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 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 – 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
Films about Brighton events etc
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.
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!
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.
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
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 .
Latest poetry or verse or work in progress please click on
Summary of writing activity.
Writing 1 – In the early days – Plays 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.
Book 2 – This 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)
Our 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.
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
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.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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 – email@example.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.
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.
Ann Perrin BA. M.Sc. and Master Practitioner in NLP
My other blogs
1. For love of my allotment -
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.
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
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!