Sunday, July 26, 2020

Biodynamics, birds, bubbles & boules

Silk Mill Studios provided the artistic masterpiece this week: a lunch box created by Jo Harringon, executive chef of 42 Acres, an ethical retreat near Witham Friary where the land is farmed organically and biodynamically. "It's all about healthy food for a better planet," Jo explains, "Our communities have lost their indigenous knowledge, so we're showing that if we look after the soil then what we harvest will naturally support us. This is all foraged food, wild-tended." The vegan treats in this box include leaves, petals, pollen, and roots, and it really is all delicious.

Moving on to words: Frome Writers Collective continues its presence on Frome FM, with the latest programme here. Rosie Jackson reads from her latest collection of ekphrastic poems, with other poem-inspired pieces, and Gill Harry and I both contributed a lament for this year's cancelled Frome Festival Small Publishers Fair, which starts 31 minutes in - Lisa Kenwright, the show's host, reads mine. The popular 'Writers in Residence' festival event continued by proxy this year - big tribute to the initiative and energy of the organisers and contributors - and one of the winning short stories is read by writer Sian Williams at 40 mins. The international short story contest went ahead too - the results are posted on the website here. Also on local radio, just over the border in West Wiltshire, The Poetry Place this month featured Frome's eco-poet Helen Moore (at 39.20) with Carrie Etter, Dru Marland and Wendy Klein, introduced by Dawn Gorman, organiser and host of Words and Ears poetry events in Bradford on Avon.

John McCullough isn't local, but his poetry collection Reckless Paper Birds, published by Penned in the Margins, is nominated for a Costa Award and his generous and honest post in response is worth quoting: 'Poetry is a craft and like any craft it takes thousands of hours of quiet honing. There's no way around this. Try to enjoy the journey of discovering new writers who reshape the way you see the world and each little breakthrough as you refine your editing strategies.'
Poets Prattlers and Pandemonialists experimented with a poetry night on their email address here where the contributions will remain available until July 28th.

And a re-recommendation of Brain Pickings, a beautifully presented blog which always has much to offer, which in this edition brims with tributes to trees from Robert Macfarlane, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, and DH Lawrence meditating on the message of the cypresses in Tuscany:
'As in clairvoyance he perceived it: that our life is only a fragment of the shell of life.  In the dark, mindful silence and inflection of the cypress trees, lost races, lost language, lost human ways of feeling and of knowing. Men have known as we can no more know, have felt as we can no more feel. Great life-realities gone into the darkness. But the cypresses commemorate.'
Ending now, with Birthday Blogger's Permitted Egoism, with my personal celebrations which somehow took over the week as the rules we now live by prohibit a massive one-off celebration so the last few days were a series of small delights, concluding on Sunday with a rainstorm festival and boules in Victoria park with my family - after a handover of 9 more copies of The Price Of Bread to a book group. I'm really happy with the way sales are going, and with the feedback too - there's a superb review from author & broadcaster Suzy Howlett here, & on my facebook page too.

No comments: