Monday, February 17, 2020


Hi there,

Here it is, as promised, me unplugged! With thanks to Paul Athorne for trusting me with his monologue, T.C.B. "I know, sad." But if nothing else I am proud of myself for memorising all those words. Whatever next!

Now you know why I said in my last blog, 'see you the other side of... insanity!'

On the bright side, the evening was a huge success, organised as usual by Jeff Platts and the WSO (We Shall Overcome) organisation. The event was split into two halves with a beer break in the middle.

The 1st Half

Jethro Platts
Gladys Wainwright
Jo Waller
Simon Ibbitson
Kev Austin
Tedge & Beth

The 2nd Half

Lee Pollard
Diane Cleaver
Jo Brooke
Jane Sharp (Writer Paul Athorne)
Andrew Bart Hawkins
Jane Sharp
Billy Bywater

All the above came with words worth listening to, the programme was varied, ranging from light verse to some serious thought provoking stuff, and it was a privilege to be part of the event. Roll on the next one.

I'll be back next week with a round up of news in the hood. Till then, take care, keep warm and keep safe.

Love and Hugs,
Jane x

P.S. I'm reading Harry Potter this month, what about you? If you are looking for a bit of escapism you could always try Higgs Bottom (available on Amazon) click here


Hello lovely readers,

I hope you all had a very HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! David and I celebrated with a glass of cider in the shed, followed by curried vegetables and rice - a Valentine Special!

We also had a midweek trip to Barnsley, Thursday, no market, it was a wee bit quiet but we picked up a few essentials and then had lunch in the Falco Bar, next to the library. That was quiet too, but we had a laugh, especially at the window decoration cum promotion cum I'm not really sure, of a lady about to either dive into the pool (none existent), or else the North Sea, a good two hour's away. Whichever, it put us in a jolly mood with David saying, 'I feel like I'm on holiday.' Maybe that is the reaction the widow dresser had in mind. We ordered three little dishes of tapas and larger to complete the mood:

Frighteningly funny! 

Brilliant little nibbles!
Storm 'Dennis' hit on Saturday/Sunday, but Birdwell is on hilly ground so we were safe from all the flooding. Apparently the river at Darfield came dangerously close to overflowing, but it seems like Wales and York got the worst of it.

After two days of rehearsing for my set at the Barnsley Spoken Word event on Sunday, I was ready for a relaxing evening and a cosy up. You will find the account of how the event panned out in my next blog, but you won't have to wait a week, it will be out as a simultaneous blog, right after this one.

So, if you are ready to see what I got up to yesterday, (Sunday), or if you just want a good laugh, read my next blog post.

See you on the other side of... (sanity)!
Love and Hugs,
Jane x

P.S. Oh, I forgot to mention, I've had another little success, I have had two poems accepted for the Voices of Change anthology, Sheffield, to be launched on 1st May. Yeah!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Unplugged in Doncaster

Hello everybody,

I do hope you have come through the storm without much damage. Ciara blew her way through Birdwell yesterday taking our garden fence with her, but luckily it will soon be repaired. We had a cosy-up day in the house listening to the wind and rain, reading and watching TV, it was the right thing to do, especially as we had been out and about in Doncaster on Saturday. And why were we there? Well, we'd seen on Facebook that there was an Unplugged session at the Brewery and Tap. It's a place we had never been to before, so it was bus pass out, and glad rags on.

We are so pleased that we made the effort. It was jolly, and a great environment with guitar music, song and recitation, and yes, I did join in.  Fun! fun! and that's what everyone needs. Here are a few pics:

We were lucky to get a seat.

Alison was having fun too.

While Ian was busy in the back making sure the brew was perfect.

Add caption

Now that's a barrel!

Behind the scenes at Doncaster Brewery
Thanks, Alison and Ian for a perfect afternoon. We hope to see you again soon.

Today, Monday, has been cold but otherwise not too bad. We tripped off to Morrisons this morning for essentials, and we were back in time for the Daily Politics on BBC2. 

Now it is time to do a bit of washing before thinking about making tea. Oh the joy of housework!

I did manage to read a book last week, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. It's claim to fame is that it is the first novel in the genre 'Gothic'. Well, I did enjoy it because of the language - Medieval English - even though the story did have a few quirky moments, but I'm not sure gothic is my sort of stuff. I may be proved wrong. 

So, it's all steam ahead to prepare for the Barnsley Spoken Word Valentine's do at The Old School House, this Sunday at 4.30p.m. The entrance is whatever you can give towards the Barnsley Food Bank - Tins of meat, beans, tomatoes etc or toiletries always wanted. Come along if you can, you will be well entertained.

Ta Ta for now, have a good week and I'll be back soon with an update of my 'exciting' (could do better) life. I'll be glad when the weather improves, my little shed is being neglected.

Lots of love and hugs,
Jane xx

P.S. I have two wonderful reviews on Amazon this week, (thank you dear readers) - you may not think that is going to improve my lot, but it did bring a smile, and that is enough to put me on for the time being. Higgs Bottom you'll be a winner one day. Click to find out more.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

A Midweek Treat in Barnsley

There were one or two things we needed to get from Barnsley, so mid morning, we caught the 66 bus into town. First, Morrisons for a few odds and sods, then on to Wilko's, where we priced up some paint (it's that Spring decorating time), and then through the Alhambra shopping centre into the open air of Barnsley High Street. As we approached Boots the Chemist we could hear the music of a young lad busking in the street. I don't know who he is but he is very good, and he really adds to the enjoyment of High Street shopping. There were several market-trader stalls in the middle of town, but our next destination was the new Market Hall eating centre on the second floor of the inside market.

We were so surprised to find such a pleasant space, so well lit that it is an 'almost outside', inside experience. The wall of windows gives a view over the town, while modern seating and tables give comfort and practicality. After a walk round the many different food outlets ranging from coffee shops to a bar, and buns to burgers, we settled on a vegetarian pizza, freshly made to order and absolutely delicious. Of course we sat near to the bar and completed our midweek treat with a glass of cider (for me) and a guinness (for David). Pop music blurted out getting our toes tapping, and the area was filled with midday chatter. Next time, (for we shall certainly go again), we may try a taste of the Middle East, which is very tempting, and if we were not vegetarian (most of the time) we would certainly be up for the Shredded Duck and Chips. 

Barnsley Market Hall Pizza Place


A midday tipple in Barnsley Market

Barnsley Market Foody Place

So, recommendations all ways round, and I can't wait for another Barnsley treat day.

And now it's Shed Night eve and I'm planning a bit of a party for Brexit night, well, any excuse! Personally, I think we live in exciting times. We are on the very edge of a new IT future, electric cars, climate change technologies, medical breakthroughs, and much, much more that I can only dream about. So, if nothing else, let's celebrate all of that.

See you on the other side, as they say, oh, and it's going to be relatively warm for the next few days, so it might mean I don't need my furry hat in the shed.

Lots of love and hugs, bye for now,
Jane x

Don't forget, if you really want something to comment on, then take a look at my book, Higgs Bottom, it should at least cause a slight titter. Click here to read all about it. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Northern Roots

Hello lovely people, this video was shot during the launch of 'Our North' a CD compiled of various Barnsley poets. Our next Barnsley Spoken Word Collective event will be held at the Old School House, Barnsley (Used to be the Polish Club) on Sunday, February 16th at 4.30 p.m. It is a Valentine Special. Come along and have a laugh!

I'm not quite in my normal routine yet and it is almost the end of January, but I am getting into a certain rhythm. Pilley Hill three times a week, back to healthy living, and looking forward to Ballroom Dancing Classes in Barnsley. I'm going to attend a Creative Writing workshop and I am hitting my reading targets. So all in my world is well, if indeed all is not well in the world at large. 

I am aware of the Coronavirus that is sweeping China, but I'm not worried about it, and hopefully it will be contained. 

Brexit means Brexit! 31st January. Are you celebrating? It's a bone of contention. The way I look at it is let's just hit the future with as much zeal as we can muster. Whether you are a Brexiteer or not, we are where we are, and we should all pull in the same direction for great things to happen. Personally I have no time for negative thoughts or actions that only cause misery. So let's all be positive and party our way into a productive, pioneering, and perspicacious future.

And, by the way, a fifty pence piece is a fifty pence piece, and if it's in my pocket it will be very much appreciated cum Shed night when I want a can of cider.

Love and hugs,
Jane x

You might like to take a look for yourself.

Monday, January 13, 2020

I'm Having a Jiganuary

Oh lovely, lovely January! It is so nice to be able to cosy up and do inside things,  like the jigsaw I was given as a Christmas present. It's years since I did a jigsaw, and I'm a bit rusty, but piece by piece it is coming together. The trouble is at this rate it won't be finished until next Christmas. So I am going to up the action, stay up a bit later every day, and see if I can finish it before the 1st of February. I do have other things to do.

Continuing my little experimental, words and music, project, I have completed another piece - Be Mine Tonight. Here it is for it's first airing. If nothing else I am having fun getting my fingers to work on the piano keys again. 

So, almost all the chocolate in the house has gone, just a tin of biscuits left to enjoy, and then it's back to the old 'if you don't buy it, you don't eat it,' regime. David and I took our first yomp of the new year, up Pilley hill, yesterday, and last night I could hardly walk. It shows how easy it is to stiffen up. I managed to put half a stone on over the holidays, not good. But we had a most delightful binge, so I'll take the bad with the good. 

I'm in pieces, bits and pieces! Jiganuary!

As for New Year resolutions, of course I want to read more, of course I want to write more, of course I want to play more cello, of course I want to fill my life with lovely experiences, but what doesn't get done, doesn't get done. I have made a good start, however, so it's onwards and upwards.

As for the world news, when wasn't it depressing? Trouble in Iran, a plane of almost 200 people shot out of the skies, and no end of unrest in the Middle East.

And if that wasn't bad enough, Prince Harry and Megan have up-skittled the Royal Family again, (just as things had gone quiet on the, Andrew scandal). 

As for our family, well...  suffice it to say, the first few weeks of 2020 have been as bumpy as a banana ride in the Bay of Biscay. (Enough said.) Not David and I, I hasten to add, we're coasting along like cruisers on a canal.

I'm busy putting a set together for the Barnsley Spoken Word Valentine's do, and I must say I'm really looking forward to that. It's on Sunday 16th Feb. at 4.00 p.m. The Old School House, Barnsley, if you fancy a coming along.

Now, back to my jigsaw, I'm on a mission.

Talk again very soon,
Cosy up and keep busy!
Love and hugs,
Jane x

P.S. And we've still got half a bottle of Baileys to finish off!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Our Love Is For Ever

Happy New Year to all my readers! I'm not quite back in the swing of things, having had a splendid festive time, so here is a little taster of the beginning of a little project I've set myself for 2020. I will be back again soon. Watch this space.

Love Is For Ever

Onwards into the roaring twenties!

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Tears From The Sun - The Story