About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Raising Awareness and Money for Rape Crisis

Here is a vlog of my daughter raising awareness and money for Rape Crisis by having her head shaved in public last week, on the anniversary of the day she was raped four years ago.  (Her hair is being donated to the Little Princess Trust to make a wig for a child with cancer.) 

And here is my other daughter, also a survivor, doing the shaving. 

I was proud of them both before.  Now I'm nearly bursting.   

Here is a link to the blog that tells the story, and another to Jennifer's Justgiving page.  If she can do this, then odds are you who are reading this can make a donation, even if it's just a very small one - it all helps. 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Ted, You Are A Mucky Pup

Through monsoonaiacal rain to Uphill - because sometimes you have to make a leap of faith.  And it is still raining on the Quantocks ... 

... not to mention a tad gloomy up behind us ... 

... but over Brean Down and Steepholm, it's fine. 

Today, constellations of butterfly shells litter the edge where sand gives way to mud.

Not paying any attention to the shells or the bright yellow warning signs is a person, out there on the mud and just visible (here ringed in red).  Maybe they know the lie of the land (which is often untruthful around here). 

As for Ted ...

... well, he can't bloody read, can he?

Chill, Muh, and 'ave a cuppa tea.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Jennifer's Hairy Truth: Taking This Day Back

What you look like doesn't matter.

How the world sees you is unimportant.

Your social status and accomplishments count for nothing.


What matters is who you are.


Today Jennifer, aided by her elder sibling, took back a day that was stolen from her four years ago and turned it into landmark of positivity and pride on her continuing journey of recovery ... 


... raising in the process a substantial sum of sponsorship money for Rape Crisis and donating enough hair to the Little Princess Trust to make a wig for a child with cancer.   


Jenny's JustGiving page is here.  You can still support her by making a donation, or, if this isn't possible, sharing this post and Jennifer's blog as widely as possible.  Thank you.

News about the documentary that was filmed throughout the day to follow.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Here Be Saxon Dragons!

Well, one anyway - up there - quick, look!  And a St Michael busy vanquishing him.  

Tell you what, let's zoom in a bit.

Although the saint could be a very rare wingèd Christ, apparently, but as the Church is called St Michael and All Angels, and is on high land as St Michaelses tend to be, we'll go with the former.   

And it's Saxon, dating from the mid-11th century, and thus considerably earlier than the newfangled Norman stonework surrounding the door below it, which is not even an integral part of the building, I mean, look how those dastardly invaders bodged it at the top. 
I know all this because whilst I was in St Michael's in Flax Bourton this weekend for the arts exhibition (which was impeccably run and well attended), I was taken on a guided tour of its treasures by local expert, Brian Mayled.  

And with him pointing out the typically Saxon features of the building, I could see its provenance for myself.  Look past that fancy carved stonework at the narrow, tall doorway, so reminiscent of those at the Saxon Church in Bradford-on-Avon.  
And, ignoring the Victorian north aisle, the internal dimensions - walls twice as high as their width - are also typically Saxon though I couldn't get a clear photo of this because of all the art. 

Here's some more Saxon stonework - a bird and a wyrm, although obviously not the sort of worm a bird might peck out of the ground - this is a serpent and so probably not at great risk from its neighbour. 
Some have decided this is a wolf though it definitely looks like a fox to me. Plus, the only Saxon carving of ferns in the country, which might mean that the thane of Flax Bourton brought over a French mason to carve this stonework.  
Outside, the walls up as far as the bottom of the windows are Saxon also ...   
... and over the road, the Angel pub is mediaeval (but for ever closed, sadly).  

Friday, 20 June 2014

Art in the Church of St Michael, Flax Bourton

Outside St Michael's Church in Flax Bourton my eye was caught by pink and green sycamore keys ... 

... and a delicate spray of oak carved on this altar tomb which was splashed with lichen and sunlight.

Inside ... 

 ... it was even sunnier ...

This piece is called Out of the Forest (Under the Same Sun) and it is by Adrienne Hughes, with whom I was at school - ooh, longer ago than I care to recall ...

I was there to set up my part of the art exhibition. 

Here's some of my stuff that will be on show (and also for sale).   

Finding myself alone in the church, I had a wander around the rest of the exhibition.  Here is some more of Adrienne's work. 

Here's just some of the artists who are represented.  

Alex Davis ...

     ... Debbie Smith ...


   ... Debi Holland ...

    ... and Candida Corcoran

I loved these stylised avocets by Stephen Lisney of Damson Tree Press .  (Apologies re reflections on glass.)  

There was also some stunning feltwork by Jo Heinrich, which, for some reason, I didn't manage to photograph very well, and more ...