Hello again…

Last time I was here I mentioned UNFEST, a weekend of  free music and art that unfolds over several venues in Tunbridge Wells throughout the May Bank Holiday weekend. For me Unfest kicked off last night with a reading night (Read Your Words for Unfest) at Javabean cafe. I would have loved to have gone on to the first night launch party at The Forum, but alas my son had to get up for college so a late one wasn’t on the cards. We will make up for that tonight.

Talking of cards*, I also mentioned ‘Postcards from the Hedge’ – an interactive project asking visitors to Unfest to post messages – poetry, art, flash fiction, whatever – for us to share throughout the weekend. This year there are three ‘postboxes’ – one at Javabean, one at The Forum, and one at the Library and Art Gallery. If you’re passing, pick up a card, grab a pen and drop us a line. A small selection of last year’s postcards were used to make a promotional video:

Continue reading “Hello again…”

I’m Having a Faaaag. Strawberry Flavoured.

When I was little my mum would give me sixpence for going to the shop to buy her fags. I would become so engrossed in choosing sweets from the long line of jars behind Jack Wilson’s counter that I would lose all track of time. The jars were filled with brightly shining jewels in myriad colours, and sixpence, spent carefully, could garner a whole quarter of pick and mix. Sometimes I spent so long looking that my mum, desperate for her snout, dispatched my older brother to find me and drag me home. I think I might have wet myself occasionally when the excitement got too much…

Today I popped into my corner newsagent to buy a natural yoghurt to enhance our curry tonight. A middle-aged woman was poking through a huge selection box of flavoured ‘vape’ refills. She had a strawberry and a raspberry but couldn’t make up her mind what to spend her next £24.00 on. Twat.
As I typed the above I remembered I had written a poem about the sweet shopping experience. It’s a kid’s poem really, but you might like it. It’s HERE

How long?!

Blimey, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? As those who very kindly opted to receive update notifications will know I’ve become somewhat lax as far as blogging goes. I would love to say this is because I’ve got caught up in a whirlpool of exciting and lucrative-but-time-consuming ventures that have kept me far too occupied to post, but of course I would be lying. I’ve just been busy doing nothing (well, next to nothing), and as far as my financial situation goes I’m just as skint as I’ve always been. Gold-diggers be warned – seduce me by all means, but as far as payouts go fish and chips and the odd pint of bitter is about as far as my wallet will stretch.

Anyhoo, a blog saying ‘I’ve done bugger all since Christmas’ is probably even worse than no blog at all, so here are a few bits and pieces I’ve done / am doing that justify the parenthesis (that’s “brackets” for those standing in the corner with pointy hats on) in the above paragraph. Continue reading “How long?!”

A Smashing Christmas…

… and a smashing present.

I posted this on the Tunbridge Wells Writers’ website yesterday as part of our Christmas Countdown, so if it seems familiar that’ll be why. Today’s post, however, includes an ‘Easter Egg’ in the form of a crappy seasonal Clerihew at the bottom, which I forgot to put in my last post here. Enjoy! 

It’s difficult in these days of Mp3 mass storage and unlimited music streaming to comprehend just how desirable a bottom-of-range compact cassette recorder might have been to a twelve-year old cahnsil estate oik in the early 1970s. Imagine today’s average twelve-year old unwrapping their first ever i-phone and multiply it by a factor of around a million, then throw in an X-box1 for good measure and you might be getting somewhere close. But probably not, because twelve-year olds today are already likely to be on their fourth or fifth generation smartphone, and will have regarded ownership of such items as a god-given right rather than a privilege from the time they lost their first milk tooth. Spoilt little buggers.

casseteBut I digress: In 1973 I would have sold my granny to sex-traffickers to get my hands on a cassette recorder, and thrown in my granddad too, had he still been living, for the price of a triple-pack of blank C60s and a set of spare batteries.

My dreams were almost answered in December 1972. I had been pleading miserably (shush!) for a tape-recorder since my birthday in August (when I had received nothing grander than a cheap kite), and had convinced myself that said pleading had “incentivised” mum into borrowing the necessary monies from our tallyman, Mr Pither, to procure it for me. Imagine my shock and dismay, then, on discovering on Christmas morning that the daft old bat had instead invested my present money in a poxy little second-hand reel-to-reel recorder on the advice of a “family friend”. That the “friend” was the person selling the reel-to-reel – probably to fund the purchase of a proper cassette for their own offspring – was an implication lost on my mother, but an oversight she would rue throughout the entire Christmas period and for at least six months of the following year. Continue reading “A Smashing Christmas…”