Blogging is brilliant – Its loads of fun and I’ve made contact with people all over the world. It has provided me with something to write on a weekly basis. I also write a lot of poetry too.
In these posts I include news, reviews, events, things that I find interesting, lots of photography, home spun philosophy, visits to interesting places around Brighton and London. Gradually a readership came out of nowhere.
I am a Brighton based writer but was born in London in the blitz with a cleft palate which impeded my clarity of speech and affected my relationship with language throughout my life. But, as a puppeteer’s daughter working with marionettes from an early age, they became a wonderful foil for the fact that I could not speak clearly until the age of eight.
I have written things all my life. I helped to write scripts for our marionettes, plays for Pelham Puppets, (toys of the 50s and 60s); among other things I have written two monologues for Radio 4, articles for teaching magazines, assignments for my Degree with the OU, a play about travellers which was performed at the Young Vic when I was in my forties. I have always worked full time at things other than writing, teaching. adult education therapy etc. However during this time as a freelance journalist I became a member of the Society of Woman Writers and Journalists.
Please click on the link that follows to skip to latest posts
or read on for poetry exploits and more back stories.
If you like a post it would be wonderful if you pressed the like button at the end of any of them and/or added a comment.
‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’ available in City Books in Hove and in the Open Art Cafe in Rottingdean and on line with Lulu. Illustrations in black and white at £6.99
Sales of both have already far exceeded my expectations.
John McCullough ‘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’.
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 young and old alike’ – Kiersty Boon, poet and author.
Illustrations from colour version at £18 only avilable from Amazon and due to the cost of colour printing. My profit is still only £1.50
The West Pier – pen and ink – Robin – oil on heavy paper.
On The Fiddle
Playing the fiddle
he walks the tight rope
strung between two lamp posts.
With over painted mouth
and yellow hair
his bow catches
an uncertain sound
drowned by the man
with the band
playing the blue tuba
outside the Pavilion.
He tempts and teases
smiles down at passers-by
Later he waits for the bus
catches his reflection
in a window
a painted smile and
black crossed eyes
In his tiny attic room
the show is over
his image melts in the mirror
with Crows Cremine
and Kleenex tissues.
Time for a beer and to disappear!
Don’t Throw Away the Daisies
Thank you for passing the time with me.
It’s so lonely waiting to die.
Can’t tell you how angry I felt
when you first appeared
with fruit and flowers
wittering on about sun and the seasons.
I wanted to scream at you “I’m dying”
Have you got the colouring book?
One of your slightly better ideas.
Silly really but I love doing them,
reminds me of being little,
using every crayon in the box.
Mother and me at the kitchen table.
Now when you do the flowers
please don’t throw away the daisies
although I know they are past their best.
Could you do my nails?
I often had a manicure when I was working
it seems important that God should see
I’ve tried my hardest.
I love the oils, the scent of lavender
challenging that mournful medical smell?
Hold my hand, I’m feeling so very tired.
Deep rhythms overwhelm me
creeping in on every side.
My eyelids are amazing rainbows
how very strange.
Let’s say goodbye now – softly
just in case I slip away.
Other poetry enterprise
Poems published in Compact, Writing News – three different editions and local anthologies.
2012 Winner of a poetry competition judged by New Writing South at the Hatchery in Hove.
2013 One of my poems was listed in The Bridport Prize comp. The same year I was on the longlist for a poetry pamphlet with Cinnamon Press
2015 I was lucky enough to get a mini residency in Postman’s Park in the City of London courtesy of the Poetry School and The London Garden Trust.
I read some of my poems at The House of Vans, Waterloo, for ‘Talking Peace Festival’ with the 16 other poets involved. Lovely to hear some of the very different poems from the other participants. (please see header for some of my poems)
I’ve just completed a new poetry book called ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’ – I am fortunate to have had some mentoring for it from John McCullough and encouragement from Anne-Marie Fyfe and Tim Dooley.
Currently I don’t have many of my own poems on my site, as once a poem is on a blog it is not eligible to enter a competition or for publication.
2007 As a mother and grandmother, I moved to the South Coast eight years ago with my partner. This was soon after my mother, for whom I had been a companion/carer died in very sad circumstances partly due to hospital mismanagement. We were all devastated.
Gradually grief has eased due to the fact the landscape here is beautiful, there are walks on the beach and the Downs and we set about re-designing the garden. I helped in a charity shop, drifted into running puppet workshops in a local library, tried standup comedy with Jill Edwards and managed to get into New Acts Night at the Komedia.
I started to work on our family collection of marionettes. My partner took up playing musical instruments again.
I decided to re-awaken my interest in poetry. I went to readings both in Brighton and London, attended courses at the Poetry School and took holidays at Arvon creative writing centres in the UK.
At the end of the creative writing course at Sussex University which included writing poetry I found some other poems in my files and compiled a collection. My poems are mainly in free verse and are about life, death, people, places and memories and there are a few funny ones.
2011 The New Allotment
Another lucky break in retirement was getting a tiny allotment plot after three years on the waiting list. It was a muddy field and had an abandoned pond, but it was soon transformed!
Film making – In London I had been a keen amateur film maker. Once I had settled in Brighton I made films here too – Burning the clocks, Virginia Woolf’s garden, a nonsence version of one of my youngest son Paul’s Punch and Judy, but a also a wonderful performance he did as part of a programme that opened The Terraces in Rottingdean. Some films have thousands of hits others twenty, so take your pick.
Virginia Woolf’s garden.
‘The Hole in the Wall’ from the sublime to the ridiculous but I am rather fond of this film which is of a picture book for children I once made. It jumped through several hoops with Oxford University Press years ago but in the end the editor who was interested left and the idea was dropped.
Films associated with our marionettes please click on.
or see two of them here!
Alice in Wonderland – The following film was the first and hardest one to make. It is my favourite and was made a couple of years before my mother died She had climbed up into the loft of my house in South London to operate some of the characters in her late 70s. The boat scene in the garden was a labour of love and took forever.
Puppet circus on youtube
A reconstruction based on our popular puppet circus from the 50s and 60s but without the famous clowns’ repartee which was never recorded.
A circus was always part of our show that once included a strong man and an acrobat on a horse. We once had the honour of performing for the Queen at her first children’s party after the war at Buckingham Palace in 1952.
A taste of our circus – please click on the following link
A dedicated website for our marionette making and performance developed with my youngest son Paul 15 years ago.
please click on the link http://www.puppethouse.co.uk/
Our marionette collection has puppets we have made and performed with from 1949. The clowns, musicians, characters from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Cabaret artists etc. I was a puppeteer in my own right from the age of 16 billed as the youngest professional puppeteer in the country.
Please click on https://annperrin.wordpress.com/puppethouse/ for a museum update
Our links with Brighton
Our marionettes’ performed in the film and were directed by Lord Attenborough.
In the 80s – my friend, now my partner had a flat in Hove and he managed to buy a beach hut. We kept it for 30 years and still have it.
In 2013 – As part of their commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War BBC South East filmed the conservation of the marionettes and interviewed me about my family’s role in performing with them in the film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’. We all went to the Duke of York’s Cinema for a special showing of the original film.
There are artifacts and posters from the various films, machines made by Emett, a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car. I know because I have been setting up our contribution with the dedicated and creative Marcus Bagshaw, the curator at the Grange, and had a quick preview of the wonderful things which will be on display.
I have always had a tendency to suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or winter sadness but it did not have a label at the time. Fortunately it never affected my professional role . I ‘walked my talk’ as we say in the business and kept the symptoms under control.
As a therapist I made the following tape to give to clients suffering from stress. It has been used many times for relaxation and is also worth trying for pain control. I call it Self Hypnosis for Positive Health – there are two options -you can close your eyes and just listen, or watch the images that I added recently.
So here is your freebie with my love should you choose to use it.
You are advised however not use it if you suffer from a serious depressive illness.. If in doubt please consult you GP.
Qualifications – One O’level, Teaching Certificate, BA with the OU, MSc in Life Course Development from Birkbeck, Counselling qualifications and Hypnotherapy and I am a Master Practitioner in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming for what that is worth!
IT and technical support Paul Perrin – firstname.lastname@example.org
Poetry Courses with tutors John McCullough, Ian Duhig, Jacob Polley, Jean Sprackland, Tim Dooley, Ann-Marie Fyfe, Jackie Wills and others. With lessons from all these talented I admit I should be a much better poet!
Encouragement with poetry and support – Kiersty Boon who also downloaded my first book from Lulu, Jane Maker, Janet Cameron and Simon Wrigley.
Film making Orpington Film and Video Makers, Spring Park Film Makers, Tom Hardwick for lessons and support with film making.
General family support Alan my long suffering partner who often proof reads my posts (you can usually tell when he doesn’t) Robin my eldest son who has a sports massage practice in Biggin Hill, is a racquetball coach and regularly gives sensible advice. Paul my youngest son who has an IT company in Brighton and gives me all technical support I need for all my websites. I have two lovely daughters in law and three grandchildren. I seldom mention any of my family on blogs unless I ask them if it is OK so say something as I respect their need for privacy.