you have to guess who you are. I was hopeless. My morning alarm has just gone off and I’m sure I’m too old for this! Still, I’ve cleared up the kitchen and all looks pristine ready for Michelle’s return after flu. Maybe I’ll sleep this evening? Maybe I’d look really young and gorgeous if I behaved better?

Something to think about…


January 10th 2011

January 10th 2011

Just had a fabulous evening at the launch of Leicester’s finest new literary publication ‘Hearing Voices’ at the Western pub, Leicester. The standard was so high and I really enjoyed hearing all the poems and stories. I got there too late to add my name to the list of performers which is perhaps just as well, because it actually enabled me to really relax and listen. I met so many really lovely people too… There’s a whole new world out there and I want to be a part of it!

I wish I could reproduce some of the poems here, or at least mention names, but check out the publication for yourselves… Gosh there’s a lot of talent out there!


Here are some photos of me performing at my first open mike last week at Word! in Leicester. I have tasted the drug… I’m hooked. There will be no stopping me now I fear.

Wait til I get over my technical fucking incompetence and learn how to upload them…

Weh Hey!!!!!

Learnt something new… 🙂

Nighty Night… Think I’ll sleep well.

Thanks for the fab photos to Nick Rawle

E-mail : nick_rawle@hotmail.com
URL    : http://www.nickrphotography.com
Whois  : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/


January 9th 2011

January 9th 2011

Gosh another glorious day.


Jonathan Coe-  The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim ***

I finished reading this last night/this morning. As always with Mr Coe, it’s beautifully written and both funny and tragic in equal measure. Maxwell Sim is a one of the saddest, sweetest, undeservedly loneliest men I’ve come across for a while, around whom a miriad of unfortunate events take place. His neighbouring passenger on a long haul flight dies and he spends several hours talking to him before he realises. He is mugged and the thief returns to ask him for directions. His wife and daughter leave him and he’s not had sex since her conception eight years ago. His most meaningful and communicative relationship is with the disembodied voice of his sat nav… you get the picture. The peripheral characters are wonderfully drawn, and the way Max’s story interweaves through theirs is clever, Maxwell’s father is another poignant and fascinating personality and I found his tale particularly moving. I was reminded of one of my favourite quotes, one that often helps me to cope with my Black Fogs when they descend;

‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.’ Henry David Thoreau.

I found the ending a little whimsical but it didn’t spoil it for me.


Fergus is learning High and Dry by Radiohead and it’s really lovely listening to him strum… and sing!


Today I’ve been listening to Anya Marina… I discovered her on one of the ‘Twilight’ soundtracks- naff but true- which I purchased because Thom Yorke had recorded a song specially for it- not so naff… Two of my favourite tracks are

Satellite Heart




I’m cooking boiled gammon, baked potatoes, cabbage stir fried with leeks and garlic and onion sauce finished with sour cream. Yum. Licking my lips in antissssss… ipation! (those of you who get that… I love you!)


Gimme a break… It’s Sunday x



January 8th 2011

January 8th 2011

Busy, busy today. Lots of spring cleaning- multiple dust motes illuminated in the winter sun spurring me on to improving my slovenly habits. This writing malarky so takes over it’s easy to ignore real life and it’s multifarious demands. Thus I undertook some responsible adult-like chores such as washing, (clothes that is, I always wash myself I hasten to add, standards haven’t slipped quite that far yet,) food shopping, children’s shoe shopping (usually a dreadful bore, but all went swimmingly today,) and hairdressing, in a vague attempt at halting the children’s ever more feral and wraith-like appearance. Also went on extra long dog walk, hopefully curtailing the onset of canine obesity and increasing bad habits such as bin-raiding and cushion-chewing, both of which make me very cross… yes Bruce and Otto… you know I’m talking about you…

The walk in the woods in the crisp winter sunshine, clear blue skies overhead, had the added benefit of lifting my mood somewhat which was altogether welcome. I felt inspired enough to compose a haiku as I tramped through the squidgy mud in my wellies. I do worry for all the tiny bracken furls, woodbine shoots and rhodedendron buds popping out everywhere with their carpe diem attitude, admirable as it is. I hope they aren’t caught unawares by another bout of inclement weather as I somehow feel winter isn’t over yet.

The reward for our dutiful dilegence was a trip out for supper and a film. Pasta at Zizzi’s was surprisingly pleasant and prompt, and very smiley service, but not quite prompt enough for us to make ‘The King’s Speech’ which I really wanted to see. We did however make ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ which the children really wanted to see and it was actually very enjoyable. It brought a tear to my eye… but what doesn’t these days? I can’t even watch an advert without reaching for a tissue. Particularly the wonderful TMobile dancing in Liverpool Street Station…


So, that’s it for tonight, but it is 3am… I can’t seem to get myself to bed at a decent hour for love nor money these days, mind you, having said that, I’d actually jump at the chance of an early night if offered very small amounts of either, January being a such a very chaste and impecunious month.


January 7th 2011

January 7th 2011

I need to stop writing, writing, writing, writing… poems…

My eyes have turned in on themselves- in, in, in, in, into my brain, into my memory and that’s brought with it the dreaded Black Fog. The January Fog. The Fog Fog. The Fog of Doom.

So- slipping them back-a-ways to look where they’re meant to look-  out, out, out, out…


Room by Emma Donoghue.

I thought this an incredible book. It’s effect took hold slowly and completely gripped me as I got into it. The style, difficult at first, really spoke in a powerfully emotional way. A very unique voice. I had no idea where it was going and was almost lulled dreamily into it’s own twilight surreality, when suddenly someone switched the light on, KAPOW!  The story gathers momentum and takes off like a bolting stallion. Excellent. I recommend.

**** ( That’s 4 stars to you…)

Just reading Jonathan Coe – The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim – Will review soon- but it’s good.

I Loved  The House of Sleep. That made me laugh out loud.


Heligoland ****

Madly obsessed with this at the mo… and any one who knows me will understand what I mean by obsessed- constantly on ipod on repeat.  On and on. Poetry to music- take a look at these words… Then listen.

Paradise Circus

It’s unfortunate that when we feel a storm

We can roll ourselves over ’cause we’re uncomfortable

Oh where the devil makes us sin

but we like it when we’re spinning in his grip.

Love is like a sin, my love

for the one that feels it the most

look at her with her eyes like a flame

she will love you like a fly will never love you again

And apologies to all who have lived with these other obsessions for weeks and weeks- Two more fantastic albums:

John Grant- Queen of Denmark *****

The eponymous track being one of my faves of 2010, but the whole album is fab, fab, fab

Dead Man’s Bones- Dead Man’s Bones. *****

Lose Control- a particularly wonderful track, but all are really good and new and very different. Check out the vids on You Tube- my fave;

Being an obsessive I checked out all Ryan Gosling’s (The thinking woman’s hunk… not my words but I do concur) films and very very much enjoyed

Lars and the Real Girl *****  now amongst my top 20 all timers. Funny, sad, weird, love it.


Half Nelson **** raw, compelling, moving



Check out something lovely:

Another Ryan- Ryan Woodward-Thought of You


A truly beautiful short animation. I guarantee you will love it.


Just bought a lovely frock- usually a guaranteed fogbuster…

History Repeating Shirtdress- Anna Sui


Crossways, Minley Manor

Age 10


School run, homeward bound.

Nine kids jemmied into a taxi

pre Jimmy Saville;

three up front, four in the back,

one in each foot-well.

Someone always lets rip a real


boys farting proudly,

girls releasing more


So deliciously innocent.


Last drop- red gabled hood

over scented greenwood.

Rhododendron enclave

gave privacy and showy blooms alike.

At the door, apron clad, floured

of hand and cheek

Mrs May meets and greets us,

‘Scones for tea… Yippee!’

Four inches high

they belie their lumpen looks,

still warm and buttery,

home-made-damson-jammy heaven.


We had handmade dad-made

whittled whistles

so we could find each other mid

the pines and rustling birches

where we often hid,

only revealing our position

when called into the kitchen

for shepherds pie,

or stew, or fish on Fridays

always with bread and butter

and a cuppa.


House on the round

We ran from kitchen to sitting room to hall to kitchen,

round and round,

chasing ghosts,

the sound of

slamming doors confounding Mother’s patience.



nestled in the sloping eves,

playing kiss chase in our dreams,

onanistic pleasures

our new discovered

midnight treasures.


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