I started this blog seven years ago when I moved to the South Coast. I was writing a lot of poetry at the time and someone said having a blog is what modern poets do! I learned later that most of them do no such thing but I was enjoying blogging so I just carried on.
I write about anything I find interesting, visits to galleries, places in and around Brighton, London and sometimes France. I write about the courses I attend, my garden or allotment, the people I meet and sometimes add a bit of home spun philosophy. I come from a family of marionette makers and performers, I like painting and photography so there are plenty of pics and even some of my poems.
Some kind people decided to recommend me for an award so this is –
Please click on the link to read the latest post …
I am a late start poet but started writing scripts for our marionettes as a teenager. Strangely ‘Cinderella in 5 minutes’ an updated version of the panto is currently my most popular post! But I have been a freelance journalist, written two dissertations for my degrees and a play about travellers that was performed at the ‘Young Vic’.
In more recent years I wrote and performed stand up comedy and had three poems published in ‘Writing Magazine’. One of my poems was shortlisted in the Bridport Prize in 2014, a small collection shortlisted in a pamphlet competition and a single poem ‘Afraid of the Dark’ won a local competition in Hove.
The truth is there are a lot of poets out there. Some of whom write poems worse than mine but others that write poems that are far more eloquent than mine! In the end at a certain age and stage in life I decided to take stock. I got myself an established poet as a mentor and finally decided to self publish….
Some of my poems are in traditional forms but mainly in free verse, a few even dare to rhyme, others are experimental. At this time in my life one just has to go for it!
The one and only advertisement on this site follows – so that has to be a bonus!
The Puppeteer’s Daughter
Published August 2016 – Available in City Books 23 WESTERN ROAD, HOVE. TEL: 01273 725306 and the Open Art Cafe in Nevill Road, Rottingdean, on Lulu and Amazon.
Poems that explore the complexity of life as the daughter of marionette makers and performers, poems about the seaside, artists, allotments and the eccentricities of life. Poems are mainly in free verse
I have included a section of poems witten during a residency in Postman’s Park in the City of London. These were a chance to respond to the environment, the vistors etc. so I did my best!
I partularly enjoyed writing ‘The Worm’ and ‘The Pew’ the latter was in memory of John Betjeman who used to attend the church situated in the park. (The Poetry School and the London Parks and Gardens Trust gave me this opportunity – it was, of course, unpaid).
I have had generous acknowledgements from two established poets.
‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’ A first collection of poetry. This was my first effort but some of the poems included had been published in Writing Magazine and in various anthologies.
Available in City Books 23 WESTERN ROAD, HOVE. TEL: 01273 725306 and the Open Art Cafe in Nevill Road, Rottingdean.
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 in my opinion (I am prejudiced) is a work of art, but had to be priced at £18! Available on Lulu and at The Open Art Cafe Rottingdean
Above – The West Pier – pen and ink. Robin my eldest son as a child – oil on paper.
The Beach Hut Poet
We bought our beach hut twenty five years ago when my partner had a flat in Hove and they were less trendy. Fishermen kept rods in them and families just had rugs and sandwiches. By the time the grandchildren had gone off to uni, we were both living on the south coast and the beach hut has proved to be a perfect place to write. .
Allotment on the Weald
Basically it was a muddy field with an abandoned pond but it gave us a another lease of life and naturally a new blog soon followed.
I used to belong to a film club and made films. Now with easy access to youtube I have put them online.
I loved making this one.
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. The book 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.
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 She 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.
Our puppet circus.
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 from our garage in Highgate so I could not include them. Ironically the strong man turned up at an auction alone 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 taste of our circus, part of our show at Buckingham Palace for a children’s party given by Her Majesty the Queen in the 50s – please click on the following link
Our dedicated website for our marionettes
please click on the link http://www.puppethouse.co.uk/
Our marionette collection has puppets we have made and performed with from 1949. It includes clowns, musicians and characters from extracts of plays we once performed including ‘Alice in Wonderland.’
This Alice appeared in an Ice Show in Morecambe in the 50s. My mother had to learn to skate to be part of 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’ 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 – There 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.
So please don’t miss an opportunity to see these amazing marionettes on display
at The Grange Art Gallery and Museum in Rottingdean. A free exhibition.
Wonderful postcards of this set are available and a limited edition at £1;50
Please note I am still seeking a museum who would like over 200 marionettes for a temporary or permanent display. They are currently in storage.
A film for Self Hypnosis and Positive Health.
There are two options – you can close your eyes and just listen, or watch the images which I added more recently. I was a therapist for fifteen years working for Primary Care Trusts in London.
I confess got a bit carried away with blogging and have several. I found writing therapeutic particularly when I moved down here after my mother died. I had been working but had also cared for her for ten years, when she went into hospital for a minor operation and came out in a coffin. I struggled with grief and the sense of having let her down.
Although I come from a large family and am a mother. grandmother and have a partner, I seldom write posts about any of them. I think it is really important to respect other people’s privacy..
If you have got this far thank you for your patience. Ann