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 soon realised that most poets do no such thing, but I was enjoying blogging by then so I just carried on – but to be truthful my mother had gone into hospital for a minor operation and come out in a coffin! Creativity in it’s many forms can come to the rescue at desperate times!
I write about anything I find interesting, visits to galleries, places in and around Brighton, London and sometimes France.
There are pieces about courses I attend, progress in my garden and on my allotment. I sometimes include the people I meet and throw in a bit of home spun philosophy.
I come from a family of marionette makers and performers and had a solo act in Variety. I like painting and photography so there are plenty of pics and even some of my poems. I have been an art teacher, taught gypsies, became a freelance journalist, worked in adult education and I had a play called ‘Travelling Nowhere’ performed at The Young Vic.
Some kind people decided to recommend me for an award so this is –
Please click on the link to read the latest post …
Poetry – I have been writing poetry on and off for several years but had never thought about publication. But eventually I approached Writing Magazine and they published three. I had others published in local anthologies. Unfortunately I was a bit late discovering the world or the more prestigious poetry magazines and who knows if I would have had any success!
Luckily however one of my poems was shortlisted in the Bridport Prize in 2014 and a collection was shortlisted in a pamphlet competition. A single poem ‘Afraid of the Dark’ won a local competition in Hove judged by New Writing South.
Finally at a a certain age and stage in life somewhat recklessly, I decided to publish my own collection. I had some confidence in my work partly because I had had a mentor. I was also lucky with finding technical help for the formatting and downloading.
Be warned – a book but without an established publisher, more help with editing and marketing, means one is out on a limb!
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 at £6.95. It is also available from Lulu and Amazon.
The poems explore the complexity of life as the daughter of marionette makers and performers. There are also poems about the seaside, artists, allotments and the eccentricities of life.
I included a section of poems written during a residency in Postman’s Park in the City of London. A bit ambitious but they are as they are! The Poetry School and the London Parks and Gardens Trust gave me this opportunity as part of ‘Mixed Borders’ and Open London Spaces Weekend.
I have had generous acknowledgements from two established poets.
‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’ My first collection of poetry which included poems that had been published in Writing Magazine and in anthologies. I decided to add some of my own illustrations This is not really acceptable in the wider world of poetry but I was very much a beginner and did not really care. It is not a brilliant book but it has some memorable poems so I am told.
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.
I confess got a bit carried away with blogging and have more than one blog.
Films on youtube 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.
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.
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