Monday, October 28, 2019

Whacky Words and Scary Woman in Barnsley

Well, we had lots of fun on Sunday at the Tap and Brew in Hoyland. Higgs Bottom was well and truly launched, Scary Woman in Barnsley got it's first airing, we downed lots of beer and bubbly (not in the same glass) and got to know a few more Barnsley poets.

A big Thank You to all who came to listen, and all who came to join in the open mic session.

Onwards and upwards! Our next wordy do is on Sunday, at the Rockingham Centre in Hoyland at 6.00 p.m. when the new CD Our North will be launched. See you there all being well.

Pics of yesterday in Hoyland.

Whacky Lady at the launch of Higgs Bottom

It's all good practice

Guest Poet Pat Dale

A bit of Erotic poetry to set the mood.

So, that weekend came and went, after weeks of preparation, (not to mention preparing nibbles for the audience), and all went extremely well. We had an excellent open mic session, and now I'm looking forward to the next poet meet, which is next Sunday.

It was so good to see our North Yorkshire friends and be able to spend some time with them. We had a silly Saturday night in our shed, complete with fairy lights, electric heater and a bottle of Champagne. I actually cooked a chicken curry which was not half bad, according to those who ate it. I had a mushroom only version. Sunday lunch was down the Cock in Birdwell, which was excellent as it always is, and thereafter we hit the Tap and Brew, Hoyland.

I'm afraid the official photographer didn't take his job too seriously, so, sorry if you were there and didn't get a shot. 

I must catch up on a bit of reading now that the book launch is over, I'm in the middle of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, and then I'll dive into the poetry again, I have so much unread stuff to catch up on. Then it will be back to the shed to get creative.

We had a few wet days last week, but yesterday and today have been what I call, a good drying day, a bit of wind and sunshine, and blue skies. Hopefully tomorrow should be more of the same so I think the walking boots may be coming out.

This morning David and I went down to the local doctor's surgery where we had our flu jab, and also a pneumonia jab, so it may or may not affect us, let's hope not, but we have a week to get over it.

Now is the time to start losing a few pounds in readiness for the Christmas binge, so it's no cider and no chocolate. I don't like the sound of that, but it's necessary if I want to wear the clothes I've got. I don't want to have to buy new ones because I'm trying to help the planet. My footprint is very good at the moment, no car, no flights, and no meat, so I'm doing my bit.

That's it then, it's 9 o'clock and time to watch Dublin Murders, so I'll say ta ta for now.

I'll be back next week with an account of our little do at the Rockingham Centre, Hoyland.

Love and Hugs,
Jane x

Monday, October 21, 2019

Open Mic in Doncaster

Hello readers, what a weekend it's been. First I broke the toilet, yes, I flushed the loo and my fingers pushed the chrome button straight through into the cistern. Lovely Ben, the plumber was soon on the job, and hot footed it to get a new part, but it turns out the loo is so old that parts are obsolete and we have to have a new toilet. Hopefully that will come today. Meanwhile we have to dip our hands into the cistern and cause the flush to flush. Do new toilets come with a new seat? I might have to go out and buy one. Anyway moving swiftly on.

We had a trip to Doncaster on Saturday, to do the poetry thing with Ray Hearne and company, in the market square. There was a small audience, but the event was fun and I got to meet some new Yorkshire poets. One lady came up to David and asked if we were bible pushers, when he told her we were poets he said she looked equally horrified - there you go!

We looked around Doncaster after that and went for a spot of lunch at The Black Bull. The place was heaving and obviously very popular, but the food wasn't anything special. Then we had to wait ages for a bus home because of delays due to roadworks. It took over an hour to get back to Barnsley, then we had to wait for a 66 bus home, so it took the edge off the day. It seemed a long way to go, but worth it to meet up with those lovely poets, and listen to their well crafted words.

Barnsley Spoken Words

This is the lovely Jeff Jethro Platts introducing what turned out to be a great afternoon/evening of Barnsley spoken word. He also gave me a great plug, and enabled me to sell all the copies of Higgs Bottom that I'd stuffed into my bag in the hopes of maybe selling at least one. Thank you Jeff!

It might seem silly, and I suppose it is a bit, but Dave and I spent our Friday early doors, in The Art House, which is my shed at the bottom of the garden. We have put a heater in there, some fairy lights, and best of all a little bar. So we tried it out for size and spent a good couple of hours laughing and joking, and looking out over our lawn and the backs of Chapel Street. Then we went into the house and cooked up the £12 meal deal that I had bought in Marks and Spencer in Barnsley - mushroom stroganoff with cauliflower rice and oven chips. It was delicious!

So now I have one week left to put the final touches to my programme for next Sunday's book launch at the Tap and Brew in Hoyland, kick off 4pm. Copies of my book have arrived, I have ordered a few nibbles, and the mic has been arranged. Good! Now all I have to do is clean the house ready for our visitors coming to stay overnight, and hope the toilet will be up and flushing by the weekend.

Remember, as well as my whacky words there will be an OPEN MIC session so do come along and enjoy the fun.

And next week, on the 3rd November, there is another opportunity to hear some Barnsley voices at the launch of the Our North CD which is to take place at the Rockingham Centre, Hoyland on Sunday, 3 November.

And, here is one to put in your diary, Barnsley Spoken Word Open Mic at the Maison du Bierre in Elsecar on Sunday, 8 December, 4pm.

There's lot to look forward to on the poetry/spoken word scene. My Scary Woman - A poet in Barnsley is now live and available from Amazon, and I have copies on the way ready for you to snap up as a treat or as a unique Christmas Present. 

I'll report back after the launch next Sunday (probably a Monday blog) meanwhile, have a lovely-chumbly week. Bye for now,

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Open Mic in the Open Air

Hello lovely readers, I hope your week has been as 'funny' as mine. It started on Monday with an interview for The Wombwell Rainbow, a poety blog written by Paul Brookes, (check it out). 

Then on Thursday we went to see Lee Pollard in his one man show, at the No7 pub in Barnsley. What a great venue for a bit of spoken word. In the vaults of the pub is a subterranean bar, called appropriately 'The Cellar' (very cavern like) and the acoustics were very good. Lee was a hoot with his Barnsley anecdotes and very cleverly written poems. And it was all so funny that our cheeks were hurting.

On Saturday, David and I were off again on the 66 bus to Elsecar, where we met up with Ray Hearne and Matt Clegg for a bit of al fresco poetry. I must admit the audience was a bit sparse, but it was all good practice, and get to meet some other poets from the area. Tracy Day Dawson was there with her lovely poetry, and a rendering of Beowulf in old English dialect, it was a treat. The event was held at the Heritage Centre, and the day was fine, so all in all we had a really good few hours of jollity. Next week we will all be in the market place at Doncaster, mid-dayish.

Jane, Matt, Ray and Tracy

Jane and Ray Hearne

And today I'm taking it easy and trying to get my tummy back to normal after delicious fish and chips while we waited for the bus after a pint in Sheffield to round off the evening.

I will be busy preparing for the launch of Higgs Bottom, over the next few days. David has got my new poetry collection up and running on Amazon, and almost completed publication of the same as a paperback. So, Scary Woman will be launched at the same event.

Scary or wot?
Scary Woman is a collection you won't want to miss - honestly! 

So, lovely people, it is Sunday evening and I have tea to make before we settle down to the 9 o'clock drama on the BBC, World On Fire, so I'll say ta ta for now. Don't forget, if you will be anywhere near The Tap and Brew in Hoyland on Sunday 27 October, 4pm, pop along and join the fun at my book launch. And if you can't make it, take a look at the book here, it will make a unique Christmas present.

OK! Tea time!
Byeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Talk next week.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Don't Tell Me I'm Too Old to Vote

Hello dear reader, let me start by thanking you for following my blog, the stats are increasing and I know I have some lovely blogfans out there. That is so reassuring because I do spend many hours alone, either in my shed, writing, or playing the cello. Of course that is the path I have chosen and I wouldn't have it any other way, and when I do get to be in company I really enjoy that, too. So, thanks for joining me now and then. 

This week has been particularly quiet because David has been away visiting our daughter. I met him in Sheffield, at Meadowhall, when he arrived back on the Megabus, yesterday morning. He looked like he's been to Katmandu, rucksack and all, but the only souvenir of his trip was his bedsheets which he'd stuffed in the rucksack ready to go into the washing machine. He did take me to 5 Guys for lunch though, where we shared a burger and chips, and while it was a good burger, I thought it overpriced at nearly £11 for a burger, chips and a large paper cup of coke.

Now, the big news is that I have a date for my book launch, Sunday 27 October. It is to be at the Tap and Brew in Hoyland, at 4p.m. David and I have been designing a poster all morning, and this is what we have come up with:

So, pop it in your diary if you are going to be anywhere near the Tap & Brew in Hoyland on Sunday 27 October. The Tap & Brew is a great little pub, with a good selection of real ales, and a fantastic selection of gin drinks.

I'll be reading a short excerpt from Higgs Bottom, and introducing you to Sharpan the Rawskin, Reusable condoms, and a couple of unusual sonnets. It's all clean stuff though!

I'm looking forward to going to see my mate, Lee Pollard on Thursday, 10 Oct, when he has a one-man show in Barnsley. I shall make a full report next week.

And I've also got a slot in Elsecar, next Saturday, 12 Oct,  at the Heritage Centre, somewhere between 11a.m. and 4p.m. That should be a fun event with Ray Hearne leading the show.

What other news? Well, Ihave new boots:

They are very lovely, and keep me steady on my feet. Keeping up the image of Whacky Lady!

And I have kept away from the baking thing since my last disaster, eating bananas, and other such ready delights.

Here is a poem I wrote this week:

Don’t Tell Me I’m Too Old To Vote

Don’t tell me I can’t eat jelly for breakfast,
Don’t tell me what to wear, don’t tell me I’m past
My sell by date and Brexit’s not my affair,
Don’t tell me my brain is spongyfying at a rate of knots,
It’s not, it’s not, and if it is so what?
I’m a person of the planet; I’m not a microchip,
I’ve worked, I’ve procreated; I think I’ve done my bit,
And while there’s breath inside me I’m still a part of it,
So don’t tell me I’m too old to vote, I’m not the walking dead,
I can reason, I’m still in the boat, and you know what Doris said:
Don’t underestimate the silver haired, the ankle biting short,
They can rise to hold positions such as: Judge, Supreme High Court.
So don’t tell me I’m too daft to weigh up all the facts,
I can make a sound decision about parliamentary Acts,
Don’t take away my freedom; don’t take away my pride
Don’t tell me I’m too old when the fact is I’ve survived
Because I’m bloody canny, and I’ve worked to stay alive,
I’ve dodged the bullets, stood my ground, kept faith; I’ve ducked and dived
And I’m not beyond enjoying this extraordinary ride.
Don’t say the old are a burden on today’s society,
You wouldn’t be so scathing of a gnarled and knobbly tree,
You’d say, look how magnificent those ancient branches are.
And you’d prop it up, and hug it, feed it tree-food caviar:
You’d say, there’s wisdom in that tree, think what it must have seen,
You’d respect its age, look after it, sweep away its falling leaves,
You’d make sure as it got older it was safe from harm,
Not look on it as a fruitless has-been, scored and scarred,
Don’t tell me you’re unhappy with the way I rock and roll,

Stick this inside your ballot box - I’m not too bloody old!

So there you have it, another week goes by in the life of Jane Sharp. I hope you will join me next week to see what I've been up to. Oh, I nearly forgot, here is a short excerpt from Higgs Bottom to wet your appetite:

Have a fun week dear reader, love you lots, bye for now,
Jane x

Tears From The Sun - The Story