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‘Finding my feet’  including creative nonfiction, photos, posts and  poems.

I come from a family of marionette makers and performers and performed with my own marionettes for several years before marriage, motherhood, divorce, teaching, becoming an artist, freelance journalism and latterly a poet.

I moved to Brighton ten years ago following the death of my mother and having spent most of my life in London.


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

  I include places I visit, galleries in Brighton and London, the people I meet, the natural world, some of my poems, my garden, allotment, marionettes, there is mild humour here and there and sometimes a touch of home-spun philosophy.

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I still paint and write poetry.  I’m also a keen photographer so there are plenty of pics and even some films, mini documentaries, places, gardens etc.

Please click on https://annperrin.wordpress.com/finding-my-feet-in-later-life/ for lastest post.

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Writing has always been part of my existence but I returned to writing poetry about ten years ago, rather late in life.  But I have had a few poems published in magazines, won a local prize and published two collections.

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The Puppeteer’s Daughter  – A second collection of poems published August 2016 – available in City Books 23 WESTERN ROAD, HOVE and at the Open Art Cafe in Nevill Road, Rottingdean at £6.95. It is also available from Lulu and Amazon. Please click on the link at the side of this page to purchase.

The following endorsements are probably over generous but never mind

John McCullough –
Ann Perrin writes brilliant poems that fizz with originality, satisfying the reader’s heart as well as their head. Her work is frequently surreal yet, crucially, never strays far from poignancy. Its energy leaves you feeling revitalized and seeing the world afresh.’
Tim Dooley –  
 ‘Ann Perrin is an original. Her memories of a world that is almost completely lost are coloured with wit and a vivid eye for detail. These are poems that resonate long after one has finished reading them.’
This is our white rabbit busy on a stint peddling poetry along the seafront before he collapsed from exhaustion!


The Puppeteer's Daughter

The poems  explore the complexity of life as the daughter of marionette makers and performers. But there are also poems concerned with life, love and loss, also the seaside, artists, allotments and the eccentricities of life.

Some of the poems were written during a residency in Postman’s Park in the City of London, thanks to The Poetry School ‘Mixed Borders’ scheme with London Parks and Gardens Trust.

Fifteen poets took part, each one writing poems in one of  London’s open Spaces. The event is called ‘Open London Squares Weekend.’

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‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’ came out six years ago.  Some individual poems had been published in Magazines.

On sale in City Books 23 WESTERN ROAD, HOVE.  TEL: 01273 725306 and the Open Art Cafe in Nevill Road, Rottingdean.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.       Also available on-line with Lulu. Illustrations
and mono prints in black and white at £6.99

John McCullough  ‘Ann’s poetry covers the big topics of love and death with originality.  Take for instance  the title poem which is full of surprises yet also wonderfully poignant.’ 

Kiersty Boon  ‘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.’


The colour version is lovely but unfortunately had to be priced at £18 due to the cost of colour printing so is only available on line from Lulu.

Above –  The West Pier – pen and ink.  Robin my eldest son as a child – oil on paper.

‘The Hole in the Wall’ Started a a picture book poem, but when I could not get it published I made it into a film and put it on youtube.

What a surprise when The Dry Stone Walling Association discovered it and  and asked if they could produce the book and sell it on their site.

Picture Book available at from The Dry Stone Walling Association on the following link                       http://www.dswa.org.uk/books-dvds.asp


I am all for trying something new so I have put some of my poems from my first book on a podcast.
The following link goes to some of my rhymes, poems and films for children.
This link is to poetry from one of my blog pages.

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Mini memoir – 

I was born with a cleft palate in London during an air raid. It was the same week that a bomb narrowly missed landing on Buckingham Place.

I was lucky that my mouth was mended several months later but I had problems speaking clearly as a child. Strangely my mother just forgot to tell me about this until I was about 30!

When my father returned from active service my parents became marionette makers and performers. We lived in our grandparents’ house on the edge of Highgate. P1090506

We had a room set up as a theatre with red velvet tip up seats from a cinema and people came to see our shows.

The world of art, mime and stagecraft were part of our lives as well as the insecurity. that goes with a bohemian life style. We were rich or poor depending on the sun and the season.

My sister and I sometimes missed school. Summer seasons were from June until early in October. Once we were left in the care of our extremely patient grandparents until the end of the school term.

My mother did a tour with a show in Germany and once performed in an ice show in Morecambe.  At such times my father continued to create new marionettes at home.

At eighteen I was billed as the youngest professional puppeteer in Britain and gained an Equity card when performing at Eastbourne Hippodrome. I toured in Variety’ with cabaret marionettes and was once on the same bill as Max Miller. Later we all worked on the TV version of The Goon Show’ – ‘The Telegoons.’

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At 23 I was married with two lovely sons, but divorced 8 years later.

Our final reunion as a family of puppeteers was in 1968 when we made the marionettes and performed in the film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ on Brighton’s West Pier.

I needed a new career so trained as a teacher and had a modest grant. When I had qualified I taught in a primary school and also studied with the OU. Later I  taught gypsies on a permanent site and art in a comprehensive school.

My career moved on and I was part of a team of professionals running education programmes in a secure unit. Finally I was a manager and tutor in an adult education institute in Lambeth and studied part-time for an M.Sc. at Birkbeck.

When adult education institutes were closed in London I retrained to become an NLP therapist working freelance in Primary Care Trusts and on a voluntary basis for two charities.

Following my father’s death my mother moved nearby. I simply adored her and when she died in particularly sad circumstances, I realised I had also lost my  creative partner. Grief stricken I moved to the coast with my wonderful, adoring and supportive long-term partner!

Now finally retired I tried to cheer myself up and trained with Jill Edwards and did some stand up comedy. We had to write our own material and I managed to get a place in the  New Acts Night at the Komedia.

Finally I discovered a one day a week Creative writing/poetry course at Sussex University with the inspirational John McCullough who has always had faith in my work!

Films – You might like my films?  When we lived in London I belonged to a film club, OVFM, where I sometimes won minor awards.

Some have had thousands of hits, others just a few. So take you pick


I loved making this one. Virginia Woolf’s garden.

Marionettes update and website.

I have had a website for our marionettes for over fifteen years. It is old in terms of website design but still have affection for it.

please click on the link  http://www.puppethouse.co.uk/ 

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Our marionettes have performed since 1949 in Marionette Musicals. these used to  include – our puppet circus, singers dancers, musicians, underwater ballet, our own plays and  extracts from the classics

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A  series of  films – remakes of our shows that I gradually add to youtube



Alice in Wonderland – was the first and hardest one to make. It is my favourite and was made a couple of years before my mother died   In her late 70s she climbed up into the loft of my house in South London to operate some of the characters.  The boat scene in the garden  was  a labour of love and took forever.

Our puppet circus.

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A reconstruction based on our popular puppet circus in the  50s and 60s but sadly without the famous clowns’ repartee which I subsequently found on a reel to reel tape..

A circus was  always part of our show which included a strong man and an acrobat on a horse.  Unfortunately some of our marionettes were stolen so I could not include them.  Ironically the strong man turned up at an auction along with some other favourites such as ‘Mademoiselle de Paris’ a few years ago.  I hasten to say the seller was completely unaware they had once been ours.

A re-construction giving a taste of some of our circus, part of our show at Buckingham Palace for a children’s party given by Her Majesty the Queen – please click on the following link


1-IMG_7779In 2014  –  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’ on Brighton’s West Pier in the 60’s. We all went to the Duke of York’s Cinema for a special showing  of the original film.

In 2015 – DSC04037There are artifacts and posters from the various films, a model of the car made by Emett for the film  ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.’  I know because I helped to set 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 would be on display..

Our marionettes were part of an exhibition called ‘CINEMA BY THE SEA’ an exhibtion ar the The Grange Museum and Art Gallery In Rottingdean 2015 -2016.

I am always seeking places to display all or some of  our 200 marionettes that are currently in storage.

Writing my blogs!  This is a labour of love.

Another of several passions in life is our allotment on the Weald  –


This is the history of creating our allotment. We got it after three years on the waiting list. Basically a small muddy field with an abandoned pond so naturally it became the subject of a blog!

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I write another site with tips for coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder – winter depression.  I put up posts on a regular basis because I have this condition myself and want to share how NLP may keep symptoms at bay.


Retire to the seaside?  Think very carefully 


Brighton’s beach is not like this!

Please note I seldom if ever mention other members of my family still in the land of the living!  I adore my grandsons all doing interesting things but it is really a case of respecting everyone’s privacy!

If you have got this far thank you for your patience. Ann


27 Responses to Home Page

  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.


    • ann perrin says:

      Whoops only just found this again having whizzzed up and down for a bit over the last few days and then thought I had your card and sent this jolly email to a complete stranger! Who said I don’t know you, not sure how I got her card. Whoops can you send an email so I can say hi all over again.


  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!


  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.



  14. Digby Howard says:

    Good to meet you.
    Please email me Ann,
    it would be good if we could meet up
    before Thursday Poetry Class.


  15. Michael Rumney says:

    I came across your brilliant film on youtube about Lumb Bank I have been on 5 courses there since 2002 the last in 2015. Brought back fantastic memories


  16. Luminella says:

    This design is incredible! You definitely know how to keep a
    reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved
    to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool! https://luminellacream.com/


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