Sunday, February 18, 2018

Words, weaving, and a quick dip into history

Another post with one eye on my project... a parkour ride round Frome past and present, and with time-pressure still set firmly on Silly - that's above High but just below Manic - what's had to give is again music: sadly I heard neither foot-stomping blue-grass Old Boston Tea Party at Grain Bar, nor Don Kipper's Balkan Beats at 23 Bath St. I couldn't resist Emma Harris' scratch band at The Cornerhouse party though, with- great music, great dancing.

And I did get to hear some terrific poetry, at a crammed Frome Poetry Cafe with a February theme ~ 💖love, naturally ~ twenty poets from the floor and a great atmosphere, with guests Josephine Corcoran and Rosie Jackson both much enjoyed. I haven't heard Josephine before, and really enjoyed her memories of people and places, especially Winter in Trowbridge, the town of three smells: beer, meat pies, and sewage. This and other great poems in her new collection The Misplaced House.
Another evening of poetry too as eco-poet Helen Moore paid a flying visit back to Frome to launch two new books: Intatto/Intact, an innovative Italian/English collection (The Italian poems beautifully read by Annie Lionnet) and The Disinherited, her sad & angry poems about British treatment of the natives and the transportees in Australia. Again a full audience and a great atmosphere, as Helen's readings were further enhanced by readings from two Frome poets ~ Rosie Jackson and B Anne Adriaens ~ and a story-telling by Bard of Bath Kirsten Bolwig.
Most of my time though is still absorbed in interviewing, transcribing, and struggling to wrestle big balloons of information into a shape that, if not logical, is at least coherent.  I've learned an unbelievable amount, not just about the past & present of Frome but unexpected things like the tragic life of the queen bee and the lexicon of graffiti.  I've met a neighbour who was filmed in her punk days, another who was played on John Peel, and many more fascinating people with amazing memories - in fact when this project is finished there's scope for so many spinoffs ~ I definitely want to do something about decorating the fabric of our town too.
So I'll end with a contrasting couple of images: an ancient postcard inscribed with what the publisher considered the sole fact of any interest: Frome, a town dating from very early times, was surrounded by Selwood Forest which afforded shelter to a body of bandits who were the terror of the neighbourhood  - and the newest bar in town, The Loft at 23 Bath Street, with decor by internationally-renowned street artist Paris.

And also plea from the wonderful weavers of Frome, who I also met on my investigations, who urgently need a new home. Big enough for 7 floor looms 18 table looms and stacks of other paraphernalia I failed to comprehend, and a lot of yarn in wondrously diverse colours. In Frome or as near as possible. Anyone know anyone contact them on this link - as soon as you can! 

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