Archive for April 2010

A Quacking Time!

It’s been a real “quacker” of a weekend, enjoying the sunshine with friends and family.

On Saturday, I met up with friends in Ledbury for a “Spirit of the place” poetry workshop led by Jacqui Rowe and Meredith Andrea. It’s not my first time in the town but I haven’t been for years and had forgotten how beautiful it is – particularly in the almost summer weather. The workshop involved an hour exploring the town, so I not only managed to get lots of notes and poetic inspiration but also had fun with my camera!

The sunny weather may not be as good as rain for real ducks but was fantastic this morning for the annual plastic duck race in the Gloucestershire village where my parents live. Needless to say, my boys got absolutely soaked trailing the ducks down the stream while we warmed our older bones in the sunshine!

Talking of older bones, I’ve also been enjoying re-reading Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale. The last time I read it was more years ago than I care to remember in middle/high school. I’d forgotten both what an interesting character the wife is and how much fun it is trying to make sense of Chaucerian Middle English. The logical part of my brain really loves trying to piece together meaning from my knowledge of English, French and smatterings of Latin, Greek, German etc – not that my guesses are always right! It was nice to be translating for fun though and not having to worry too much if I got it wrong (the indecisive part of my brain still has nightmares about finals translations!)

Anyway, I think I’ve earned a rest so am hoping to translate a busy weekend into a relaxing one too with a few hours reading/mooching before the onslaught of the week tomorrow!

Add comment April 25, 2010

Holiday, holiday, holiday!

Did you hear a loud bang on Monday? If you did, chances are it was me returning to earth with a bump after a fantastic weekend at Center Parks Longleat.

We’ve never done center parks before and I was a bit dubious…until we got there. After three days of cycling, walking, spa baths, swimming, barbecues and sangria, I am now officially a convert – well, in the good weather at least. It was great just to be able to get on a bike and cycle through parkland without having to worry about cars. And I even managed to get a few pictures of some of the squirrels and many rabbits. Our accommodation was also blissfully spacious – always good news with two energetic children!

Anyway, to help break me back into reality gently, I’ve been playing with the paints and doing some collage – all featuring poetry, of course.

The real work starts again tomorrow. But only two days and then I’m off to a poetry workshop in Ledbury and then on down to my parents’ in Gloucestershire for their village’s annual duck race. The kids are already going quackers about it!

Add comment April 21, 2010

Going Conkers!

It’s been a suntastic weekend for us away in Staffordshire and Warwickshire. On Saturday we headed up to enjoy a celebration of the Polesworth Poets Trail. One of my poems was shortlisted for the trail and, gutting though it is not to be one of them, it was great to explore the finished trail and see the winning poems combined with some fabulous artwork. Hearing John Siddique read at the event was a wonderful added bonus too!

While we were in the area, we also took the children over to Conkers Discovery Centre at Measham (Leicestershire). It was so interesting to see how this has grown and developed since I went on a press trip some years ago now at the beginning of the project. All I remember from then is lots of churned up mud – not the many interactive exhibits, outdoor playgrounds and train it has now. The boys were also suitably impressed, particularly as we took them ice-skating at Tamworth Snowdome on the way back – another thing I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed!

All in all, it’s been a fun-packed Easter break. We’ve been to see – and thoroughly enjoyed – How to Train a Dragon (in 3D) and Alice In Wonderland at the cinema. (I only wish we’d been able to see Alice In Wonderland in 3D too.) My husband has taken up the sax. I adjudicated the writelink Generations poetry contest and found out that I’d come second in the annual open writelink Spring Fever poetry contest. And the ideas for other submissions and contests are springing in abundance too!

Hope everyone else is having a fruitful April too. 🙂

Add comment April 11, 2010


Bonjour! It’s been a busy week of French costumes (the kids, not me!), Easter bonnets (the children again) and celebrating poetry (mainly me)!

Term ended on a high note for the boys (and a tiring one for me!) with a French day, Easter bonnet parade and numerous egg hunts!

Meanwhile, I’ve also been eggs-tra busy with all sorts of writing and editing bits and pieces, including the Easter ‘collection’ of poems by children on last half-term’s poetry workshop at my sons’ school. Talking of which, my elder son (age seven) has started writing his own stories – this really is great because I was worried my ‘obsession’ had put him off writing for life! (I’ve not managed to get him penning – or pencilling! – any poems yet, but it’s still early days!)

On the theme of poetry and celebration, I also took my Mum to Saturday’s On the Border poetry event in Chepstow. (The website is at: and the monthly slots always seem to feature stunning poets.) It was fantastic listening to Dannie Abse read, and other poets, including Paul Henry, presenting some of their favourite pieces in a celebration of his work.

Hope everyone else is having  just as great a weekend. Happy Easter!

Add comment April 4, 2010






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