Home Page – welcome to my blog

Finding my feet in Brighton  

An award winning blog     for ‘a blog that brightens our day’.

To see ongoing posts please click on -

http://annperrin.wordpress.com/finding-my-feet-in-later-life

    The set up –  I steadfastly avoid ‘what I had for breakfast’. The new posts run at a rate of one or two a week and are about  Brighton – but also trips to London and sometimes France  - reflections - homespun philosophy - shows – art exhibitions –  reviews  - loads of photography – updates on my life including that of a marionette maker and performer – poetry in progress  - films as they are made and put on youtube.

Back story – blogging is brilliant, after all there is only so much knitting one can do in retirement and I don’t knit, play bridge or croquet. Croquet reminds me  of  the Red Queen, hedgehogs and flamingos for mallets in  ‘Alice in Wonderland.’

Links to other pages or my other sites.

Films about our marionettes 

http://www.youtube.com/user/puppethouseuk/videos?sort=p&view=0&flow=grid

Films about Brighton events etc

http://www.youtube.com/user/Brightonfilms/videos

There are 72 films – mini documentaries etc. some with  7,000 hits and others with 17,  so a mixed bag!

My first poetry book – the one and only ad. on this site.

1-DSC08714-003  ‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’  gift wrapped  - B/W version in the Open Arts Cafe in Rottingdean - £5.00

53 poems written on and off over the years – a few inspired by a course at Sussex University, five at Arvon.

Self publish and be damned!

Comments 

John McCullough says – ‘Ann’s poetry covers the big topics of love and death with originality and satisfies the reader’s  heart as well as their head.  Take for instance  the title poem which is full of surprises yet also wonderfully poignant.  The energy of her work leaves you feeling revitalized and seeing the world afresh’.

John is author of an award winning book ‘The Frost Fairs’.

Kiersty Boon  says – ‘This collection of poems, fully illustrated by the author, is a wonderful journey from a magical childhood of puppets and seaside towns.  The delicacy of the difficult stages of life and memories experienced are offset with humorous anecdotes and magical tales for the young and old alike’ - Kiersty Boon poet and author.

Both b/w and colour versions also available from Lulu or  Amazon and as an ebook.

1. In colour and and as an ebook is probably the best value at £5.00 but other options follow. 

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.   

Some of the  illustrations were oil paintings,  prints or pastels that I had accumulated over the years and appropriate to a particular poem –  others were especially designed for the book. Goodness knows why I was intent on so many!

Illustraton from b/w version

Illustrations from colour version

        

    The West Pier – pen and ink   – Robin  - oil on heavy paper.

Colour print for ‘Weaving Spells’ in the colour edition

Order now on Amazon by clicking on the links below

Black and white edition 

Colour edition  

Laminates  - Any poem from the book with illustration in colour  - can be available within two days from Open Art Cafe Rottingdean – especially popular  ‘The Dry Stone Wall’  and ‘I wish’. 

Several of my poems have been published – this is one written in Hove and featured in ‘Writing Magazine’ March 2012 .

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Latest poetry or verse or work in progress please click on

http://annperrin.wordpress.com/poetry-only-2/

Summary of writing activity.

Writing 1 – In the early daysPlays for puppets and Pelham Puppets  - for children.

My mother and I wrote plays for our marionettes, including material for an adult audience, but in the 50s she wrote her first play book  for use with Pelham Puppets. We knew Bob Pelham and every time he created a new puppet he wanted a new play and agreed that our press would publish and distribute them.

Book 1- This one is out of print but was selling on ebay for £40 at one time. In my mother’s later life we had a reprint of the original and made films and dvds of all the plays.  She loved the fun of it all and the reprint sells on ebay for under ten pounds, an excellent present for ‘oldies’ keen on nostalgia.

DSC02337

Book 2This one is also out of print, my mother and I wrote this one together, taking turns to write the monologues Again we re-printed it and created a film and dvd of each play.  However when my mother died I lost heart, and the material has been waiting to be edited for seven years.

Writing 2 - Several years ago my play ‘Travelling Nowhere’ about  the traditional Romany gypsy life and the problems they faced  adapting to the modern world and gaugas (the house dwelling) community. I taught travellers for six years and the play was based on that experience. It was performed at the Young Vic and went on tour.

Writing  3 - I have been a part-time writer for most of my life, scripts, freelance journalism, articles for teaching mags, pieces for Radio 4′s ‘You and Yours’ etc. I once surprised myself with an article on divorce which was published in the ‘Sunday Times’ magazine.   I photocopied the cheque and framed it!

I have also written academic papers, courses in child care, two dissertations for my degrees. One was for my BA with the Open University when I was 30 and other for my MSc at Birkbeck at 50. Both were made more difficult as I was still working full time.

Writing 4 - ‘The Old Dry Stone Wall’ - this was a picture book I wrote several years ago at my first course at Arvon, but it never  saw the light of day.

    The drafts jumped over several  hurdles at the Oxford University Press,  but a year later an editor changed and they didn’t proceed. So now it’s a poem for children in my book and I made it into a little film just for fun!

Please click on arrow on centre of the film to watch it.

I was offered the opportunity to write longer stories by two  children’s publishers but working full time meant I could never seem to find the time. I could kick myself now!

Writing 5 – The puppethouse.co.uk  website was put together in haste a few years ago over the period of a week due to an IT deadline, as a tribute to my late father.

Writing 6 - My stand up comedy 2010  -  performing on the Brighton circuit for a year or so.

Writing 7 - Starting my blog in 2011 

Writing 8 – Joint winner in a poetry competition run by The Hatchery and judged by New Writing South.

Writing 9  - 2013    One of my poems was  short-listed in The Bridport comp.   I was also on the long list for a poetry pamphlet with Cinnamon Press.

Writing 10 – 2014  Several organisations asked both last year and this for permission to use my posts in their magazines and I  happily agreed. A second poetry book will be out in May.

Our links with Brighton

In the sixties our family made and performed with specially adapted marionettes for the feature film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’  on the worn wooden boards of the West Pier in Brighton.   Our marionettes were directed by the great Lord Attenborough, no less.

When the West Pier was burning down a few years ago I rushed down from London to sit and watch in silence with hundreds of others, many of whom had personal memories of events on the pier.

In 2010 I wrote a poem called ‘The Fall of the West Pier’ it was bit like ‘treading the boards’  a sort of love affair with the Pier. This is not my best poem but the sentiments are fine.

Please click on arrow in the centre of the film to watch it.

The wisdom – or not – of retiring to the sea.

I moved  with my long-term partner to the south coast six years ago.  I think we were heading for Hove,  but had no sat nav and are both rubbish at map reading.

The move came after caring for my mother, who had died, giving up  career as an NLP trainer/therapist, selling the tiny house in South London that I had lived in for 30 years, and my partner selling his tiny house in the same road and both starting a new life.

We found a new house, lost it, found another one, lost it. We ended up in my camper van for three weeks in November in the rain, on Brighton’s Municipal camp site, the contents of my house in storage, his packed up. Finally we were given a choice of three properties and in seconds took the best of the bunch a couple of miles from Brighton.

I joined things, too many things, reading groups, writing groups, art classes, the gym,  tried to make new friends but soon felt overwhelmed!  I decided to stop working so hard at ‘making a new life’ and slow down. I created a ‘cottage garden’ at the seaside,  gathered up my poetry paintings/illustrations,  went on a part-time course at Sussex Uni and as a result published my book.

I confess that for two years in Brighton I tried to hang on to the past. I travelled  up to the RA regularly and to the Mary Ward Centre in London where I had sung in shows that we put on at the Welsh Centre.  In the third year in Brighton I still continued with the RA but gave up singing, could be just as well! The following clip was my ‘swan song’.   Alan was not used to the camera,  so rubbish lighting, but I like to think it makes me look even more lovely!!  Oh! and unlike the song I was well over 40, and 50, and…..

There is no rehearsal for retirement. 

By the third year in Brighton I knew I didn’t want to travel endlessly along the coast with my bus pass or become a perpetual student. But in the end I still signed up for a course in stand up comedy with Jill Edwards.

I had done a lot of comedy with our marionettes in the past, I had also studied for a term at City Lit. so I knew I had the potential.  On Jill’s course we had  to write new material every week. At the end of the course  I  auditioned for and got into the ‘New Acts Night’  at the Komedia.

The clip that follows  is one of my more chaotic gigs at The Greys in Hanover because  I had to step over musicians and their equipment to perform, but the whole show raised £700 for Martlets.

Please click on the arrow in the centre of the film.

I did stand up for about a year but it’s hard work, you have to travel a lot and unless you are brilliant you don’t get paid.

Films I loved making

 Virginia Woolf”s Garden (this is one of my favourites)

Monet’s Garden.

Our marionette company –  Joan and Ron Field’s Marionettes has  it’s own website.

 http://www.puppethouse.co.uk/ 

This site was developed with my youngest son Paul Perrin, 15 years ago.  My stage name was Ann Field.

Summary of  our marionette making and performing history

I come from a family of puppeteers. In the late 50s there were ‘wakes weeks’ when factories and mills closed and the  workers had their annual holidays. We had summer seasons in both Blackpool and Scarborough. My father prided himself in including both classical stories and classical music in our productions. Extracts from  ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Peter Pan’. ‘The Pied Piper’ and ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’ etc. However The Puppet Circus was the most popular  and was also performed all over the country as well as Buckingham Palace in 1953.

Making our films about our marionettes

The film that follows is the first one I made about our marionettes. I later added excerpts from  ‘Cinderella’,  ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and  The Puppet Circus.  running time 10 minutes.

Alice in Wonderland and the boat scene is my favourite piece of film, it lasts all of a minute but it took hours to film!  All the films were made in London, partly in my garden and partly in my loft. My mother was clambering  up the ladder to the loft well into her seventies. We operated the puppets and let the camera run. The close ups came later and the editing in all cases took me weeks.

Re-creating the performances from the past became a chance for my mother and I to work together again – to create something new out of the chaos of both of our lives. I think we both regarded it as a labour of love.

The Puppet Circus  was another marathon. running time about 3 mins.

The Goon Show Preservation Society

I worked as a puppeteer on the ‘Telegoons’  for 15 episodes, I still get ‘pulled out of the woodwork’ for guest appearances .  Ann and Eccles at GSPS event 2011!

Eccles insisted he pulled the cord to unveil  the Goon Show Plaque at the Strutton Arms, despite a special personality (Charles Chilton) having been booked to perform the honour. Naturally Charles easily upstaged a mere marionette and did it beautifully.

Additional pages on this blog click on titles on header

The Weald – for love of my allotment – the story of my new allotment

New poems - competitions stipulate that poems must not have been published even on one’s own blog, so I sometimes hold back on new material for a bit.

Seasonal Affective Disorder – tips for coping. I suffer mildly from this condition, was also a therapist and have a dedicated website on this subject too.

Puppethouse mayhem – this page is an update for our Puppethouse website, with updates on my marionette activities since moving to Brighton.

—————–

My Family 

Mother and Grandmother – Yes I am both!

One of the joys of life is to be a mother and for me a grandmother. I adore my sons and  grandchildren, now young men. I seldom write posts about any of them. I simply don’t want to invade their privacy. Two exceptions follow -Robin is the eldest son, Paul the youngest.

Robin  is a qualified sports injury and  holistic masseur, a professional racquet ball coach  and a qualified hypnotherapist.

Robin’s consultation rooms are in Biggin Hill.

Contact details - robinoftatsfield@googlemail.com

This film that follows is simply Robin showing me how to make lavender bottles,  the only one in the family who can remember how his grandmother made them!

Paul has an IT company - he developed our historic PuppethouseUK site 15 years ago, is active in politics, and is a Punch and Judy Professor  performing  in and around Brighton when he can fit it in. He is currently seriously into  self sufficiency and wants to keep an ox – in  Ovingdean.

Contact details –  paul@idltd.com

See the highlights from his show on the terraces in Rottingdean 2011

My partner - Alan, my partner found retiring to the sea quite stressful too.  However he already had grade 8 in classical guitar. and once in Brighton (the place can have a strange effect on people) he decided to learn the banjo and now calls his violin a fiddle!

‘A flurry of seagulls’ are his first tentative fiddle skills, with the help of the seagulls! Click on the arrow in centre of film to watch. It lasts a whole minute.

Luckily, Paul (youngest son) plays the penny whistle and the dobro and this film adds the banjo to the mix – the goats wisely ignore the whole proceedings.

Poetry workshop in Rottingdean

Cafe Poets ‘Pop in and write a poem workshop’ takes place on the first Wednesday morning of every month – except July and August – it’s completely free and  lovely people turn up!

I bring in  warm-ups, inspiration – we write, we share, (if you feel brave enough) but no crits.

The Open Arts Cafe Nevill Road Rottingdean 10.30 to 12.30. Aimed at new and apprentice poets.

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Presentation Skills with Video Feedback – using NLP skills.  One two hour session is usually all you need for confidence when making a speech, authors who have to promote their books etc. I have been teaching these skills for 20 years. Leave a comment with your email and I will get back to you.

——————

Best wishes

                     Ann Perrin   BA. M.Sc. and  Master Practitioner in NLP

My other  blogs 

1. For love of my allotment -

hhttp://forloveofmyallotment.wordpress.com/   the allotment last week - ours is in front of the shed on the left

2. Tips for seasonal affective disorder – SAD.  

As well as dedicated page on this blog there is another blog called http://tipsforsadandserendipity.wordpress.com/

Qualifications  -  MSc in Life Course Development – London University –  Counselling qualifications and Master Practitioner in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Experience – I had my own practice for many years and also worked for PCTs,  Croydon and Sutton MS Centre and the Cancer Support Centre in Purley.

Self help on youtube – I recently found a recording I made on ‘Relaxation and Self-hypnosis for Positive Health’.  It is self help so I speak a bit faster than I would face to face.  I’ve  added some visuals more or less at random but it looks fine. Here it is for nothing!

There are two options - you can close your eyes and just listen, or watch the images – which were selected at random.

Acknowledgments

Poetry

Courses with – John McCullough, Ian Duhig, Jacob Polley, Jean Sprackland,Tim Dooley and others.

Encouragement  and support from -Kiersty Boon, Jane Maker, Janet Cameron, John Davies and Simon Wrigley

Film making

Orpington Film and Video Makers,  Spring Park Film Makers, Tom Hardwick for support with film making.

Life in general

Robin, Paul, Alan for support and encouragement and to all those who read my blog!

Ann

16 Responses to Home Page – welcome to my blog

  1. mary Marro says:

    Ann, is it possible to get a copy of the illustrated version of an Old Dry Stone Wall?
    Is it a book yet or just a Utube video?

  2. pam says:

    Ann, lovely to find your blog, it is beautifully done, and you do not look –! It must be all your talents, and your child like persona which I loved at Lumb Bank. As you know I raced away on the Friday, thus escaping my cooking session (!) and got to Switzerland, god knows how, he directed me with his clever finger, at ten that evening..my beloved poet died the next morning at 7, ————I haven’t quite got over it, September 11th too. So haven’t written a poem since, not yet, I did take my partner’s ancestral clothes etc back to Jerusalem (he was Bishop there for 33 years in 1856) and spent four weeks as a Palestine activist documenting the terrible things the israelis do to these occupied people, so I guess I moved in another direction. Keep up the good work – much love (PS: just sold three of my poetry books on Amazon! That was something…)

    • ann perrin says:

      Wow! What a story, hope you get back to your poetry eventually and make steady progress in recovering. Congrats on books. Love Ann

  3. Wendy Ogden says:

    Lovely to meet you on Sunday at Kay’s workshop. So glad I noted down your blog. So much here to enjoy! I love the artwork and the poetry seems so warm and sincere to me.

    I’ll be back for more reading but hope to see you at the next workshop in January. Let’s hope the weather is as kind.

  4. Linda Lee says:

    Dear Ann,
    Sitting between doing things feeling a bit SAD, some memories popped into my head. The Rotherhithe Workshop came up and how I pondered about the time I sent there, while not really understanding why I was there! Of course it was you who set this up after we met teaching (Lanfranc?). I did a search and was so pleased to find your website with all the wonderful creative stuff bursting out of it.

  5. annperrin says:

    Great to get nice comments and yes loved Rotherhithe Workshops, my dad worked there too for a few years. After his death found a cutting from the Standard saying he had helped set up the Brunel museum over there. In our family we never knew what the other members of the family were up to half the time!
    No idea where we met, but Lanfranc – How I loved the Head, great at supporting teachers as well as pupils.
    Got a brill film on youtube about Sands Studio, well I like it.
    Was not sure about the SAD page, only been up a month…but will keep it up.
    Take care Ann

    • Linda Lee says:

      Just to jog your memory – we had many conversations in the staffroom, then you took me with you one afternoon to the gypsy unit where IKEA now is. A few months later you found me a job with Ron at Rotherhithe! My sister remembers meeting you at a party in Elmer’s Rd where she was transfixed by your involvement with Pelham Puppets (a great favourite of hers). The Puppethouse site and history is wonderful – I had no idea at the time that Ron was master puppet-maker and along with your mother had been such leading figures in their field (no pun intended).

  6. Sue Bartlett says:

    Hi Ann

    I loved ‘Weaving Spells’; I was there in the moment with you.
    No wonder you are so creative it’s in the genes.

    Sue Bartlett

  7. Margaret Frentz says:

    Hello Ann,

    Only today, have I discovered you, your family, and your puppets!

    I have three Marlborough Wilts wooden puppets which have been stored in one of our closets for many, many years. We have the blue & white caterpillar, the Washer Woman, and a horse and all are in very good condition. I am looking for a new home for them. I would like to see them go to a home where they will be used and not just to someone who will sell them.

    Do you know of such a place?

    Thank you,
    ~Margaret

    • annperrin says:

      Thank you Margaret for this comment I know it led us both a merry dance, with you even considering taking out a second mortgage to send them all the way from the states to me!
      Well following our emails I now I gather they have a good home in Birmingham Alhamba! It is amazing how blogging can set thins in motion in different parts of the world. Thank you so much for this comment it was lovely. A play book is on its way. Take care Ann

  8. TheBigForest says:

    You have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Find out more here. http://thebigforestuk.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award-the-winners/. If blog awards aren’t your kind of thing then that is absolutely fine but we love your blog!

    • ann perrin says:

      HOW AMAZING, SO VERY KIND OF THOSE BEARS! WILL ACCEPT WHEN I HAVE TIME TO CHECK OUT THE BLOGS I FOLLOW IN MORE DETAILxxx

  9. Jeni Brixey says:

    Odds are long but are you the daughter of Percy and Peggy? Apologies if not, trying to trace family and ended up here :) Interesting stuff Ann!

  10. This is my first time visit at here and i am actually impressed to read everthing at single place.

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