Crikey, it’s March and my last update was back in August last year.
My apologies dear reader. It’s sort of a mix of there being no news, and too much news, so I will try and update a bit. So – Work first – then my life….
Winter is generally a quiet time in my line of work, as TV and Film tends to wind down a bit.
I did some theatre in September, with Dead Earnest Theatre, in a production of The Ratcatcher, part of the Festival Of The Mind in the Spiegeltent in the centre of Sheffield.
I’ve done some voice work too, on a wonderful series for Vanitas Arts, a new jazz based audio drama series titled Persons of Interest – four audio drama podcasts based on the lives of prominent jazz artists who are Black and Queer: Gladys Bentley, Josephine Baker, Ken Snakehips Johnson and Ada Bricktop Smith. You can listen to these as they’re released here, or through your favourite Podcast sources.
My voice has also featured on a new story on the Geostories App: Freyda Skald of Jorvik.
The Jorvik GeoStory is about magic, myth and mystery as a young woman’s life is transformed after an encounter with a legendary Viking Seeress, Gudrun. Developed in partnership with The Jorvik Viking Centre and supported by Arts Council England, the story begins in Coppergate, York.
Launched at the 2023 JORVIK VIKING FESTIVAL in February, it features Augmented Reality images that come to life as you are transported back to Jorvik in the Year 960 and into magical Viking Realms.
Freyda Skald of Jorvik is free to listen to and can be accessed in the GeoStories Library by downloading the GeoStories app on the App Store and Google Play or by scanning the QR Code on the flyer below.
LIFE & LOVE
2022 ended wonderfully. I met an amazing woman.
Just when you feel like there is no one out there for you, that you should just maybe give up on the idea of romance. That a hand blindly fishing around in the Quality Street tin for a wrapped chocolate may be the most exciting thing to happen over Christmas.
Beverley is much nicer than a Quality Street Strawberry Cream or a Purple One.
She’s an author, writer, coach, entrepreneur, single mum, and much, much more – and things are quite lovely. We laugh, sing, cuddle, and kiss a lot.
You can find her here or at The Writers Workshop.
Or read her latest Grief blog update here – Swimming Through Clouds: A journey of love and loss. I am mentioned in the latest update.
The Writers Workshop is an amazing resource for you writers out there, with workshops, motivation sessions, mentoring, live events, retreats, masterclasses, and much more.
It’s very affordable, and the sessions are either in person or online. Take a look
Inspired by being with this amazing Writer Woman, I have started writing more myself, and I’ve even dug out some older pieces to tinker with. I will share some of my new stuff at the end of this update.
My birthday arrived in January. It wasn’t unexpected of course.
I decided on a trip to Edinburgh for my birthday treat, as I’d never visited before.
So it was the Castle, Royal Mile, Haggis Neeps and Tatties, Deep Fried Mars Bars, and a walk up Arthur’s Seat.
And I slipped walking back down from Arthur’s seat, hurting my own seat, a bang on the Coccyx. It’s still painful now.
My Brother John and his daughter Modena visited from Canada in January. Our birthday’s are 4 years and a day apart. So it was lovely to catch up, have family time, and a drink or two with old friends.
Damn! After avoiding the lurgy since the very beginning, Covid hit the house at the end of January.
Mum and I are both fully vaccinated, so it could have been worse.
I was pretty miserable with it for a few days, but bounced back.
Mum is 90, so it has hit her harder. Though now testing negative, she has ended up in hospital, but we hope she will be home again soon. Keep everything crossed.
As I mentioned, Beverley has inspired me to write more. And to be public about it.
So here’s a couple of recent pieces.
It’s bin day
Bins blown over everywhere
Regardless of colour
Black, brown, blue
On it’s side, lid flapping like a puppet mouth
Spewing garbage like a politician
Eeeeuw I don’t even know what that is
But it’s not nice
Dogs try to sniff. No!
Home we rush with chilled ears through streets awash with flotsam and jetsam
It’s Bin Day again
Wind day again
Blue Bins put out to stand street-side
Like Bobbies in a row
Guarding our road like sentry’s on duty
But blue bins are slender
Thinner than Grey and Brown
And with contents of cardboard and paper
There’s no weight to hold it down
So blue bins blow, off they go
Like drunken revellers
Until they trip off the kerb
And they’re down, rolling around, regurgitating contents
Prescription copies, old bills, egg boxes, dozens of Amazon cardboard envelopes, pizza boxes, cardboard sleeves off yogurt containers, magazines, newspapers
Almost no bins left to empty now
Contents blow freely
Twisting and turning
Escaping down the road
Hiding in gardens and under cars
Bin lorry comes, empties the few still standing, then blue bins left on the pavement
Empty now, lighter and giddy, they wheel around
Throwing themselves down once more
They roll around like pigs in muck
It’s bin day again
Wind day again
A man down the road has a DeLorean.
A man down the road has a DeLorean.
Yes, that sporty stainless steel car made famous in the Back to the Future franchise.
On our road. Just parked there on the street. Under a tree.
Hardly ever moves it, it sits there, falling blossoms gathering at the base of the windscreen.
Which must block his air intakes because he often puts a sheet of plastic over the air vents in autumn.
That fancy rear cover over the engine compartment. Tied down with a length of tatty rope.
And what of the owner?
No Marty McFly or Doc Brown here.
A mild mannered chap, dresses conservatively, slacks and sweaters. Silver framed glasses, greying blonde hair parted to one side.
His other car, his daily drive, parked behind the DMC – a silver Ford Focus.
Seen him in the paper shop. Buys two loaves. Appears to be single. And heard Linda in the shop ask about his mother.
So why? Why a DeLorean? The dream car of the 80’s, sitting outside a Sheffield semi?
He hardly ever moves it. If he does then it’s MOT time, though he did park it around the corner for a few days when they repaved the street.
I often stand beside it when I’m walking the dogs. They seem to have a fascination with it, they sniff the alloy rims and custom rubber tyres. Where has it been to gather smells so interesting to canine olfactory organs?
Then, this morning, walking back from the paper shop, the rumble of an engine.
Not a normal rumble.
He’s sat in the drivers seat – on the left of course, it’s American – giving it an occasional monthly turnover to keep it running, circulate the juices that keep the beast alive.
Or is he?
Is there more to Mr Normal. Is he actually from the future? Holding out on Holdings Rd, keeping watch over the steel city, his DeLorean the Time Machine that brought him here, and his lifeboat to return him home.
Are those “sitting there running the engine” times really to keep it roadworthy?
Or perhaps he’s generating some time clock energy, rewinding us all to correct something that shouldn’t have happened.
But I still remember you. And what we said last night. That can’t be rewound by Mr Future.
So, we are good.
No objection raised by the Time Panel, no temporal anomaly created, we can go on.
And how can we say no to the future?
So, I think that’s just about all the interesting stuff.
There’s more of course, but my instagram and Twitter Feeds may fill in the gaps for you.
Wishing you all love, prosperity, and the fall of this evil Tory government.
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