Autumnal sunshine

with more butterflies and bees

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optimistic spiders mending broken webs

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Virginia creeper and the last of the passion flowers and their fruit



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Posted in Ann's photography, Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Flowers/Garden/Allotment, Nature - birds, flowers, sea or country, Photography, SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Paths – pictures and a poem

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From my bedroom window I can see the worn stone
paths I created in the garden. The pathway meandering
through the park leading to the sea where dog walkers
congregate every morning. Tiny paths threading their way
to Telscombe Tye and roads leading in and out of town.

Now blackbirds are back pecking the ground under
the wet brown flower heads, a robin sings on a leafless
Laburnum, a smart pigeon marches under the bird feeder
hoping careless sparrows will flick a few seeds his way
a tabby cat emerges just below the magpie’s nest.

But what I’m seeking is a new direction.



This poem came out of a workshop at New Writing South with John McCullough.



Posted in Ann's photography, Ann's poems, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Flowers/Garden/Allotment, Nature - birds, Photography, Poetry - Creative Writing, SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Venice – 40 years on.

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Same guy, same place, just 40 years later!  

Time to step once again into a city which is like a stage set, full of history, drama, colour and light.

Last time, 40 years ago I only lasted a day! My first holiday as a single parent and without the children, romance was in the air! But three discs in my back suddenly collapsed, (probably due to years of operating heavy marionettes) and I was flown home in a wheelchair!

P1080748This time we took that long awaited trip in a gondola, with a gondalier who really could sing!

P1080865Venice as we all know is sinking, but the seagulls paddling in St Marks Square came as a bit of a shock.

But there were a few sunny afternoons and we spent one of them in the square sipping glasses of Prosecco, listening to a four piece orchestra.


A pre-booked tour ensured no queuing and soon we were inside the Doge’s Palace, the  guide full of information about Venice, its history, art and culture.

In the Basilica we learned that the original  statue of four life size horses which is now inside, was looted from Byzantium (now Constantinople).    A copy now adorns the outside of the Basilica.

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My father once told me that he was one of the allied soldiers who had been part of thP1080956e liberation oP1080955f Italy. He was one of those who were invited to the celebrations at the most expensive hotel in Venice – the Danieli.

I just had to pop in and see it for myself! Apparently dad had his own band during his time in the services, later playing regularly on Radio Milan. No wonder he was reluctant to come home!

Such a lot to see, but unexpectedly we were offered a tourist promotion of a free ride to a glass factory in a water taxi with a couple of very pleasant Americans. Sometimes one just strikes lucky!

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September is a bit ate in the season, but I suddenly took it into my head to take a trip to the Lido,  P1080939 it looked a bit bleak, but I love beaches and found a few unusual shells.

P1080914We took a wonderful trip through the lesser known canals, and on another day managed to find the Jewish Quarter.

We crossed the Rialto Bridge to see the fish market and found  some of the authentic makers of musical instruments and Venetian carnival masks.

My partner loves early music, so luckily on the last day we managed a trip to the Basilica of Santa Marie Gloriosa dei Frari where Monteverdi was buried.

Of course no one contemplates visiting Venice without seeing the famous Bridge of Sighs. This is a photo through the brickwork, of the last view of Venice prisoners would get, walking from the Doge’s Palace to the prison! Hence the sighs!


It is quite difficult to see the bridge, due to a constant stream of tourists taking selfies on their mobiles attached to long sticks! But then you can’t have everything!

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So  same guy, same place, just 40 years later! Dreaming of going again in the Spring!

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Posted in Ann's photography, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Famous places, Life and Times of a New Age Granny, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Success and a bouquet for John and Jizz

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There was a full house at St George’s church on Friday night for John Davies, a guy on form performing several of his poems from his new collection Jizz.

Together with music, dance and movement, a wonderful collaborative performance was achieved.  Helen Lunt  (cello, flute, keyboard) and dancers  Harriet Morris and Rosa Firbank brought a further dimension to these amazing poems.

Jizz is described as ‘a bird’s eye view on life that’s both touching and playful. It’s a whiz round life’s big events and little foibles, a fly-through stuff that fascinates or frightens. It’s a quick flutter through beginnings and endings, love – and sheds. And all kinds of birds!’ and it lives up to that explanation.

I loved the choreography, the music and many of the poems, including a beautiful one called ‘Song Thrush’, ‘Channels’ which was funny and inventive, a wonderful shed poem  ‘Maximum Shed’ and many more capturing the imagination of an appreciative audience.

In the second half of the evening there were enjoyable performances by poets Kate Gale from the USA and Ciaran O’Driscoll from Ireland,  musician Margaret Farrelly and  Brighton singer-songwriter Pete Howells! All a real bonus to a very creative evening.

I met John a few years ago at one of his Shedman performances. He seemed at the time to be a gentle and perceptive man, was already an established poet, but also one with drive and humour.

It is a daunting task to write so many wonderful poems let lone perform them with such panache. The event was described as a pilot for a national tour in 2018 so if it comes anywhere near you it will be well worth the journey.

Jizz: New and Selected Poems by John Davies is published by Kingston University Press in the UK, price £9.99. and is available in all good bookshops and on line.

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I’m not sure who presented John with the bouquet but it was a fitting end to the evening.


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Posted in Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Photography, Poetry - Creative Writing, Retiring to Brighton - ups and downs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Poetry Day

P1090215Wonderful way to celebrate the day with a workshop run by Malika Booker at the Poetry School. Last week she was on the shortlist for the best single poem for the Forward Prize with her poem ‘Nine Nights’ from a series of poems about Caribbean funerals.

Today’s workshop was inspirational and she was so generous of spirit and happy to share her processes and journey into her own poetry.

Sadly Kathryn Maris who had arranged the visit as part of her advanced poetry course but was indisposed and could not be there. Such a pity they would have made a fantastic double act!

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Hove to Brighton Pier – and maybe the last of the summer?

Constantly changing cloud formations, a clear view of the skeleton of the West Pier, a celebration of engineering and ingenuity,  the madness of the ‘borrow a bike promotion’.

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Am a year older this week! The years seem to be moving on much too quickly. Why haven’t I been to all those places I once had in minds eye, written my best poem ever, had my novel published?  (Well best to finish it first!)

Now I find myself rushing about like a lunatic trying to do everything possible in  case I pop my clogs tomorrow!  No reason to think I might but have to face it, no one lasts forever!

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Was especially lucky today found a stunning  patio apple tree at the garden centre, it will have bright red apples next year and was reduced from £40 to £15.

How could I leave it behind!

Getting it in the car was a bit of challenge I sat in the back seat with branches sticking out at all angles. But We got it home, Seems like a good omen!

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Posted in Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Living by the sea, Photography | 2 Comments

Arts and Crafts and Workshops at Ming

Feels very much the end of season now the last Bank Holiday before Christmas has been and gone!  But then there have been a few unexpected pleasures…here’s one!

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Claire Harrison running and inspiring a watercolour workshop at the Ming Gift and Art Gallery in Hove last Sunday which was a free event. Claire is a well known practicing artist, but doesn’t hold back when she’s teaching and will share everything she knows. Laid back and easy going!

I first met Claire at Evolutoon a few years ago but now she spends most of her time with her own workshop.

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The Ming is a tiny gallery but with an attractive range of really unusual art and craft work.   They have run a range of workshops this summer with one or two more still to come including a collage workshop for adults with Jules F Foreman.  I’ve seen some of her amazing collages online and now she is about to show some of her art work at Ming.

You can discover more at 27 Montefiore Road in Hove.

Photo of Harrisons Of Hove - Hove, United Kingdom

Found a really busy and enterprising cafe/restaurant a few doors down,  Harrisons of Hove (same name but nothing to do with Claire).    It was absolutely teeming on Sunday for breakfast, but lunch and dinner menus looked pretty good. Such friendly staff and I only popped in for a coffee! Aim to return there for a meal soon.


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Posted in Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Galleries and Art in widest sense, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment