Caught in a blizzard – poem

IMG_20190130_085202  Photos by Robin –

Sisterhood in the 60s

Trapped in the cottage during a blizzard
we manage to light the old gas lamp hanging
on a chain on the ceiling, coax half a bucket
of water from the well, find a tin of soup
to heat on the primus stove and breastfeed
our sons huddled under warm blankets.

 

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Cataloging life and poetry

According to one source cataloging includes alphabetize, arrange, tick off, rank, stream, a pecking order, pigeon hole.

Love the last one, imagine indignant pigeons waiting while I place half finished poems into holes along the white cliffs walk way.

1-DSC09114   Pigeons pause on the cliffs   20-P1030909

Cataloging life 

Consider seriously if the scripts about gnomes living in a wood are ever be a going concern or for that matter to ‘Lizzie with love.’

Set out colourful packets of seeds into tempting rows.

Put all the pictures and handmade bits and bobs the grandchildren have ever made into three boxes, one for each of them.

Plan when to read files of mother’s writing including  letters from her wartime lover.

Think about singing don’t actually sing – just think about it.

Stop slipping into endless obligations say NO and another LOUDER NO.

Decide when to finish Nicky’s book about Pasta.

Make sure you messenger all the grandchildren at least once a month.

Go through your whole wardrobe decide who you are and stick to it.

Don’t write poems dancing naked in the bathroom as suggested by Matthew Dickman – stay curled up in bed.

Ancestry and Paper Chain from ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’

Ancestry

My people were
in the rag trade
their trademark
a thimble.
Granddad had
a fruit shop
his trademark
a black cash box
and constant cough.
An ancient uncle
mixed pigments
for Windsor and Newton
and studied the great masters.
Gran’s folk came
from gypsy stock.
fortune tellers
and dreamers.
Dad had a dance band
during he war
and played for radio Milan.
My mother lived
by her needle
and cooked
the lightest ever
Victoria sponge.

Paper Chain

Snow falls like flakes of memory
tucked under a warm blanket

cheeks pinched with cold
the window a filigree frost

rough sawn logs stacked in the grate
a comforting casserole in the oven

the smell of honeyed baked apples
stuffed with raisins

“Gales in the Herbides snow expected
to continue in the Highlands’

Mr Crick the newsagent hanging a single
dusty paper-chain in his window

Busy sparrows in a flurry of snow
spinning on the bird feeder

Mrs Kettle in her cottage with her goat
and cat huddle together to keep warm

The letter
‘We are sorry your great aunt died
two months ago, we are sure she would
have liked your letter returned herein.’

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

 

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New Year Resolutions…Oh No!

p1120581Made a list of last year’s successes instead:

            • Stayed alive!
            • More or less kept up with promises to family and friends.
            • Managed to keep my blog going after ten years seemed a pity to  abandon it
            • Made a show with my young neighbour…Cinderella – a pantomime in a box! p1120522-002
            • Had fun in my garden and allotment.
            • Read from my book at Troubadour, Pier Poets and was featured along with the great and the good at Pighog.  ‘Miss Lottie’s last chance’ was based on my mother on her allotment.
            • P1120001 P1110792 P1110995 P1110730
            • ‘Lizzie a poem about a gypsy child a fond memory. Poems about the complexities of being a puppeteer’s daughter had been a long haul.P1110912
          • Think I got to grips with Facebook despite the fact that I haven’t got a cat! I’m not too sure about the concept of friends but interesting acquaintances are fun.
          • Put a film up of a marionette singing Happy Birthday to someone special. wp-1546201566855..jpg https://www.facebook.com/ann.perrin.9862/videos/10157105436096802/?t=4 
          • You make your own luck my old granny used to say. Oh no not her again.

        But looking around the house at different bits and bobs decided success and what actually makes one happy are often very different things.

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  1.  So think it best to take things as they come. (apologies for the layout on this post just could not get it right)

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

Posted in Becoming a poet, Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Gardening and the Allotment - for the love of it, Marionette, Photography, poetry, Puppethouse mayhem | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Finding the printing press – puppets – poetry – presents

Well we’ve eaten all the mince pies!

The Adana

P1120480.JPGI uncovered the Adana press and IMG_20181219_160906a long lost box of printing blocks just before Christmas, as one does when one is looking for last years wrapping paper!

The blocks looked intriguing and as Nicky the youngest grandson was home from uni we unpacked them.

He thought the newspaper wrapping was almost as interesting as the blocks.  One went back to 1964 and several others were packed away in 1974. So we ironed them to read later and then he printed some of the blocks by hand coloured and laminated.

P1120490-001   P1120497   IMG_20181217_194100 P1120492

 

The block of Cinderella would have been used for publicity and a programme for our first performance of Cinderella which was at The Torch Theatre Club in London in the 50s.  After that performance different versions of the pantomime and new scripts seemed to go on forever.

In the box there were several sets of blocks and typeface in place from shows performed years ago!

IMG_20181219_161224From 1947 my parents made marionettes, costumes, wrote scripts, designed and painted scenery, sometimes with the help of aspiring puppeteers and local artists.

An agent called Arnold Stoker secured one their early engagements, performing at Buckingham Palace for the Queen. This was at Her Majesty’s first party after the war.  http://www.puppethouse.co.uk/

The Arnold Stoker Agency was still around and getting me engagement for my cabaret marionettes, when I was a young mother and training to be a teacher.

But our Adana printing press was our life line. When I left home at 15  heading for Eastbourne Hippodrome with a basket of cabaret marionettes and an Equity card my father handed me a set publicity photographs and newly printed business cards!

The poems

Letterpress                                            

The old Adana
never stopped clanging
virgin paper fed its jaws.
Nearby large drawers held
sets of single letters in
Garamond or Dorchester
for straight talking
Venetian Gothic, curvy
and romantic
for invitations
Typsetting done
sheets destined to be
hand fed between rubber rollers
emerge in sticky black ink
publicity flyers, leaflets
programmes, plays for
Pelham Puppets
all laid out on every
available space to dry.
We did everything ourselves
to cut costs.

A hundred years ago
TJ Cobden-Sanderson threw
all the type from Dove Press
into the Thames when he fell out
with his partner.

137 Bus
 
We are travelling
on the top
of the 137 from
the Archway
to the West End
to collect a
new type face from
the Adana shop
so why on the
way home
hugging
a deep blue
ceramic dish
full of tiny pebbles
a soapstone hill
two small houses
a mirror pond
a bridge and
tiny Japanese lady
with a red parasol.

P1120541

Now for something completely different …

Sooner or later things change and now all the grandchildren are in their twenties Jamie is living in Japan and Joshua is a pharmacist, so I did not think we would continue our traditional and somewhat haphazard attempts at making Christmas presents.

It all started after the years of Leggo and gadgets and things and I once received a innovative bird feeders made out of coat hangers, even if my knitted hats and scarfs never really happened!

But now Robin and Sheila have started hand painting lights and glassware for craft fairs, so we had wonderful personalised  jars, lights and glasses. My youngest son loves leatherwork so he made keyrings and I had glass mats of course even if I did cheat a bit by adding a  glass and a bottle of something to go it.

P1120544 P1120548-001 P1120549 P1120550 P1120552 P1120492

 

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All Sorts – Ann’s Christmas Eve poem

P1120532.JPG

All Sorts

Everyone helped on Christmas eve, the children in the living room
trusted to make neat crosses on sprouts bottoms,
peel potatoes and prod the hot chestnuts

We’d laugh at my mother’s story of corn beef roast during the war.
Now a few years on it was a roast chicken killed by Grandma
out in the garden and hung in the scullery for two days

Grandpa staggered up the hill from the underground in the snow at eight
with apples, pears and nuts from our greengrocers in Goodge Street,
gifts from fellow shop keepers, glace fruits being our absolute favourite

Grandmother insisted all through the war there would be no black market;
her Methodist her beliefs could not sanction anything dishonourable.
“Pity”, said Uncle Jack in later years, “we could have had butter, eggs,
all sorts.

from ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’

Sometimes one ceases to like some of ones own poems but not this one, it brings back such happy memories. I recently read it at Troubadour in London .

P1120466

 

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

 

 

Posted in Becoming a poet, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Christmas - love or loath it?, Creative non fiction, Photography, poetry, The Open Art Cafe Rottingdean where Ann often writes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating Winter Solstice in Brighton

Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years.

The shortest day of 2018 falls on December 21, today.
It is known as the winter solstice, marking the day of the year with the fewest sunlight hours. The Winter Solstice is also known as Yule and is a joyful time of celebration filled P1100241with warmth, good tidings and cheerP1100245

While we prepare for the coming cold …

 

Snow Q  at The Regency Town House in Hove – for one night only. The  event started as  a journey along a bleak corridor leading to a series of innovative and often colourful art installations, one created by children. A dramatic snow mountain landscape with lighting effects complimenting the drama of  Maria Jastrzebska’s poetry and  a new musical piece performed on a viola.

P1120510  No automatic alt text available.  No automatic alt text available. IMG_20181221_223604.jpg

Tonight too it was The Burning of the Clocks an event unique to Brighton.

P1120513   P1120512-001  P1120511

Burning the Clocks from over ten years ago!

The following film of Burning the Clocks https://youtu.be/UTb7JoLlJRM   I love this film the event appeared to be a little more spontaneous than recently.

Winter solstice in our garden. 

P1120503  P1120501   IMG_20181221_191903 (1)

             An award-winning blog  for a ‘blog that brightens our day’P1120466

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Going round in circles…and winter poem.

20181209_165326

Recently had all the excitement of reading at Pighog P1120466on the same programme  as Jackie Wills, Colette Sensier, Brendan Cleary and Pighog open micers!  The event is arranged and compered as always  by the enthusiastic Michaela Ridgway.  It all went well and thank you to lovely people that came along.

I was definitely going round in circles working out which poems to read, as well as wondering if I could leap up on the stage without falling off!

P1120361Next night went along to New Acts Night at the Komedia and was welcomed by Jill Edwards with a hug.   She insisted I join her graduates from previous years.  A really good evening of brilliant new acts, laughter, warmth and fun.

I did New Acts Night myself ten years ago.  I had moved to Brighton a bit too soon after my mother had died. I was very up and down,  so rather than risking drowning in grief I decided to take drastic action and signed up with Jill.  Not only a fab course but it lead to several gigs in Brighton and three in London,  at one in Hanover we raised over £700 for The Martlets.

Well the lights are up in Brighton the shops are packed. (pics later)

One of my grandsons came to lunch today…chat chat chat…eat eat eat and can you have a quick look at my new editing prog. Josh  (so far the death of me)  No problem granny ann says our pharmacist from Eastbourne Hospital. (so proud of all my  grandchilden) Now however a lot more effort will be required only just started new film and new technology is still not my thing!

Wednesday will be poeting and partying with Grasshopper poets.  Snow Queen later in the month..

Oh! Going up to Troubadour tomorrow with a new snow associated poem in my hot little hand. It’s a snow poetry and party night!

Many of Coffee House Poetry  people been invited to read a poem, a maximum of 20 lines. There will be many well established poets so really interesting.   I just hope I don’t chicken out and read an older poem at the last minute!

So last in the spirit of sharing and caring – here is one I wrote earlier as the saying goes…more to come in next few weeks.

Paper Chain

Snow falls like flakes of memory
tucked under a warm blanket

cheeks pinched with cold
the window a fillagree frost

rough sawn logs stacked in the grate
a comforting casserole in the oven

the smell of honeyed baked apples
stuffed with raisins

“Gales in the Herbides snow expected
to continue in the Highlands’

Mr Crick the newsagent hanging a single
dusty paper-chain in his window

Busy sparrows in a flurry of snow
spinning on the bird feeder

Mrs Kettle in her cottage with her goat
and cat huddle together to keep warm

The letter. ‘We are sorry your great
aunt died two months ago.

We are sure she would
have liked your letter returned herein.’

Posted in Becoming a poet, Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Christmas - love or loath it?, Creativity, Life and Times of a New Age Granny, Marionette, Photography, poetry, Poetry readings - London - Brighton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment