Does Metaphor Make You Better? was the somewhat ponderous tag that peeled away to reveal an inspirational talk by Victoria Field and Rose Flint at Frome Library this week.
Writing therapy, unlike art therapy, has no long-standing psychoanalytic pedigree, but research increasingly shows the healing power of creative writing for both acute and chronic disease and depression.
"I don’t work with the reasons" Rose says, "we’re not defined by our illnesses, our wellness is our best reality. I work from the place of wellness.” Victoria talked of our shared instinct to self-medicate through poems: "We're not concerned with literary merit but the sheer pleasure of putting words together." As well as being foremost practitioners in this work, Rose and Victoria are both amazing poets and the event ended with readings from their own 'therapeutic' poems, some dark but all glowing with compassion for the human experience.
My musical taste has ever been what can most charitably labelled 'eclectic' (Deep Purple to Dirty Vegas via Tom Waits & Arctic Monkeys) but I found a whole new genre to enjoy after a splendidly theatrical session at a Cotswold's jazz pub with Nick Gill's Oxford Classic Jazz Band swinging through songs of the last century.
Big sound for a quartet (percussion sax and tuba as well as piano & vocals) and amazing range of mood: glitz and glamour, urban blues, and sweet melodic moments on that stardusted lazy river of the days gone by... Fabulous.
I'll end a random week with fireworks over Frome again, this time inspired by a request to the One Show from Mandie Stone. The answer was Yes. "If it's good enough for Jenson Button, it's good enough for us, end of story." pronounced Christine Bleakley from the show's helicopter cockpit. Cue Pee Wee Ellis leading the parade through town - cue youth band, operatic society, firefighters and twirling majorettes - cue town cryer, and the ancient town of Frome is officially twinned with BBC One Show. And thanks Mandie, for including as one of your 20 reasons for the twinning ceremony:
The polished One Show performance is up on a pedestal; Frome’s own poet Crysse Morrison performed poetry on the plinth at Trafalgar Square. Mandie sponsored my outfit from her shop Love Arts, an Aladdin's cave of retro delights, so it was great to see her in the studio giggling and threatening to wet herself as the story unfurled.