Sketch by Ann

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


Ann on a good day!

Blogging is brilliant  – It’s loads of fun and I’ve made contact with people all over the world. It’s provided a focus, something to write on a regular basis as well as my other love, writing poetry!


A Brighton sunset

I include news, reviews, events, things that I find interesting, photography, home spun philosophy, visits to interesting places around Brighton and also London. Gradually a readership came out of nowhere. I think I am moving up to 50,000 hits.


Postman’s Park

I am a Londoner, a puppeteer, teacher,  artist,  later re-training to become a therapist. 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 carer, died in very sad circumstances,  made more painful by the fact it was partly due to hospital mismanagement.  We were all devastated.


Rottingdean’s Windmill

Recovery was helped by the fact the landscape here is beautiful, there are walks on the beach and the Downs, theatres, cinemas, writing groups, courses in just about everything.


Message in the sand

I helped in a charity shop, drifted into running puppet workshops in the local library. My partner took up playing musical instruments again. Later I tried singing jazz and then stand up comedy, signing up for a course with Jill Edwards, writing material on a weekly basis and finally auditioning and appearing at the New Act Night at the Komedia. But all in all at times I wondered just what I was doing with my life.

Luckily writing came to the rescue once again. I had always written things including plays for Pelham Puppets, (toys of the 50s and 60s),  monologues for Radio 4, articles for teaching magazines and a play about travellers that was performed at the Young Vic when I was in my forties. Later I became a freelance journalist and a member of the Society of Woman Writers and Journalists.


On a course at Arvon

I decided to change genre and re-awaken my love of  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.  But then I discovered John McCullough, a poet and tutor teaching creative writing at Sussex University.  At the end of a year’s course, which included writing poetry,  I found some older poems and realised I might have a collection.

Self Publishing – I knew that small presses were a bit of a lottery so self publishing seemed the obvious way forward at my age and stage in life. I was moderately confident about the poems, some in free verse and others that rhyme. John had mentored me for some of them and I also enlisted some professional help with the book edit.

1-DSC08714-003 ‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’  available  online and in the Open Art Cafe in Rottingdean. £6.00 gift wrapped. This version has sold really well, In colour with illustrations to accompany poems on most pages it costs£17.50. Colour printing is expensive so any profit on this book is marginal.

Here is the title poem

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.

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.

Black and white edition

Colour edition  

B/W mono print

Illustrations –  I decided to include illustrations because I had so many paintings around the place, some were oil paintings, prints or pastels I had done over the years,  others were sketches in pen designed especially for the book.

Illustrations from colour version


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

Colour print done at a course at City Lit.  ‘Weaving Spells’ in the colour edition

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 


Postman’s Park

2015   I was lucky enough to get a mini residency in Postman’s Park courtesy of the Poetry School and London Open Squares. I read some of my poems at The House of Vans for ‘Talking Peace Festival’ with the 16 other poets involved. Lovely to hear some of the  very different poems from the other participants.

I’ve just completed a new poetry pamphlet ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’ –  I am fortunate to have been mentored by  John McCullough and had encouragement from Tim Dooley.  It’s currently being considered for publication by a small poetry press who have promised a time scale for their consideration.

Latest posts please click on this link at the top of this page,

The New Allotmemt

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!

DSCF2477 DSCF2466 DSCF2471 DSCF2465 DSCF2494

Film making – for several years 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, my youngest son Paul’s performance of Punch and Judy, part of a programme that opened The Terraces in Rottingdean.  Some films have thousands of hits others twenty, so take your pick.


One of the most popular films is 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.

https://www.youtube.com/user/puppethouseuk or see two of them here!


This Alice appeared in an Ice Show in Morcambe in the late 50s

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

white clown-1

A reconstruction of our popular puppet circus (but without the famous clowns’ repartee which was never recorded) from the 50s and 60s is now on youtube. It was  part of our show that we had the honour of performing for the Queen at her first children’s party after the war at Buckingham Palace in 1952.


Our puppet site – please click on http://www.puppethouse.co.uk/ 

DSCF2134-002 Ann Perrin slide (539)1-P1000670 Ann Perrin slide (612) 1-P1000659 Ann Perrin slide (296) Ann Perrin slide (259)  Ann Perrin slide (617) Ann Perrin slide (294) Ann Perrin slide (613) Ann Perrin slide (619) Ann Perrin slide (292)

A dedicated website for our marionette making and performance developed with my youngest son Paul 15 years ago. My parents (I pulled the curtains as a child) entertained the aristocracy, film stars at their private parties including Kenneth More, Peter Sellers etc. Later in life I  worked during our Summer seasons, appeared on TV with Cliff Richards Saturday Spectacular, worked in Cabaret, toured in Variety, did 15 episodes of ‘The Telegoons.’ We all worked on the puppetry for the feature film ‘Oh What a lovely War’ on Brighton’s West Pier.

Our marionette collection has puppets from 1949 to the present day.  The clowns, musicians, characters from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Cabaret artists etc have had  to go into storage!

Please click on   https://annperrin.wordpress.com/puppethouse/ for a museum update

Our links with Brighton

In the 60s  – Our family made and performed with marionettes in the feature film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’,  on the worn wooden boards of the West Pier in 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 still it and I have been known to call myself ‘The Beach Hut poet.’

1-IMG_7779In 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.

In 2015 – The marionettes will be on  display at The Grange Art Gallery and Museum  in the middle of November as part an exhibition called Cinema by the Sea associated with Brighton in the 50s   The iconic anti-war film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ is included.


Our exhibit looks fantastic but there are artifacts and posters from the various films of the 50s and  soon there will be even machines made by Emmett of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ fame! I know because I have been setting up our contribution with the dedicated and creative Marcus Bradshaw, the curator at the Grange, and had a quick preview of the wonderful things which will be on display.





My partner – I am lucky to have one and have to give him credit for his love and patience. It may not sound like it but we do have some joint interests! Visiting our favourite city Paris is one! But on more down to earth level we also put our names down for an allotment and three years later we got one! A muddy field with a pond but it was a start. We also redesigned out garden.


Corner of the garden


Our allotment

My partner’s other passion is music so he went back to playing his flute and violin and later extended his range of instruments to four!

Self-hypnosis for Positive Health –Something else dear to my heart has been a career as a therapist working in a private practice but mainly for Primary Care Trusts The following film might  be useful for relaxation and controlling pain.  There are two options -you can close your eyes and just listen, or watch the images – which were added later.

Qualifications  –  All my qualifications were gained  later in life!   Teaching Certificate, BA with the OU,  MSc in Life Course Development from Birkbeck, Counselling qualifications, Hypnotherapy and a Master Practitioner in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming.

I was born with a cleft palate which caused speech problems and am discalculous. As I am the daughter of puppeteers formal schooling was also often disrupted, so grammar and can still be a bit of a struggle but I have a good proof reader!

Memoir  –  Currently writing it, although some might say this blog says it all,  but they could  be wrong.

End of storyhatch party


IT and technical support Paul Perrin – paul@idltd.com


Ann-Marie Fyfe


Dr. John McCullough

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, 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.

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.


21 Responses to About

  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,

    • 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:


  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.

  11. George Appleby says:

    Dear Ann, We met at the Poetry School last year and at its party in September you gave me a signed copy of your Daisy collection. Will you be going to this year’s launch/party ? Inspired by you I have produced a collection and I’d like to give you a copy. I’d also very much appreciate your advice on making it available to the public. Any chance I could ring you sometime ? (My collection lacks the variety and beautiful illustrations of yours, but its a start.)
    George Appleby

    • ann perrin says:

      Hi George, Sorry so long in replying, So glad you got your book out.
      My suggestions are to take your book to open mics, don’t advertise it (bit tacky) just read from it.
      Try a local cafe, book or gift shop see if they will take it.
      I managed to get two to take mine, but their cut means I don’t make any money! But who does?
      If you have some spare, leave them on seats in parks, busy shopping precincts with a note ‘a gift to you’. Give one or two to a local charity shop and congratulate yourself for resourcefulness and get on with your next poem.
      Enter competitions as long as they are free or cheap to enter. I think it has all become a bit of an industry.
      I’m older than you and I believe ageism in the arts is rife.
      Not too helpful I know but it is a very competitive game at the best of times. Take care. Ann

  12. Hi Ann
    Love your Blog!
    However I just wanted to ask you about the following:
    My best friend Alan Gage for his endless support.
    Was Alan by any chance connected with Gage or Gaje Marionettes?
    They performed at schools in the Bristol area in the 1960s.
    I can be found on Facebook – Henleaze Book
    I do hope you can help?

    • ann perrin says:

      Lovely to hear from you. No Alan was never a puppeteer although he would dispute that having helped with the filming of my marionettes, been general dogsbody and even marionette manipulator in chief as I endless try to ensure they are conserved for posterity. A real struggle at times as I am the only puppeteer left in our family. Take care Ann

  13. Roz says:

    Hello Ann…..lovely to see you at the bus stop….hope this reaches you….thought it was the best way to get in touch and enjoy the blog.


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