Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Chronicle Book Shop, Barnsley

It's been one of those poety weeks, head in the clouds, floating lonely, doing my own thing while David was away visiting our daughter in posh Penge. Actually, I've enjoyed the solitude. There has been lots of cello practice, lots of reading, and lots of writing. And in between all of that I tripped into Barnsley with Higgs Bottom (my new novel) to introduce it to the Chronicle Book Shop. Following that visit I am pleased to announce that now in stock at the Chronicle Book Shop in Barnsley, is Higgs Bottom - tadah! 

I was so pleased with my little promotion trip that I went into the Cooper Gallery for a cup of tea in their lovely cafe. I was in good company, lots of elevenses ladies, coffee and cake, the sensible shoe section of society who prefer a little slower pace. So much so that the sign on the wall that says, 'Wake up and smell the coffee,' seemed a particularly pertinent instruction. The counter, festooned with homemade cakes was very inviting, but I resisted, even though the chocolate brownies were very tempting.

Back home I just had time to go through with the vacuum before the boiler men came. The old boiler had packed in and within hours a new one was being fitted. Something else to celebrate. The guys did a splendid job and it was all done and dusted by midday. Plumbers are wonderful people, aren't they?

It's a plumber's technique!
 So there was a bit of a mess before it was all put together again. But who cares, I'm all ready for the cold weather now, not that I'm in a hurry to bring it on.

I didn't talk to another soul until Friday, but like I say, I made good use of the solitude. I wrote a poem for a lady whom we met a few weeks ago at the Dearne Valley Farm pub when we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, Clare. She asked me to write a poem about her, so here it is, just for you, Clare:

Clare with red hair

We met at the Dearne Valley Farm
one sunny afternoon,
when blue skies
and temperatures,
unusual for June,
invited us to take the air,
cross the park,
stretch our limbs,
run like teenagers in love,
laugh at the silly things.
We made for the pub
crossed the field,
a short cut through the gate,
where we lingered
to kiss, lovers' lips,
like on our first date.

It was cool inside,
there were fans,
we chose a window seat,
the carvery looked great,
we decided to stay and eat
You were sitting at the next table
you smiled as we sat down
I, content with my lovely man,
and looking all around,
didn’t realize the sadness
behind your public mask,
but while our men
got the beer in,
you leaned across and asked,
‘Is it a special occasion?
you seem so much in love’
And I could tell
from your voice
life for you
was not so good.

I lost my man
he died, you said,
one minute there
then gone,
three young children without a dad,’
it's hard to carry on.
My life’s in a thousand pieces,
I know that time will heal,
But right at this very moment
I’m lost, that’s how I feel.’
It was a brief exchange
between women,
what could I say?
I uttered my condolences,
there will be better days.
You made me see how life can go,
how fickle fate can be,
And when you left
you winked, and said,
I’m Clare,

write about me.

David is back now, we had lunch at the Cock today (Sunday) and it was scrumptious as usual. How fortunate David and I are to have each other. 

I have been writing a Press Release for Higgs Bottom this afternoon. I have lots to do this week, not least prepare my manuscript for A Poet in Barnsley - coming to Amazon very soon. And on that subject I have been asked to read at a couple of venues, more news of that next week.

Our daughter is to visit on Friday for a girly night out with her mum, her sister-in-law and her niece. Bring on the music!

I hope you have had a good week dear reader. I'll update you on my exploits next week, so until then, don't get too bogged down in the Brexit politics, keep smiling and enjoy the September sunshine.

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Monday, September 9, 2019

Spoken Word in Hoyland

Happy Monday everyone! Well, it's a bit grey and drizzly in Birdwell this morning, not a good drying day, as they say, but yesterday was lovely and it wasn't only the weather. I had a leisurely morning with Valentino (my cello) and then I donned my glad rags and tripped off on the 66 bus to Hoyland for an afternoon of spoken word and music. 

What a laugh! Lee Pollard, a natural Barnsley comedian with his unique spoken word delivery, was a perfect antidote to all the Brexit bafflement that's going on. I especially liked his Exploding Pies and the scenario of home life when the money collector comes round and all the family lay low. Even though we were warned of swearwords the odd 'f' word was contextual and perfectly natural. I am glad he kept away from the 'c' word because I'm still not at all easy with that one. Then again, that's just me. The audience were divided, some preferring to chatter away over their pint instead of listening. But those of us closer up enjoyed every word. 

And in between the words came the music of Matt Bilby, a swarthy singer guitarist with all the right gear, mixer deck, mike, electric wires, pedals and of course a very robust voice. His sound was very 90s, add that to a full pub and the cacophony of happy people, and no wonder people in the street had to stop to see what was going on.

I was lucky to get a good comfy seat on one of the leather sofa's in the bar, and I was in good company. It was great to meet Sue and Brian, Lisa and Andrew, who I hope to bump into again sometime, maybe at a future reading.

Just in the nick of time I caught a number 2 bus back and was home for 7 pm. Let's have more spoken word and music afternoons. I might even take to the floor myself before too long. Watch this space. 

Of course I gave Higgs Bottom a bit of an airing; got to get the word out there.

Higgs Bottom gets about

Higgs Bottom on the train
I am definitely on the promotion trail, well it is coming up to Christmas and what better present could you wish to give than an entertaining book. Whether it is for a twelve year old, his parents or his/her grandparents, Higgs Bottom is a read for everyone.

Right! I'm off to do my cello practice and then it will be lunchtime. Where does the time go?

Love you lots dear reader, thanks for your support by peaking at my blog from time to time.

Talk again soon,
Love Jane x

Tears From The Sun - The Story