“How often do you write blog posts?” It’s a question I get asked again and again. When I first started blogging here almost six years ago I made the vow to post weekly but soon realised there’s not much point writing unless I’ve got something to say.

Books on TyneI try to blog every month but it’s hard when I’m busy. In the past five weeks I’ve been away to Birmingham and visited London twice. I’ve also hosted a couple of gigs and am currently prepping for my final one of the year. It’s The Princess and the Piano at  Newcastle Central Library this coming Monday 25th November. It’s a FREE but ticketed event. Get yours here

I’m ready to write this blog because I am full of creative excitement for my next writing project. But why blog right now? I put it down to my overflowing well of inspiration! I’ve been filling it over the past month. In Birmingham I spent time with a friend and she revealed some of her favourite haunts.  I danced and sang along to musicians in a Cuban bar in Moseley and marvelled at the main Library of Birmingham with its floors filled with books and exhibitions. We saw Pride and Prejudice (Sort Of) at Birmingham Rep. Great venue. Enjoyable evening.

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The Princess and her pals

My trip to London on 31st October was to host my Princess in Bloomsbury event on November 1st. This was the London launch of The Princess of Felling and the upstairs room of one of my favourite boozers, The Rugby Tavern, was filled with friends old and new who came to support me. What a night! Loved connecting with folk I’d not seen in years.

 

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The Death of a Good Old Man

Four days after returning from London I was on another LNER train to London with my pal, the artist and writer, Gail Curry. I’m a Director of her business Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC and on that trip we were still on a high after Gail beat over 600 other local business to take the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

Our mission in London was to see some art. The first day we visited the National Gallery and saw the Pre-Raphaelite Sisters exhbition. The following day we spent about five hours in the V&A and I lost myself in the ceramics and glass collections. Bliss. The third day was given over to the William Blake exhibition at Tate Britain. Wow. So modern. So amazing. Go and see it.

Since returning home I’ve seen Seamus Murphy’s film A Dog Called Money at the Tyneside Cinema. Beautifully shot. Strong narrative. My heroine PJ Harvey’s involved so I’m bound to praise it! I’ve also seen Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You at The Jam Jar Cinema in Whitley Bay. The film’s stayed with me since watching it. The Britain it portrays is bleak and the protagonist is angry. On reflection I believe this is an accurate depiction of where we are in late November 2019, weeks before a General Election and Christmas.

Last weekend I co-hosted the final North Tyneside Writers’ Circle of the year at North Shelds Library. There were almost 30 attendees, including a handful of first-timers. I was pleased to introduce poet Steve Urwin who talked about his writing life and his projects. I find Steve’s writing and work ethic inspiring and it was great to see others in the room “get” him.

The following day I saw Kate Tempest perform at Newcastle’s Boiler Shop. I haven’t heard or read her work but knew I wanted to see her. I was impressed by her energy, her connection with her audience and by her work.

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Me with Ali Finlayson in Shiremoor Library

Right now I’m still processing an event I hosted three days ago in Shiremoor Library called Meet the Poets: Ali Finlayson and Friends. This afternoon event was the culimation of work with Ali and his writer friends plus the support of North Tyneside Libraries. It was wonderful to see folk enjoying Ali’s poems.

Art, music, poetry, design, film, theatre, connecting with old and new friends and collaborating with the likes of writer Sandy Chadwin and musician Mike Waller fill my creative well. I am ready to start my next writing project. Thank you to everyone who has inspired me this year, this month, this week.