Thursday, August 16, 2018

Three dramas and a funky band

American author Patricia Highsmith was by all accounts a weird woman: rude and racist, she self-identified with her most well-known character, psychopathic killer Tom Ripley, and believed that murder, by gaining for a moment the absolute attention of the victim, was a way of making love. She spent her final years in Switzerland. A foul-mouthed alcoholic misanthropist can be savagely funny in small doses, as Father Jack proved, but the unrelenting tirade of vitriolic abuse is almost monotonous in Joanna Murray-Smith's 2014 play Switzerland, currently revived at Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov Studio. What saves the story from being merely unpleasant is the increasing suspense as her visitor's persona subtly, mysteriously, shifts, and what makes the production impressive is the superlative acting of Phyllis Logan as the rancid writer and Calum Finlay as the young man who arrives to plead for one more Ripley story, and to bring her a knife... Chekhov famously said if you show a gun in the first act someone has to fire it before the end: there's a huge armoury on this set from the start, but it's the hunting knife with its ‘polished mirror steel & thin tapered edge’ which is significant from the moment of reveal...  I can't say more without spoilers, except that designer William Dudley and director Lucy Bailey have combined to create an impressive production of a thought-provoking play. On till 1st September.
From Switzerland to Donegal: Aristocrats at the Donmar in Covent Garden, the highlight in a reunion with my friend & Derry flat-mate for two years shortly before the last troubles. Brian Friel's play charts the final days in the big house of a once-wealthy family, their grandeur now all gone, all with troubled lives, social conflicts, and secret griefs… Yes, it did feel pretty much like the secret love-child of The Cherry Orchard and it's not Friel at his best - there’s some over-egged speeches and the late-arriving motif of a hidden child is unnecessary as well as unresolved - but it’s brilliantly acted: David Dawson is mesmeric as Casimir, the fey, fantasising, brother, and Emmet Kirwan is strong as Eamon, the village lad who managed to marry one of the daughters of the ‘big house’ and now seems unsure why… Also excellent is patient Willie (David Ganly) - the Lopakhin in this infertile orchard - and there’s a brief but unforgettable glimpse of the once-powerful father. What distances us from the intimacy of these lives is the meta-theatrical approach that director Lyndsey Turner has chosen, with stage directions intoned to introduce each section and characters miming briefly before settling down still in view to wait their cue like subs on a bench. The non-naturalistic approach goes to extreme in Es Devlin’s design which I found distracting, particularly when the emotional final act was literally upstaged by the scenery - a massive faux-19th Century rural backdrop symbolising past splendour - and lugging a dolls house around the bleak stage to illustrate items mentioned in the script was overly contrived and a bit naff. But apart from that, an entertaining show.

The Price in Arthur Miller's play of that name might appear to relate to the $11,000 that old Mr Solomon offers Victor for the hoarded contents of his father's house, but of course it's more than that - it's the cost of a family trauma which grew from the 'Great Depression' - and obliquely the ongoing effect of that on the entire American nation. Onstage action follows the meeting of two brothers after long separation, both returning to their childhood home now scheduled for demolition to pick over memories and grievances: the current revival at Theatre Royal Bath, directed by Jonathan Church, benefits a lot from David Suchet as the old dealer, who brings a jaunty spark to this otherwise downbeat story.  Both the brothers - Brendan Coyle and Adrian Lukis - are impressive as defensive, damaged, men vying with each other as to who paid the higher price for their father's hoarding, although glamorous Esther is less convincing as Victor's wife and seems sometimes to have wandered in from another show.  Simon Higlett's massive set literally looms over the action, graphically depicting the claustrophobic clutter of the past still overshadowing these lives. Victor when alone interacts in moments of moving tenderness with the props of his past - his fencing kit, a harp, his brother's oar, but for me the dominating symbolism of furniture cluttering their lives detracts from the development and the reveal of other, subtler, aspects. On till 25 August.

Ending this post now in Bruton, where Hauser & Wirth host free summer parties in their Radić Pavilion throughout August: last Sunday's featured Frome's amazing Captain Cactus and the Screaming Harlots, irresistible whatever the song - I think this one is Kirsty MacColl's tale of the guy down the chip shop who swears he's Elvis... but it could be any from their 'whirlwind of folk blues & Americana-groove with harmonies and tales of whiskey, woe, zombies, and love.'

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Street life with castle, beach, murder-mystery & more...

Nunney Street Fayre on Saturday, as you'd expect from the spelling, is an extravaganza of stalls selling cakes and summer-festival style attire, interrupted at intervals by cider & prosecco bars and ice-cream vans - but with a magnificent USP: ruined Nunney Castle, in the centre of the village and surrounded by a moat. Here the awesome Acoustic Cafe team gave us a day-long stream of live music, on two stages so no set-up breaks, and you could lounge on the grass listening to fabulous folk, blues, and punk classics for hours... I was there for five, fortified by fizz, leaving then for a theatre date. Here's the punky Raggedy Men but I also really enjoyed the other bands and individual artists, especially Splat the Rat ranging from In Hell I'll Be In Good Company to gentle Bees Wing... (thanks Stephen for the snap)
So a swift bike-ride home got me back in time to de-hippify for the rather posher environs of Corsley Manor, to join friends for the Illyria production of The Hound of the Baskervilles.  Oliver Gray, who designs and directs the summer season, warns in programme notes that four actors on a tiny stage in a complex tale involving multiple characters is 'ridiculous' but of course it's the ridiculousness of this clever quartet we love. Liv Spencer's haughty Holmes, Nick Taylor's broad-Yorkshire Watson, Rachel O-Hare and Lee Peck in multiple roles were all hilarious, even in the scariest moments as the unlikely story unravelled. With the villain finally triumphantly identified, Dr Watson - not unreasonably - asks what the motive could conceivably have been. 'That is of no concern to me,' the great detective huffs, 'I am only interested in problems of the present and the past, not those of the future.' Not just a riotous romp, a sly critique of genre detective stories too...

Next day was the first Sunday in August so Frome had its monthly Independent Market - the seaside one, with a beach and donkey rides in the marketplace, and Mojo Moves from Rare Species street theatre leading a startling-energetic aerobics session - think human-glitter-ball in shocking-pink lycra romping like a baby hippo on speed.
For calmer enjoyment, there was the Busking Stage - here's Kevin Brown and Duncan Kingston playing blues.
Sunday early evening jazz is back at Cornerhouse: Simon Sax and friends gave a great jam session, with songs from Nicki Maskell & Graham Dent on piano. Midweek highlight was Lazy Daze, a charismatic trio - great rapport & fabulous original songs superbly played.

Ending this busy post with an update from Frome Unzipped, with my first serious, with-a-reading style, launch on Tuesday at Hunting Raven Books where lovely Tina set the bar high in her introduction but audience response was brilliant:  questions good and comments fabulous. (Thanks Tina for the sneaky shot of me holding forth.) I've been delighted by all the feedback, on facebook ('a cracking read'- thanks Mike Grenville) and from people I meet around - like, 'I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I am!'... I do hope everyone who buys it feels that way...
And Pete Lawrence has just posted a chat we had for the Campfire Convention: you can listen to the 'Firecast' here:

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Two away-days ~ & Frome still hectic in summer heat

London on a hot day... there seem to be more people here than actually live in the world, I think as I walk from Paddington to Covent Garden, fantasising continents emptied, or perhaps some of the crowd are holograms. I'm here to see The Lieutenant of Inishmore, my birthday present to myself, at the Noel Coward, a classic end-19C theatre all gilded and rococo-styled with pink velvet seats.
For some reason I thought this would be a sad Synge-style tale of auld Ireland. It’s actually a black comedy. Martin McDonagh wrote this extreme parody while the Good Friday peace treaty was precarious, and there’s still plenty of provocative edge in this Father-Ted-meets-Pulp-Fiction tale of patriot terrorists - in this case, the IRA & all who splinter within it. It's savage, and hilarious, and astoundingly well-acted - Aiden Taylor is mesmeric - he says every word like it’s just come to his mind, a rare and brilliant quality in an actor. Dennis Conway as his father Donny is great - ‘It’s incidents like this that put tourists off’ he opines glumly as his living-room takes on the vista of an abattoir - and Charlie Murphy, the dead-shot Bonnie to Paidraic's Clyde, is sublime when she sings The Patriot Game. The production has been very well-received, with several ★★★★★ reviews - there's a roundup here. Praise is unfaltering for Aiden Turner's psychotic Padraic - 'magnetic' is a frequent choice in reviews, in some 'smouldering' and in others 'animal'. Time Out was specific: Turner is terrific - I mean, yes, he would surely be the most handsome terrorist to have ever lived, but get past the hunkiness and he is wonderful, perfectly nailing Padraic’s weirdly endearing mix of innocence, zealotry and murderous rage.
 'A violent play that's wholeheartedly anti-violence' was the playwright's aim: Michael Grandage's direction, enhanced by gory props, maximises both violence & comedy, but the indictment of terrorism is plangent too.  There's a throw-away comment from Donny on INLA, the anti-Ceasefire splinter-group: 'Some folk join the IRA to travel. With INLA you never leave the Falls.'  The reference might be missed by a modern audience, but I remember the Falls Road in Belfast, where catholic flats were peppered night after night with protestant bullets and the British Army's CS gas rained down each ferocious weekend - that was neutral, of course, it just poisoned us all, especially the babies.

Frome meanwhile is once again alive to the sound of music, with the fantastic Pete Gage Band on top form at Sam's Kitchen, and the wonderful Raggedy Men at the Griffin - the gigs overlapped so apologies to the  for missing the first set of a brilliant session of authentic 70s punk with style, soul, & splendid riffs.
The regular Roots Session at the Grain Bar this week brought us the compelling world-folk sounds of Light Garden.


Upfest 2018 arrived in Bristol last weekend, bringing masses of street artists and creative events to Bedminster - I missed the active days due to my boiler having adverse reaction to a routine service and emoting all over the conservatory, but the buildings of course were still there on Tuesday and North Street's pageantry is well worth a visit. Two of Frome's finest were represented - Paris and Boswell - as well as names from Argentina and Connecticut to Czech Republic, Greece and India, with immensely varied styles. There was bit of a Simpsons theme going on too but the cartoons were less impressive than the amazing large-scale portraits and life-like works.
I'll conclude this bulletin with an update on Frome Unzipped, which was the focus of a fascinating discussion at Rye Bakery last week led by Peter Macfadyen, founder of Independents for Frome, and a feature in Frome Times, our local news provider which always punches above its weight as a freebie, celebrating creativity and positive news. Thanks, Ben & team, for this one:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Post-festival blues cancelled, everyone too busy

The festival is over, with Frome's response - predictably - along the lines of 'bring on the post-fest-festivities.' Merlin Miscast 'Cabaret Extravaganza' on Friday was a brilliant celebration of the talents of the contributing performers - an all-singing all-dancing reprise of twenty-two solo and ensemble songs from the last years' productions, atmospherically choreographed, with onstage band. Projected information kept the show fast-moving, with minimal but entertaining compering from super-glam Artistic Director Claudia Pepler & show director Ryan Hughes, and if this sounds overly fulsome all I can say is, it really was a great night for community theatre - and for the Merlin for nurturing so much creative activity.

Exhibiting a Paul Nash painting is quite a big deal for a small town art gallery, and Black Swan is making the most of having this one in their current exhibition: Arborealists and Guests will be in the Long Gallery until 2 September, and on Monday the Words at the Black Swan writing workshop met, with poet Louise Green leading, to respond to the theme of all things arborescent and dendriform. We looked at tree prayers and poems, created a small collective forest in words, and then focussed on a personal piece - some of these will be posted on the group facebook page here. This is a timely exhibition, in a year Sheffield - previously claiming to be 'Europe's greenest city' - has plans to cut down 20, 000 street trees in what Woodland Trust has called a tree massacre - while China has deployed 60,000 soldiers to plant trees to combat pollution. Frome meanwhile has an active tree-watch group, led by historian and expert Julian Hight who will be talking at the Gallery on August 16th. The exhibition is worth a visit: there are some wonderful images on display, though the drab Nash isn't one of them.

Here's a new thing for Frome: inspired by Bristol Rocks, we now have  Love on the Rocks happening around Frome: painted pebbles with cheery messages, secreted around the town for discovery and relocation. Toni from Fine Fettle discovered these two in Kingsway precinct. Bristol Post reports this fun-for-all craze has taken the city by storm. I have many pebbles of various sizes... I feel a rummage through the art drawer coming on.
To Bath now, for a spot of comedy at the Komedia for an Edinburgh Preview show by Holt & Talbot - Rosie & Christian to their friends - Mansplaining Feminism. Christian's commitment to this cause is upstaged from the start by Rosie who's upset because she heard a man shout ‘Great rack!’ - but not to her. Rosie’s grievance at her unappreciated mammaries continues rolling throughout the script like a cunningly-shot billiard ball as her partner writhes through varied situational sketches -mostly very funny anyway but all massively enhanced by the personalities of this combo.

Wallace & Gromit fans are probably aware already that a hunt for Gromits has been unleashed in Bristol this summer, with 67 differently-decorated models of characters from the movies positioned all around the city. A great idea for a Sunday family meet-up, we thought, and collected a trail map from St Mary's Redcliffe where the Bristol in Bloom Gromit sat. I can also report there's a Wallace in College Green, but all the other locations we planned to visit were overlaid by the weekend Harbour Festival so we had a terrific day out anyway.
Also in Bristol: South Western at Tobacco Factory is actually a production from the Wardrobe Theatre team, pulsing with their usual innovative energy and verve but in a bigger venue: their promo photos all look like they were snapped on a dark night in a dirty part of the docks and give absolutely no idea of the vitality of the show, so I've taken this image of the ensemble from their facebook page.  A cornish-pasty-style western rather than spaghetti, this revenge tale trails from Bristol to Lands End, full of local in-jokes but slickly produced and very funny. Think Hot Fuzz, with an echo of Thelma & Louise and a longing nod to Easy Rider. The best bits are the faux-film-making, with cuts and calls for close-ups, and calm technicians spraying fake blood, and the finale is superb. There are inspired ideas and marvellous moments and it's definitely a show you'd take your stage-struck children or students to show how challenging and transgressive and engaging and physical live theatre can be - but you might hope they'd use those qualities in a drama with more content than parody. On till July 27th.
Home news again, and Frome Unzipped continues to take baby-steps into the world: I'm delighted by comments in conversations and mini-reviews on facebook: 'It is superbly written' ... 'written in Crysse's inimitable lively and funky style'... 'beautifully written and so very well argued' .... 'all Froomies need to get a copy.'
Well there are copies in Hunting Raven, and a few more events coming up. As everyone is busy with jaunts camps and fesivals I've gone for series of 'soft' launches in different venues, and the first was hosted on Saturday by Martin Earley at Cornerhouse upstairs in the gin lounge - no author-reading, just biblophilic chats, and sales, and prosecco.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Our revels now are ended... for a while

And now the carnival is over... the 2018 Frome Festival enjoyed sunny days and warm evenings throughout and ECOS amphitheatre packed for Illyria Theatre's visit on the final night. The Merchant of Venice is considered one of the bard's 'problem' plays for its unmitigated antisemiticism, and some productions now present Shylock's crazed revenge demand of 'a pound of flesh' from his principle tormenter with more sympathy, but this gloating Shylock was a boo-hiss villain, allowing Antonio to emerge an untarnished hero. Director Oliver Gray always aims to stay close to Shakespeare's intentions, and the elements of fate and chance are emphasised in this complex tale of fortune and misfortunes. The best part, as always, was the clever way the tiny cast created every character with rapid costume-change and a few other tricks - I was particularly impressed by the mercurial personality shifts of Beau Jeavons-White whether merchant or wench.
Moving backwards, as you can in a review, the focus was on words throughout Sunday:  During the morning Frome Writers Collective hosted an interesting panel discussion with crime writers David Lassman, Nikki Copleston and Sandy Osbourne responding to audience questions on their genre and writing generally.
The library was also the venue for the Frome Short Story Contest finale, with a prize-giving ceremony for the winners and keynote speech frome writer Rosie Jackson who stepped in to replace indisposed judge Margaret Graham and provide appraisals for the winners and remind us 'We need stories that will anchor us in real human values.' First prize winner Julie Evans read her story The Artist's Last Model, inspired by Manet's famous painting of A Bar at the Folies Bergère. Prizes were also presented for the winning stories written in shops and cafes on the opening day of the festival, when the 'Writers in Residence' had four hours to invent and complete a tale inspired by the line 'Everything must have a beginning'...  (The FWC page  has more details on results, with names and photos.)
This was also the day of the Frome Half Marathon, so applauding contestants hurtling past the Boyle Cross became a fun filling in the sandwich of these two events.  Runners were near the finish once they reached the town centre, and widely scattered after 13 miles of hills under a scorching sun.  Results aren't out yet but here's one of those only-in-Frome moments as a couple of gypsy traps shared the car-free road with the runners.
Saturday night the Cornerhouse became a crowded dance floor for Flash Harry, one of Frome's favourite bands and a terrific way to end a day spent wandering around Mells reciting the words of war poets: In the footsteps of Siegfried Sassoon was the event name and I was privileged to partipate along with Martin Bax and John Payne, who devised a script of 18 poems for our nine stops on a really lovely circular walk around the lanes and footpaths of this atmospheric little village, from the war memorial to the poet's grave.
Words of women poets were included too: my favourite of these, I think, was this one by Sara Teasdale: ‘There will come soft rains:’
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, 
And swallows calling with their shimmering sound 
And frogs in the pools singing at night, 
And wild-plum trees in tremulous white; 
Robins will wear their feathery fire 
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; 
nd not one will know of the war, not one 
Will care at last when it is done. 
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
 If mankind perished utterly; 
And Spring herself, she she woke at dawn 
Would scarcely notice that we were gone.

(Thanks Mike Grenville for the image)

And now we've arrived back to Friday, where in Bristol there was a new show at Wardrobe Theatre,always a delight to visit: For Parlour Games they're teamed up with Sharp Teeth Theatre ;to create a historical romp with a serious undertone.  Set in 1848 when democratic revolutions were springing up all over Europe, on a stage that puts all its trust in audience imagination, Victoria and Albert have fled to their Isle of Wight hideout to avoid Chartist protest in the capital. The queen (6 ft 3 Peter Baker) is petulant, belligerent, demanding and imperious. Her perky moustachioed spouse Prince Albert (Lucy Horrington) prances around her with magic tricks and parlour games in attempt to calm her as they cavort the scary night away. The glue that holds this absurd situation together is provided by the piano-playing servant. Like all Wardrobe productions, it’s ridiculous, clever, and very very funny, but there’s real poignancy in the unexpected darker moments: Victoria remembering her lonely childhood, Albert knowing from boyhood he must marry his powerful cousin and forever be her lesser. Even sharper is the resonance with democracy’s continuing struggle against the wealthy and privileged. Watching this play on the day thousands of protesters had made their way to London - my  brother was one of them and I'd spent the day tracking his images - it was poignant to realise that protest prevails with the powerful no more now than when the Year of Revolution ended in failure, repression & disillusion.




Friday, July 13, 2018

Busy week in Fromesville

Interim report from Frome festival: 200 events in ten days, and sun blistering the sky from before 5a.m, rising tirelessly to high 20°s, simmering us like poached apricots till long after dusk.
I'll begin at the beginning for me, which was the Small Publishers Day on Saturday, joining the Hobnob stall with copies of Frome Unzipped - from Prehistory to Post-punk which had arrived like the cavalry in the nick of time. First copy went to writer Nikki Copelstone (who took this picture of me all excited with publisher John Chandler) and second to Barry Cunningham, MD of Chicken House. Sales started well, and Hunting Raven has already re-ordered so I'm hopeful.
Early evening saw a lot of happy football fans at the traditional Food Feast in the market yard, gloriously entertained by the Street Bandits and exotic dancers, with further free music inside the Cheese & Grain as dusk descended - here's awesome Raggedy Men reliving their teenage kicks.
Open Studios this year has 21 venues presenting the art of 65 artists: I only managed to scamper round a few of these on Sunday before heading for the Children's Festival in Victoria Park, where my 'First Cut' colleague Annabelle Macfadyen was enchanting an audience of little ones in The Quest for the Red Herring with Simon Blakeman. Here she is looking menacing but not as scary as the extraordinary creations of Ik'sentric and Mutartis at Freakshow Boogaloo (venue 8). The long hot day ended at the Cornerhouse, dancing not-really-tango at the 'Music of the Soul' jazz session from Keith Harrison-Broninski trio with Karen Street.

Monday now, and a sultry night for the Festival Poetry Cafe with Rob Barratt guesting and a monster Open Mic as 15 poets offered their words on the theme of Frankenstein, which is the theme of this year's festival. Interpretations ranged from Rosie Jackson's superb & visceral glimpse of an aged Mary Shelley reflecting 'This is how it is when the world has no mother' - to Liv Torc's heartfelt & funny insight into mothering two hot tiny tots, ' a tiny prison riot in a nappy'. Rob had the tough job of picking out just one of these wonderfully varied poems as most apt and chose Shauna Robertson's powerful poem about monsters made by misjudged political policies. Rob's own 'pithy poems, satirical songs, and provocative prose' were immensely entertaining, with a particularly empathetic response to his rant against The God of Data who in five days created levels & targets, jargon, league tables, the omnipresent Angel OFSTED, and sent Gehova who said 'Suffer the little children' and the little children did suffer... Thanks to all who came and contributed, as audience and readers, and to Garden Cafe's Ellen and Suzy who transformed our space into an open-air theatre and organised everything, and to Bill Aven who came from Frome Wessex Camera Club and sent the picture of Shauna receiving her Frome Festival 2018 Poet Laureate certificate and bubbly donated by Jon Evans. Dave Denyer, I hope you don't mind that I stole this pic from your page to give a glimpse of the busy garden.

A change of mood on Tuesday for The Meddling of Mrs Harris, a performed reading by Peter Clark of Mark Twain's satirical monologue King Leopold's Soliloquy at Rook Lane Chapel.  I came across this online while researching for Frome Unzipped, because the meddlesome missionary's wife who took the photographs - used by the Congo Reform Society to oust Leopold from his murderous regime - came from Frome. Alice Seeley-Harris' great-granddaughter Rebecca was in the audience and joined our post-show Q&A, adding further fascinating detail and very pleased that Alice's work is now more well-known in her home town. This event was supported by Nevertheless Productions with direction from Rosie Finnegan - not one of our usual shows but aiming to present a historical document in a provocative and memorable way. Thanks Mike Grenville for the discussion photo .
Wednesday's big event for me was Homeliness Exile and Longing, a celebration of the poems of Mahmoud Darwish on the tenth anniversary of his death. This was organised by Frome Friends of Palestine in Trinity Hall with a Middle Eastern banquet first and atmospheric music from Chai for Three alongside poems chosen by Mick Randall and read in translation by James Laurenson and me, and in Arabic by Hazem Al Asaad. Peter Clark, now shorn of his Mark Twain moustache and long locks, introduced this with a short account of Mahmoud's exiled life, and the readings concluded with a wall projection of the poet himself, reading his defiant poem 'I am an Arab'. A moving experience for readers & audience alike - thanks Ali Morgan for the photo.

More poetry on Thursday, with the HIP YAK Poetry Shack at the Archangel, compered by fabulous Liv Torc with Chris Redmond and Johnny Fluffypunk delivering strong words strongly spoken. Main feature of the event was of course the Slam, with eight brave poets competing for a place in the Womad Poetry tent - a massive prize and big responsibility for the four audience members who accepted the dreaded judging cards to hold aloft after each poem. Slammers need a tough hide I reckon. The standard was awesomely high and everyone had favourites, but Josie Alford was agreed a worthy winner.

I'm taking a day off now but there's the final days of festival to come, and this excessively self-centric post has barely scratched the surface. This feels a good time to be offering the world my version of the story of Frome, with creativity all around, and another Guardian article affirming the impact of our local government.  I'm deeply appreciative of poet Rosie Jackson for posting this really lovely tribute: ‘Frome’s kind of a funny place, really, it reminds me of a Brueghel painting...’ M.Boswell.  No one could be better placed than living-in-the-heart-of-it Crysse Morrison to take the radical pulse of Frome, town of dissent, creativity, independence, and trace it from being part of Selwood Forest to being a reluctant annexe to Babington House in its recent gentrification and media hype. Crysse unzips it all brilliantly in this fabulous book, published today from Hobnob Press.'

And a final thought from Kahil Gibran, because it's been on my mind.
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself,
You may house their bodies but not their souls, for they dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you may not enter.  Not even in your dreams.
This is why we write books and poems and plays and create artefacts and songs. They are the children who will never leave, they stay in our nest in a spinning world.