Bristol and Mateys (by )

Facebook has been popping up memories from previous years - at the moment it is kind of the same thing regardless of the year... meeting up with our Friends Becca and Olly and this year is no exception!

So much food!

This year we went to Bristol and walked around the water front, slightly hampered by the outside wheelchair lift being broken but we found other ways around.

Broken lift

Then we went for lunch at Prezzo who had a gluten free menu and was quiet enough and was vegi and wasn't a bank breaker and had toilets and tables on one level and had dairy free options (as a group we quiet hard to cater for but Bristol had us covered!). We ordered a stupid amount of food as we thought the pizzas were individuals but were huge!

Birds in the harbour in bristol

Jean saw to the left overs as she'd had a kids meal and is a teeny-tweeny and now slightly taller than me and growing fast!

Mary was good and managed sitting still for the meal as she a) took daddy outside for run arounds and b) was going to get to play in the fountain - unfortunately she was then so excited about the fountain she splashed straight into it and run out of Alaric's sight and ended up in trouble! But she did then get to race Becca up and down the dock side by the M-shed which was closed by this point. Then she played with Olly going up and down the river - a stylised map set into the tarmac.

She also gave her pocket money to a homeless guy.

We popped into the german beer festival to see if any of the craft stalls etc... were still open but they weren't but there was a photo board 🙂

German Beer Festival Bristol

I'd pretty much run out of room on my camera other wise there would have been alot more photos! Including Jean sitting on John Cabot who sailed from Bristol in 14... something and found North America. A young tourist asked us questioned about him but ended up telling us more than we knew including finding the date the statue was made.

Exploring the John Cabot statue in Bristol

Looking up this (historical figure)[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cabot] I find the finding of the Americas by Europeans is a long and distended tail and I have a whole lot more to learn including a celtic myth about Hy-Brasil which I think maybe the glass isle myth. This is all good stuff for The Punk Universe novel series I am writing.

I've been researching a lot of stuff for this series lately including discovering a myth that Jesus actually went to India and England in a world tour before returning home and being killed as a political radical. This was interesting as Becca was explaning local historical sites to me including the wells and hotspring and the fact that an ancient (as in 3000 year old) jewish religous site was found in a house basement recently - my brain instantly wondered if that was maybe a site that historical Jesus (Jesus in historical records not as/as well as a holy figure) might have visited.

There is lots of funky stone work in this area of Bristol which I love - I love both the rocks natural history and the people history that laid them there was structures.

Stone arch door bristol

Bristol is a rich city for history as most cities are... as well as modern archetecture and the interaction of society, tech, city and environment. This was highlighted quiet well by the renovated crain that has been turned into a little eco hut and the tumble down ruins becoming little oasises of plants. I never fail to find new things (some quiet old 🙂 ) to take photos of.

Stone and pipes and leaves bristol

The outing was rounded off by the kids watching a film and us rabbiting about everything and nothing and looking at photos from our uni days - Mary's comment on seeing a picture of my by three giant axes in Greece "mummy you were so small!".

Of course I ran out of camera space so missed the giant beetle eating my children - but fortunately Becca was there!

Jean and Mary being eaten by a giant stag beetle in bristol

Strong and Stable? (by )

Conservative billboard behind a strong and stable fence

So I found this Conservative party billboard on our outing today - it is behind a high security fence (although to be fair the gate was open) and next to it is a surveillance tower. I can only imagine that they did not think through the imagery of this - but then with the slogan Strong and Stable I wondered if this was the desired imagery?

I can't help but see it as a metaphor - the rich hiding behind high security and ruling tyranically with an iron fist. Lock it all down... it will certainly be strong and stable - strong and stable fences but not walls no of course we don't do walls - that is an American thing.

And I wish my conservative friends would actually talk about what the plans are because at the moment it looks to me like a population cull done on the sly.

Talking to disabled friends and Dr and nurses, I know they all feel there will be no NHS at the end of Conservative term and I am witnessing first hand the rise in homelessness around where I live. I've seen the results of disability cars being taken away and the drastic loss of independence and health it causes and how that results in more pressure on the nhs and councils. I've seen desperate friends ashamed of going to the foodbanks.

We are actually scared of what's going to happen and we would love our conservative friends to talk to us, to reassure us that they are not actively trying to cripple the education system and the forces, that they don't actually want to see me and others like me thrown on the rubbish heap of life just because we need medical help to live, to function, to be a productive member of the economy.

But so far they have been quiet.

Sea Shanty Poetics (by )

This weekend (26th May 2017) there is The Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester and... The Sea Shanty Festival - for The Sea Shanty Festival I am running a poetry stage for two hours from 1 pm on the Saturday i.e. tomorrow! As part of the Gloucester Poetry Society. It's in the Kings Walk Shopping centre and is free to attend (Tall Ships Festival is not free but is amazing and we love it!).

Sneak Peak at mermaid outfit

I will be dressed as a mermaid - here are some sneak peaks at the out fit - the skirt is loom knitted and actually for the girls so is a little snug and see threw hence the shimmery cat suit 🙂

Knitted Mermaids tail

The girls are going as pirates and Alaric as a space pirate. I also have a treasure chest of poetry scrolls guarded by my little siren comrades!

Sirens in the treasure chest

These beautiful rag dolly mermaids are made by my friend Anne and are part of a series of stories I am writing but more on that around Christmas time 😉

Mermaids and poetry scrolls

The treasure chest is the papier mache thing I made for Jean's 4th birthday - it is still going strong!

Sirens guarding the poetry

I also have a new little poetry zine Sirens and Sea Foam, plus some kids poems from various Little Books of Poetry I am editing and compiling at the moment and maybe some other things but don't worry I am the compare filler and we have a whole host of poets and sea shanties and tales of the ocean to share!

Sirens and Sea Foam

Kind of hoping it's not too hot tomorrow or might just fry! (cos I'm a fish! Get it? 🙂 )

Today I am poeming and arting on a pig and I may have 9 pirate musicians staying at mine because that is just how my life is rolling at the moment 🙂

Also there is a Pirate Walk which if I survive I shall be taking part in!

Sirens and Sea Foam and Villanelles (by )

Sirens and Sea Foam

I've made a new poetry zine, it was planned anyway and then there was the offer of doing poetry at the Sea Shanty Festival in Gloucester so I thought - it is time! And so I made it! There are quite a few other things I've put together for Saturday poetry starts at 1 in Kings Walk shopping arcade and then there is a pirate walk and a zillion other things on plus the actual Tall Ships Festival.

But ... but before all that there is Villanelles tonight at the Fountain Inn in Gloucester where I will run a poetry writing workshop from 7 pm, it is then followed by a series of recordings of poems being performed and interviews etc... which you can watch and/or take part in.

Also there is putting poems on pigs but more on that later 😀

There is just so much more going on at the moment and I am organising exciting events including archaeology, science, art, history, science, technology, craft and sustainibility - I am quite tired! (but I am pacing myself!)

Hope to see peeps both on line and at physical events 🙂

p.s. the workshops are free and happen on the last Thursday of every month.

Hidden Poetry (by )

Hidden Poetry and Art Pouch in Gloucester

Today I hid poetry around Gloucester (hope they were all found before the rain!), saw people wearing the badges from the pouches, had people ask about the festival when they saw me making more pouches, sorted some exciting things along the lines of an Ada Lovelace Day event, Poetry talks, tech-history and art/sci/paleo cross over with two different sets of people representing several different groups and moving the goal of art and science accessibility forward in the world.

I also had an epic lunch at Cookes Cafe and Curios which do gluten free sandwiches (most places with GF options still only do cake or stupid expensive hot meals that are a days cals in and of themselves!). I love this cafe and I met my friend and we chatted for ages and it was great and the people who run the place are lovely and yeah it's just one of my favourite places in Gloucester.

Later still I met up with Jean after school and we had a cake in the Waterstones Cafe - their GF cake happens to be orange and lavender and reminds me of my nan (dad's mum). It is a glorious cake and one I probably shouldn't keep buying but I do... Jean bought herself a white chocolate tart with a W on it for Waterstones. The Gloucester Waterstones no longer has a Costas instead it has it's own little coffee shop and they use a local bakery.

Special W chocolate tarts for Waterstones in Glos

I love sitting and creating things in both of these coffee shops/cafes they both induce a lovely atmosphere and yes I know it's a bit much have done both in one day but I was in Gloucester for the whole day!

Jean enjoyed her cake.

Jeany enjoying cake

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