Jul 252016

I haven’t blogged for a very long time. No time. No energy. No time…

However, I have made some ‘life’ decisions (stay with me) and, as I already share far too much on Facebook as it is, I thought I would expunge my need to share in a blog post instead.

I reached a point a few months ago where I wanted to change my lifestyle. Too much wine, no exercise, not enough sleep etc. And, a few weeks ago, I decided to do something about it. I have also had a few inner turmoils to deal with and, finally, I think I might have the better of them.

Nothing I am about to say is any great shakes in the whole scheme of things, but for me I am putting some things to bed and waking others up. So, my plan is to on a six week lease. I am giving myself until the end of August to see a change and make that change happen. The plan is:

° Go back to being vegetarian. I was a veggie for 18 years before I started eating fish again. Every time I eat it, the taste is tainted by my brain thinking of it as an animal (don’t tut at my classification). Fish is lovely, but I don’t want to eat it any more. I was  never a pescatarian; I was a vegetarian who ate fish. For a while.

° Run a mile a day. Or, a mile and a half, as it turns out. I started today and, apart from the 10 minutes where I couldn’t talk and just wanted to climb into the fridge (midday run — duh), I have felt great all day. I like that my legs hurt and I like that I have no excuses not to allow 20 minutes a day for a run and to exercise my dog. He’s my official running buddy (and general shadow).

° Cut back on the wine. Don’t need it and the less I drink, the less I want to. Pure habit and the perpetuation of ‘wine o’clock’ on social media makes you think it’s OK. It’s not.

° Read more. I always feel guilty about reading. It’s such a selfish activity and it feels self-indulgent to allow myself the time to do it. Note to self: be more selfish.

° Write more. (see above)

° Eat healthily. No brainer really and, to be fair, I eat pretty well. I don’t like cake, not fond of chocolate or puddings but do have a penchant for nuts and crisps. They can go. And carbs need to go. Not in a manic Atkins style, but my body doesn’t like them and punishes me for eating them. Worth it? Probably not. I’m not ‘going on a diet’. To be fair, I’ve pretty much been on a diet since I was 17, as my school-friends will testify. I just want to eat when I’m hungry and (luckily) I love veggies (hate fruit — bleugh). As an aside, why do we indoctrinate children to finish your plate? No! If you’ve had enough, stop eating.

° Ballet. Always loved it. As a child, *whispers* GCSE Dance, at drama school. So, I’ve signed up for an adult ballet class, starting in September. Please God, don’t make me wear a leotard.


There are some other decisions to make too, but these are enough to be getting on with. And I feel good about them, they don’t seem onerous or a chore on the never-ending ‘To Do’ list. Which is good. Do-able. Possible.

 Posted by at 8:34 pm
May 132016
Henley Arts Trail 2016

Once again, I was invited, by Nacera Guerin, to take part her poetry evening, as part of The Henley Arts Trail. It was lovely, if nerve-wracking, to read some of my own poetry, and I had some great comments afterwards, which is always reassuring. We poets are sensitive souls at the best of times, let alone […]

 Posted by at 1:56 pm
Mar 062016
Alice Ekphrasis at The British Library

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending Alice Ekphrasis at The British Library, an event conceived by Abegail Morley, Catherine Smith and Emer Gillespie An ekphrasis is (in my very basic terms) when one piece of artistic work is based on another, in this case it was poems written in response to the most renowned work […]

 Posted by at 1:43 pm
Feb 102016
Would you like to restart in safe mode?

I am home this week as my youngest daughter has chicken-pox. I can’t say I mind. I’ve been waiting for her to get it (she’s 6) and next week is half term, so it minimises my time off work slightly. I have taken the opportunity to do a bit of spring cleaning. At the moment, […]

 Posted by at 5:58 pm
Jan 222016
Highs and Lows

It’s been hectic for months now and the wealth of submissions Paper Swans Press had for its latest anthology meant that we were late in replying to those who had submitted (which made me tetchy) and also meant it was a much more difficult job then we had anticipated. We have, finally, selected the pieces […]

 Posted by at 12:57 pm
Jan 032016
Changing Lanes

Like many others, I thought a New Year blog post was required and, as I am always one for introspection, when better to reflect than at new year?  I won’t bore you with the multitude of resolutions I have (the usual suspects) but one key element to 2016 will be changing lanes. I spent most […]

 Posted by at 7:18 pm
Jan 032016

I was thrilled to have my #quirkychristmas poem, Holiday Inn, published over on Abegail Morley’s The Poetry Shed. Read it here.

 Posted by at 5:22 pm
Oct 162015
Agenda Poetry Festival - Patience Agbabi

I have spent the afternoon at the Agenda Poetry Festival with Patience Agbabi. Well, I wasn’t with her as such, but I was listening to her and then took part in a workshop she led. Held at Mayfield School, which is fortunately just up the road from me, she read a variety of her poems, including […]

 Posted by at 8:19 pm
Jul 252015
The Emma Press 'Slow Things' Launch

Last week, I attended The Emma Press launch of ‘Slow Things’, their new anthology, in which I am featured (p30 if you’re interested) about things that are slow. But you had probably guessed that. It was held at The Rambert Dance Studios where, surprisingly, there was a sign up instructing us not to jump for fear […]

 Posted by at 4:13 pm
Jun 172015

More good news from me – I have had a poem accepted by Prole for their August issue. This has really perked me up – two acceptances in as many months and both from publishers I respect and admire. I am off to the Emma Press ‘Slow Things’ launch in July and then August holds […]

 Posted by at 7:00 pm