Still with words: Episode 40 of Frome Writers Collective on radio is now available online, with my short talk about writing short stories 4 minutes into this link, followed by a cheeky review of Déjà Lu by Suzy Howlett @14.30 minutes. I also had the delightful experience of reading one of my favourite of these tales, Deceiving Mr Pemberley, to the friendly & welcoming Active & In Touch group at the Cornerhouse on Tuesday morning - a delightfully attentive audience and good company too.Guggleton Farm - or The Gugg as it's more usually known, is a new venue to me, discovered just in time before the winter closure of this wonderful arts venue in Stalbridge, Dorset. Thursday evening's live music in the open-air barn provided a smorgasbord of delights, from young local acts like Oscar & Georgie (pictured R) to Frome headliners Unit 4 (above), a newly-formed Frome band already gathering fans excited by their uncompromising funky style.
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Community poetry & partying, with bonus paintings
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Wartime drama, still life, and spiny fungus
And finally: top walk of the week was a long prowl around Harridge Wood, about 10 miles from Frome and a stunningly beautiful area of dense foliage, streams, and cascades - bright with sinuous rills, as Coleridge might say. This area was apparently predominantly used for coal-mining for 500 years, from the 1300s onward, so among the overgrown relics of this industry are the 'bell pits' that medieval coal workers used, and the leats they created to carry water to power their shafts. Nature has reclaimed the abandoned areas, apart from some mid -20th century planting of coniferous trees for timber. The whole area is now primarily a nature reserve, with a bat house, thriving bird life, and a thriving population of butterflies, birds, flowers, and fungi: my thrilling find, since apparently these are only rarely seen, was a spiny puffball, the size of my fist & dark brown - both indications of longevity.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Dramatic nostalgia & deep history this week's flavour
Still in theatre mode: over to Wiltshire now where September in the Rain, probably aptly, is the choice of Salisbury Playhouse for their upcoming production as theatres cautiously reopen their doors with fingers crossed there won't be a repercussion of previous seasons' cancellations - especially as the Playhouse is one of only 45 producing theatres in the country, so this is a bigger deal for the company than for tour-hosting venues.
Monday, September 06, 2021
Wicked drama, splendid art: a vividly visual week.
Back to Frome now for the opening night of Portrayal of a Pandemic, a fantastic multi-media exhibition at Black Swan Arts. Active and In Touch Frome, a charity offering support to anyone lonely or in need, had the inspired idea of creating an art exhibition to reflect 'the emotions of lockdown in the community, both positive and negative.' Resulting submissions are on display in the Round Tower all week, and represent a marvellous range of interpretations in a range of media from contributors of all ages. Here's Heath Date with his winning portrait of Captain Tom, and David Thompson, winner of the written word category, whose poems will now be published by Hobnob Press.
The Patsy Gamble Blues Collective arrived at The Sun on Saturday night to deliver their 'jazz funk saxy fusion' to a severely under-attended audience (though nice for those of us anxious about crowds) and lived up to all expectations. As a sessions musician Patsy has worked with top names and toured extensively at home and abroad and her line-up for this little gig in our local was superb, with Mike Hoddinott defying the speed of light in his epic drum solo.