My First Blog Post

Writing and Me

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog so please bear with whilst I get the hang of it. It was set up some time ago, at the time of writing it’s November 2019 so I’m a bit late but here we go!

The photo on my home page was taken in the beautiful ‘Chained Library’ at Hereford Cathedral U.K.

I had a magical visit to this C17 library, with my late Dad. It was awesome to be surrounded by literally the weight of knowledge surrounding us. I remember my then 93 yr old Dad joking that he felt like a youngster amidst such aged tomes.

Hereford Cathedral also homes a Mappa Mundi

A detail from the Mappa Mundi

Dating from C13, it’s a fascinating insight into how the scholars viewed our planet.

As for me – I’m a poet and will post up links to some of my work soon. I recently stepped down from a three year period of chairing – The Gloucestershire Writers’ Network (GWN) from 2016-19.

It’s a wonderful network which promotes writers, events and groups. GWN organises an annual poetry and prose competition where the winners receive cash prizes and they and the runners-up are published and read their wining entries at the prestigious Time and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

See here for our prose and poetry winners 2019 and also to find our more about GWN

Poetry winner Sarah Hemings
Sarah Hemings – GWN Poetry Winner 2019

Prose Winner Julie Carthy
Julie Carthy – GWN Prose Winner 2019

It’s been wonderful to see so many writers and poets further their talent and become ‘names’ on the writing circuit.

I’ve taken time out from my writing to care for my Dad as he declined into dementia and this blog is really my way of moving on, as he would have wished. So here’s to him, Dad, Frank – and I share the poem I wrote for him and read at his funeral. It’s on a wonderful website called Good Dadhood in honour of all those great Dads out there

See the source image


Just you and me, and the tchck, tchck
of your hobnails, spading
stony grey buttercream
for the patio.

I love your talk of optimal ratios —
sand, water, cement,
but it’s hard to stay rapt
when the world’s a grassy bank
with worms to scream at,
and stepping-stone ants who promise
other means of construction.

If you’d wanted a boy
you never said.
Applauded my preference
for daisy chain decoration,
yum-yummed over mud pie teas.

Later, I learned
how you layered rare elements
to buttress my shaky mettle.

Now I spade up that same blend
of unconditional 
pass it back for you.

Frank and Kathryn at Hereford Cathedral

I’m looking forward to blogging about writing events, publications and poetry in particular. Coming next, look out for my review of Helen Ivory’s The Anatomical Venus (Bloodaxe, 2019)

It’s great to be writing again and I will be returning to my own creative writing in 2020 – no doubt, detailing the highs and lows of submitting. See you soon 🙂

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