Sunday, 5 June 2016

Hope is:

Last weekend we took part in an exhibition along with other artists from Hertfordshire. The theme was Hope and the artwork was displayed in a gorgeous chapel in Harpenden. On the Saturday there were workshops and in the evening there were performances. I shared some poems, including the one below which I wrote for the event. It was such a great day, so inspiring and encouraging to be around hard-working, talented artists. And another reminder of how happy it makes me to perform my poems :-)

Hope is

Hope is:
The smell before the smell of rain coming
One hundred poems before this one
The silence of the morning creeping through an open window
Before the day crowds in

Hope is:
Gritted teeth and binoculars
Checking your inbox at 1am
A pinky promise in the playground - moons ago
Newborn skin

Sunday, 22 May 2016


Letty is my sunshine friend
Shadows shift upon the sight of her
Scents of summer waft in
Her smile is light
Set in face round, bright
Warming the coldest day

And she is generous with it
Backpack on
She braves Bristol
Its hills, its tunes, its pints, its colour, its green
And all its crazy and broken and creative and beautiful people
Breathes it all in hard
Trailing light rivers from bicycle wheels
Changing the map

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Love letter to London

I wrote this last year, in the back of my journal, scribbled in green pen.

A friend happened to read it and said I should share it, so here it is. Not too polished, but it's honest.

I almost don't want to say this out loud. But London, I feel a little disappointed. In you? By you?

You and me, we've been ever so slowly moving towards each other all these years. An inevitable trajectory - we knew one day we'd be together.

In the meantime, it was all quick dates and brief flings. Exciting, exhilarating, a guilty pleasure. Rough around the edges you were - and that's what I loved. The mix of grime and colour. The unexpected cosy corner. Majesty, mystery, misery all rocking side by side.

You were fresh air in my lungs, a raw kick after the sleepiness of Oxford; energetic honesty after the surrealism of Brighton. You were ideas and positivity peeking up out of the grey. Basements and breakdancing, Brixton, Brick Lane, the last train back to Brighton all danced out and satisfied.

Monday, 2 May 2016

New York: the places we ate

So we did pretty well food-wise in New York, which is cool, because food is probably the quickest way to the hearts of Mr and Mrs Quinn.

Before we went Mr Q said his priorities were pizza and hot dogs.

We basically failed in that respect, I didn't even have a pretzel. BUT I think we more than made up for it with other delights.

So, here we go, our New York food diary:


Hot dog: Hot dog stand outside Central Park
This was probably the most disappointing food purchase. Maybe I just chose the wrong stand, won over by its proclamations of selling hot dogs for 100 years (or something like that) – susceptible tourist that I was. But it filled a gap when I only had $4 dollars on me – although I could only afford saurkraut with it. Maybe that's what let it down? Not really sure what I was expecting though, how good can a frankfurter sausage be? Tell me if I'm missing something here!

Smoothie (kale, mango, peach, lemon & ginger): Jamba Juice
The unremarkable hot dog was made up for later that evening by a smoothie from Jamba Juice. I was drawn in by the stacks of fresh fruit and vegetables, and needed something to sustain me through a writing class. I definitely (accidentally) picked the right place: probably the best smoothie I've ever had, thick and cold and 'zinging'.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

New York: first impressions

Some of the things that struck me in my first few days in NYC:

1. (Since basically the first thing I did was go to the 'restroom'): The toilet bowls are a lot more full of water which vaguely worried me, like I might fall in, like ohhh this is why bullies in films always flushed people's heads in the toilet. Then they flush automatically which surprises me even more! The cubicles in public toilets also seem to have a lot more space around them – like it would be a lot easier to climb under/over them – kind of like you're more exposed but less likely to get trapped without anyone knowing. Maybe that's a weird thing to think about while sat weeing?

2. Williamsburg, the first place I stayed in New York, is supposedly the trendy bit. I don't think the part I was staying in was trendy though. The main feature seemed to a whole lot of Hassidic Jews, curly sideburns and all. And a lot of yellow school buses.

3. It's a good idea to have an umbrella. The weather is changeable in the way it is in Cornwall – something about being surrounded by water?

4. Lots of people really do buy 'kwoffee' on their way to work (and pastries and do-nuts and pretzels...)

Sunday, 17 April 2016

New York Notes: Arriving

Standing on the subway platform J at Sutphin Boulevard Station, just below Jamaica Station. Smelling of piss. I feel happy in a way I haven't felt for ages.

Why? Just to be somewhere new? The small triumphs of figuring out which train to get, a MetroCard given by a departing visitor, the sun shining over a new city, the whole world gathering.

It's been a smooth journey, luxurious it feels. No hassles, no problems, barely any turbulence. Wine and beer on the flight, and a pleasant neighbour, whose son happened to be in the year above my husband at Pretoria Boys High. Of all things.