Welcome to my blog
An award winning blog for ‘a blog that brightens our day’.
To see ongoing posts please click on -
The set up – I steadfastly avoid ‘what I had for breakfast’. The new posts run at a rate of one a week are about Brighton – but also trips to London and sometimes France – reflections – homespun philosophy – shows – art exhibitions – reviews – poetry events in London and in Brighton – 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.
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’.
I have done many things in my life, puppetry, teaching, journalism, acting, bringing up my children, lecturing, becoming a therapist, caring for loved ones, poetry, stand up comedy etc. but puppetry still has the habit of coming back to haunt me which is reflected in some of my poetry.
My first attempt at a poetry collection – the one and only commercial on this site.
Poems, verse and monologues some inspired by a course at Sussex University others at Arvon since retiring. A few had been published in magazines.
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.
At the time of publication I was not aware of the conventional route to publishing poetry, competitions. pamphlets etc. So I just ploughed in with modest success.
I have however always been a compulsive writer, including writing a play that was performed at The Young Vic when I was about 40. I have also worked as a freelance journalist
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.
1. In colour and and as an ebook is probably the best value at £5.00 but other options follow.
Example from b/w 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
Published poems by request = Compact magazine – ‘Rite of passage’. This is one was written in Hove and featured in ‘Writing Magazine’ March 2012 .
As soon as I learned that competitions were important I entered some. I had no luck for some time but then I was joint winner in a poetry competition run by The Hatchery and judged by New Writing South 2012
2013 One of my poems was short-listed in The Bridport Poetry comp. I was also on the long list for a poetry pamphlet with Cinnamon Press.
Latest poetry or verse – but mainly work in progress – please click on http://annperrin.wordpress.com/poetry-only-2
Making films – I have a keen amateur film maker for several years and entered club competitions in London with some success.
Some films were made since moving here, they go from 20 hits to some with thousands – take your pick. The following are from one of my the youtube sites..
Or see a selection here often less than 5 mins long -
Virginia Woolf”s Garden (one of my favourites)
Monet’s Garden ( I loved making this one)
A reconstruction of a few highlights from our Puppet Circus.
The following film was the first and hardest film to make – based on our performances of Alice in Wonderland.
My mother then in the 70s and I clambered up in the loft to our improvised studio to operate some of the marionettes. The boat scene in the garden took forever and then I had to learn the skills of editing. We regarded it as a labour of love.
Pelham Puppets This is an early one, a play from a book of plays that my mother and I wrote many moons ago – Plays for Pelham Puppets. Bob Pelham was a family friend
The following film was to have been a picture book. It jumped through several hoops with Oxford University Press, but in the end did not make it!
This clip is from a show at the Welsh Centre for a charity do in London. Alan was not used to the camera, so varied lighting, but I like to think it makes me look even more lovely. Yes only joking!
Our links with Brighton
Our marionettes were directed by the great Lord Attenborough, no less.
Hove – My partner had a flat in Hove for several years, I still had my tiny house in South London, but we bought a beach hut which was fun for my children. Later he had to move back to London and he bought a tiny in the same road as mine – His and her houses – Bliss!
Retiring to the south coast
Beware of making such a move – without children or a dog it is difficult to make new friends. We did it in 2007
Think carefully about all those informal contacts you have currently. If you live in London, as a pensioner there is that invaluable ‘Freedom pass’. Yes, at a certain age one can get a ‘free bus pass’ in Brighton but I go to London a lot, which means train fares and on Sundays long delays from constant engineering works.
But Brighton has the sea and a vast expanse of sky, subject to dramatic changes in colour and mood. It has a busy city centre with shops, theatres, cinemas, eateries, galleries etc. After a few months down here I set about creating a garden, went back to writing and eventually made some new friends.
When we moved down here with a loft full of marionettes, I found myself offering puppet workshops to Saltdean Library as part of their community involvement development.
Other films on my Brighton Films youtube site.
In 2010 I took a few of our marionettes to Rottingdean Fair including Polly our performance poet. I have to confess she was not impressed, stuck between the barbecues and the potted plants, she felt it didn’t have quite the same appeal as performing in cabaret at in London.
BBC South East 2014 - I appeared in a film about the making of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ a film for their coverage for the anniversary of the Great War.
The filmed the recent conservation of the marionettes and my families role in performing with them in the film in the 60’s.
I had hoped following this event they might be displayed in a museum. The Imperial War Museum said they loved them but are unable to guarantee if, or when, they might be displayed. So currently I am not sure about donating them! The V and A have also shown interest in our Russian clown ‘Popov’.
I have 150 from different productions to place, or at the end of the day they may have to be sold.
Our historic marionette company – Joan and Ron Field’s Marionettes has it’s own website.
This site was developed with my youngest son Paul Perrin, 15 years ago. My stage name was Ann Field a puppeteer in own right.
I have just started a new online puppet museum site which compliments my http://www.puppethouse.co.uk site. It will be gradually fill up with contents of archives recently discovered, new films etc.
Summary of our marionette making and performing history 1948 – 2006
I come from a family of puppeteers. My father could not settle to civilian life after the war and, with my mother became marionette makers and performers. I was born with a cleft palate and had problems with speech as child, puppetry proved to be a life line.
Later in the late 50’s there were ‘wakes weeks’ when factories and mills closed and the workers had their annual holidays. We had summer seasons with huge marionette musicals 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’. Musical numbers included the aria from ‘Madam Butterfly’.
However The Puppet Circus was very popular and it was part of the show that performed in stately homes all over the country and at Buckingham Palace.
Other Highlights – Following my solo act in Variety and Cabaret, I worked on TV series ‘The Telegoons’. Eventually my parents moved on to new careers mainly in the arts.
In the 80s as a tutor and also a senior manager in an Adult Education Institute in Lambeth. I found myself running huge family workshops naturally including puppetry!
In the 90’s I ran writing and puppetry workshops for people with learning and/or physical difficulties in Sutton. ‘Creating Cinderella’. I also did a workshop on marionette manipulation at Egham, as part of a Holloway’s university drama course (both on youtube)
Additional pages on this blog please click on the header. After three years on the waiting list we got a tiny allotment, unfortunately the other end of town, but never mind I love it.
1. Our starter allotment plot on The Weald has a blog of its own.
2. Tips for seasonal affective disorder – SAD. – this subject has a page on this blog and one of its own.
‘Relaxation and Self-hypnosis for Positive Health’ is a freebie for anyone suffering from stress and can also be useful for controlling pain so I am told. There are two options – you can close your eyes and just listen, or watch the images – which were added later.
I have been a counsellor for the Sutton MS Help Centre, The Cancer Help Centre in Purley and a freelance therapist and trainer in communication skills at Mayday Hospital and Richmond and Twickenham PCT, so know roughly what I am talking about in the world of therapy. Various qualifications were all obtained in later life.
Qualifications – In mid and later life. A Teaching Cert. BA with the OU. MSc in Life Course Development – London University – Counselling qualifications and Master Practitioner in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming.
SAD I suffer from mildly from SAD myself but also believe that creative people have periods of self doubt and despair anyway. It goes with the territory.
End of story
Poetry Courses with tutors John McCullough, Ian Duhig, Jacob Polley, Jean Sprackland, Tim Dooley and others, as a result I should be a much better poet – apologies to those above – but give me time!
Encouragement and support from my long suffering partner Alan Gage, 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 lessons and support with film making.
Life in general – Robin my eldest son has a Sports massage practice in Biggin Hill and is a racquetball coach. Paul my youngest son has an IT company in Brighton. Two of my grandchildren are at Uni the third is planning to go next year.
I seldom mention my partner, sons, daughter-in-laws, my grandchildren or my sister in my posts, as I feel the need to respect their privacy.