Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sheds Away!

After two years of dreaming about having a garden shed let me introduce to you 'Cyrus the Shed'. Cyrus, because David's grandfather was called Cyrus, and the shed reminds him of his boy days, when he visited his grandfather. Whatever, anything for a peaceful life! Even though we have painted Cyrus in a lovely light blue colour, he is still a man-shed, and I am more than happy to go along with that. O glorious day that has taken a kitchen cupboard full of weights (of the gym variety), tools, cans of paint, a chair that was in the way, old oil cans, and a wood-burning stove (not to mention David who is much happier with a screw driver in his hand than moping about the house) out of my way and into 'Cyrus the Shed.' 

I know he (Cyrus the Shed) is looking a bit naked at the moment, but it won't be long before he is labelled, and decorated with a few obligatory 'shed' accessories. For now the pink blossom frames him nicely. And look how happy my man is.

Not so, I, who have just roasted a ham joint forgetting all about soaking it overnight to de-salt it. Yuk! Another cooking failure. We'll have to eat it a little at a time. Well, is someone telling me something?

I've managed to write a couple of poems this week, one about the Industrial Revolution, I don't know where that one came from.

I also spent some time at Elsecar Parish Church searching the records for information about the Royston family. I found several references and it's just the beginning, they have a wonderful archive of Elsecar's history, thanks to the Heritage group in the village.

So, we are going to the polls again. What a shocker! Well, if it's anything like last time, the only leaflet that came through our door was from the new Chinese takeaway.  We didn't see anyone knocking on doors. I suppose this area is a given 'Labour' stronghold. I do find the amount of money that is wasted, not to mention productive working days, could be put to better use. I know, there are arguments on both sides. 

(Sounds of gentle hammering from 'Cyrus')

That reminds me, I forgot to tell you that I had a 'situation' last week. I shut the bedroom door from the outside, and would it open again? Not on your life. The handle had no purchase on the catch and I was well and truly locked out. Of course, it was pre-Cyrus, and all the tools were in our built in wardrobe, inside the bedroom. David was away for the night visiting our Jo and Jack in Kent, and I was left marooned on the landing. I did think, never mind I will sleep in the spare room, I had towels in the bathroom, it wasn't like I was locked out of the kitchen, heaven forbid! And then I remembered my pills on the drawers at the side of the bed. Right! Right! As luck would have it my wood carving chisels were downstairs. Oh dear, I hear you say. Next door must have thought I'd gone mad. Bang! Bang! Foot behind the door and focus of a Ninja, two minutes later I was in. The damage was minimal but we do need new handles for the door.

(The hammering outside has turned into drilling)

I'm going to finish here, I hope you all had a very good Easter. There were no eggs hidden in our garden, but we have got a most BEAUTIFUL shed. And methinks it now has a shelf if not two.

Bye for now,
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Little Success in The Poetry Shed

Zingy things are indeed happening! Not only are our garden trees and shrubs blossoming, glorious yellow daffodils standing tall and regally blooming in our garden, but I have had a poem accepted for publication in The Poetry Shed, scheduled for April, thanks to Abegail Morley.

It was also such a joy to meet fellow poets at the Shortlands Poetry Circle meeting last week, where the Russian poet Yvgeny Yevtushenko and Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska were on the menu. Only a few days later Yvgeny Yevteshenko sadly died. It was good to become reaquainted with his work after many years. R.I.P. dear poet. I was thrilled to have my poem from the Yorkshire Anthology, The Barnsley Boundary Walk - Over Woodhouse read out by poet Isabel Bermudez, it was a proud moment.

There doesn't seem to be much going on with regard to the poetry scene in Barnsley at the moment, shame about that. Still I always have Ian MacMillan to fall back on with his quirky radio 3 show, The Verb, Friday nights at 10p.m. and his entertaining tweets.

I have approached a publisher with my novel and waiting to hear what they have to say. Meanwhile I am reading and writing as much as I can.

Wortley Top Forge

The lovely spring weather in and around Barnsley has meant my walking boots have been given an airing. David and I walked to Wortley over lush green fields and down the estate road. It took us about an hour and a half but we were meandering, appreciating the countryside, and speculating on how it would have been in days gone by. We had a lovely cuppa in a cafe at Wortley and then walked back. The walk back was quicker so we could be in time to watch Time Team on the telly. I've seen most episodes before but it's a programme I love.

And, to make my week Jo and Jack came up from London for an overnight stay. Jade and Star our granddaughters from Worsbrough Dale, together with mum Tracy, joined us for a family tea, and we had a great get together. It prompted a clean up of the house, including windows, and a tidy up of the garden. Job done!

And now it's lunchtime so I'm off. Talk again soon,
Have a good week everyone, the sun is going to shine, so enjoy it.
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry

Well, lovely people, Spring has sprung, and with it I feel my strength coming back after months of ill health. Not only that but I am thrilled to bits to have a poem in the Anthology of Yorkshire Poety, published by Valley Press. Click the link and see for yourselves, I am in the midst of exulted company, Carol Ann Duffy, our Poet Laureate to name drop just one. This has been great for my moral, which I have to say has been at an all time low. So, it is onwards and upwards from here.

As to the onwards and upwards I have been working on my second novel, which after dozens of re-writes over a number of years I now consider to be finished. Yeah!


Watch this space for updates on my poetry too.

A few weeks ago Simon Armitage came to Barnsley to give a talk about his work. It was one event I could not miss, and what a splendid evening of poetry it was. Of course I am in love with Simon Armitage, and can't understand anyone who isn't.

The other activity that has consumed me of late is 'heir hunting,' and to that end David and I have been trailing various graveyards around Barnsley looking for trace of my relatives. Well we have been very successful. Only two or three miles away from where we live is Elsecar, and there we found the grave of my Great, Great Grandmother and Grandfather, Ellen and Joseph Royston. In the same graveyard, that of Holy Trinity Church, is my Great, Great, Great, Grandmother and Grandfather, Sarah and George Royston, plus children they had, one of which, Walter Royston, is named on the grave as having died in Canada. So looks like I may have relations over there too. In Monk Bretton we found the grave of my Great Grandmother and Granddad, Annie Elizabeth and Arthur Clarke. 

So now I really do feel that I have returned to my gene pool.

I have to say, I did shed a tear. It is a strange feeling meeting the past in this way.

I now know that I come from at least four generations of Barnsley coal miners.

No silver spoon as yet!

I am now going to practice my pitch for my poetry which I will put before publishers in the near future.

I hope all is well with you, and that you are feeling the wonderful effect of Spring too.

I promise to write again soon to keep you up to date with my life around Barnsley, and beyond.

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Tears From The Sun - The Story