The End of Spring Camp Nano (by )

It is the end of April - I have not reached the 50, 000 word goal that I set myself, instead I have just under 20 k. However I have also spent over 30 hrs on my poetry stuff this month which has payed off including workshop design, editing and typing up stuff in notebooks and sorting out events and performances - it even got to the stage where it was all so sorted I could just instantly hunt out a poem and submit it to a themed anthology 🙂

Also I have created the ground work for more graphic novels set in The Punks Universe and even scripted the first part - now I had wanted to achieve 100 pages of script but obvs. that didn't happen. And that is fine. Considering the restrictions of the head injury this is actually amazing as I am actually typing and not using voice recognition software or just writing long hand in note books 🙂 And typing is hard for me still.

It is an amazing achievement and I was making sure others I know got time to write as well. But it is also frustrating - for comparison: 60 - 100 k words is my pre-head bang normal whilst running one to two other challenges on the side. But you know the thing is the head injury turned out to be more serious than we'd imagined and the state I was in means that it is amazing that I am writing and performing and all the rest of it!

Big shout out to Mr Al who broke the 100 K barrier on Wojtek - a story we conceived together on our first date! (Ok it might have been the second but what ever it was we had the story line hammered out by our first Christmas 3 months later). He doesn't get much time to work on his projects so I have been giving him priority with the writing. This has now been a novel with more than a decade of making and it needs to get out there!

Second shout out is too my Dad Leonard Pym who has taken part in his first ever writing challenge 🙂 The results of which can be seen on [Yellow Monster}(

Busy Poetic Times Ahead (by )

Busy poetic time are coming up 🙂

Thursday 27th of April Villanells Gloucester Fountain Inn from 7-11 pm - I am running a workshop at the beginning of the evening followed by recording performances and interviews organised by The Gloucester Poetry Society

Saturday 29th of April ReneGade Festival 2017 3 -1:30 pm which is opening with Food For Thoughts Poetry performance

May 4th - 15th Cheltenham Poetry Festival, I'll be in the Slam Friday 12th May 8:30 but will be generally about the place 🙂

Saturday 20th of May A Pint of Prose organised by the Gloucester Poetry Festival

Plus as many regular nights as I can get too 🙂 Feeling very excited!!! (there might be another slam as well but it just depends on fitting things in!)

Regular Poetry events in Gloucester and Cheltenham are:

Buzzwords 1st Sunday of every month in Cheltenham

Speakeasy 1st Tuesday of every month in Gloucester

Waterstones Poetry Night Monday evenings in Cheltenham

Poetry Cafe 2nd Wednesday of the month in Cheltenham

Food For Thoughts variable but during the afternoon once a month at the weekend in Gloucester

Villanelles last Thursday of every Month in Gloucester

Cheltenham Poetry Societies Kickstart Workshops 1st Tuesday of the month in Cheltenham

Jam Back at the Tav every Wednesday evening primarily music but accepts spoken word in Cheltenham

Wobbly Eyes and Ear Crystals (by )

Yesterday I turned up for a physio appointment - I wasn't sure what it was for but thought it might be for my eyes which seemed weird but turned out to be right - of course reception were confused because I said physio and tried to direct me to the physio department - turns out it's under neurology and then they couldn't find my name and then found (once hyphen was sorted out) and then they asked me questions about number which I couldn't answer and felt stupid. I can say my birthday because I know the sounds but they pulled the numbers out and not the months name and I couldn't process it 🙁

To be fair I was pretty tired and struggling slightly when we arrived as I'd had to do double admin that morning. Then it was asking for house number which I also failed at though I do know my address honest! And then they asked me if I was the mobile ending in .... now I could have recited the whole number because I've worked at that and have a story that builds the numbers but I couldn't fathom weather my phone number had those numbers in at all!

So Al had to answer for me and I was already upset because it was his birthday and we were at the hospital and it was his birthday and I know I'd gotten him a card and present but I couldn't remember where they were or even exactly what they were! And he'd missed the coach for the kids school trip due to stupid traffic and so had been really upset that he'd caused the kids to miss their trip (he drove them to the first place they were supposed to be going to and met up with the school!).

But the appointment was more than fine though I seem to spend my time after appointments there leant up against walls trying not to fall down.

This was the FB update I made on my return:

And at today's hospital visit we discovered that just flicking my eyes from side to side can make me sweat and feel like I'm going to hurl! I have a pronounced eye wobble at the corners (it had a name I can't remember) so they are going with gaze instability and I have exercises to do which will make me feel sick and there is a slight possibility of a crystal dislodged in my ear - seriously - who knew we had ear crystals?

Couldn't do all the tests because oh my god dizzy-vertigo-pain! But on the plus side this is fixable! Just going to take a while. And also this is all kind of normal head bang stuff which is a relief!

The physio asked lots of questions which kind of hit the nail on the head - near misses whilst crossing the road, struggling with supermarkets, crashing into people in crowds, motion sickness in cars and whilst trying to watch films and play computer games, being uncoordinated ie the landscape is not quiet where I expect it to be.

Part of the issue is that though I can tell this is different from my chronic labrynthitis I didn't really register it as proper dizziness and feeling sick because that has been how things are a lot of the time anyway (inflamed middle ear that crops up as a side effect of the glandular fever I had in my first year at uni).

So they think it is mostly gaze instability - I assume that is to do with knocking my optics out initially in the fall? My eyes can't track thing properly and as creatures that rely on hunting this upsets our brains and mine is desperately trying to compensate which makes me really tired when I come a cross lots of information/visual stimuli. That's why reading makes me feel like I am falling, why the travelators make wobble, why railings drain my ability to walk. And worse it means you are likely not to notice things... like the damn van that all most splatted me the other day - how I could have missed it in it's enourmousness I don't know - but I did.

There is a chance of a loose crystal in my ear but they think it unlikely but we couldn't do my balance stuff because I was feeling sick (plus it hurt - I know weird! Moving your eyes shouldn't hurt).

On the grrr side it is going to take weeks/months to sort the eyes and the same then for the ears if it turns out not to all be visual. The exercises make me feel ill, they will lit take a minute a day.

On the good side - hey!!! This is fixable, treatable, sortable and no operations or drugs are involved!!! WHOOO Who!

No seriously that is amazing!

We are taking the treatment one thing at a time as I still need to be able to function as a person and if we are not careful I could end up at the hospital all the time (I HATE hospitals - really would rather not be anywhere near them - don't get me wrong I also love them for repeatedly saving my life but I do associate them with pain and loss).

Also last week I had another nurology appointment - this was the result of that (as posted on FB):

Apollogies for not letting people know how the appointment went - I was a tad tired! Basically there is a huge and positive improvement but still no end time - so still on rests etc... On the plus side most of the fatigue/brain drain appears to be part of an eye issue ie my eyes aren't focusing on things properly and there is stuff they can do about this 🙂 Physio is go a new set of treaments will begin soon, have to go back and have seizure etc... stuff looked at again even though I've not had one for a while ie since really getting to grips with the resting stuff. So tired still today that I had to be helped using the self check out, couldn't work out my money for the bus and tripped over my own feet. Also Cheltenham Costas failed at having GF savoury and I had to have cake for lunch :/

So it is all good which is why I am uber frustrated at not moving forward more quickly but I am trying to be ok with it all. Also the thing of the only things I can eat safely being cake when out is an issue as I've buggered up my sugar levels and need to sort that out too as that wont be helping ANYTHING.

Conclusion: things are improving, things have already improved pretty damn drastically but there is still a long slow path ahead and it is like picking up pieces of myself that I did not know were lost.

Villanelles Recording (by )

The Gloucester Poetry Society have been recording poems at the Villanelles night and turing them into videos for their channel - I am in this one after the rude poem that begins it!

It was recorded at the Fountain Inn Gloucester and is a rather historic and listing building which is always fun!

There is also the wonderful Peter Wyton, Clive Oseman, Nick Lovell and a host of others to enjoy in the video 🙂

For those of you who know your poetry structures you will have detected that the poems performed and/or read are not villanelles. Rather the event is going to the origin of the villanelles as peasant/normal person poetry rather than the educated elite as it were. This doesn't mean you can not come along if you have an English degree - far from it, the organiser himself teaches at the college - no what it means is it is an event for everyone.

Here are a couple of photos I took:

Beautiful eco-vegan poetry at Villanelles Fountain Inn Gloucester

Wonderful eco-vegan poetry sadly I can't remember her name!

Ziggy reading at Villanelles in Gloucester

Ziggy reading dildo-rama coughs - see video for NSW poetry 🙂

Peter Wyton getting his Poem On at Gloucester Poetry Societies Villanelles

Peter Wyton getting ready to perform from his book Even The Beggers Have Pearls.

I loved the event and it is moving towards having a workshop at the beginning which I hope to get involved with 🙂

Info for the April one is here.

Missing Out (by )

Saturday night there was a reunion etc... that I really really wanted to go to. It was full of lots of the people I'd worked with at the campsite (the one where we got married). But... when I went to check up on the details it became apparent that it was going to be a giant disco type thing and I hadn't paid on time. I wasn't too worried about the payment deadline, I know they would have let me in anyway and I could have given them cash then and there because they aren't nasty people - I just might not have had a meal as they were catering etc...

However, I was still exhausted from my nuerology appointment and just with the general business of everything - I'd also been out recording poetry and doing business networking events etc... and as much as I was desperate to see everybody I just couldn't.

I couldn't because flashing, blinking, swirling lights cause my speech to slur and my coordination to go and I don't want to fall again, I don't want to hit my head again, I don't want to be slow at functioning for at least four days afterwards - potentially two weeks and though it shouldn't be - the main fear of wetting myself publically if this happens because that seems to be a thing as well.

Now I have been to events and lurked outside a lot etc.. and these days disco lights tend to either fall into gentle changing fuzzy lights which I am fine with or all singing all dancing lazer lights swishing and flashing and looking glorious - these I can not cope with.

I probably should have asked what the set up actually was but I don't like saying "I'm awkward please alter your event and make it less pretty so I can come" it feels destructive but also there is another side to it - I fear asking because then I find out if I am worth such a change to the person/people/organisation and though most venues and events managers have been fabulous - this was a social event and I found the thought of asking parralising. I could not have coped with the rejection if it had come so I did not ask.

Fatigue is a big risk factor for the seizure things so where as I probably would have risked going and spending all my time outside - I knew I was too tired plus I would have been even more tired once I got there due to travel times etc...

Another issue was cost - if I could have taken Al without it costing a whole extra ticket then I also would have gone. It is pretty much the sort of event he finds hard but he would have taken me incase of seizure, he would have been my safety net but it was too much money for that (because I'm a skin flint because I'm an artist and without Al I would be a starving artist so I just actually did not have enough money for a second ticket!).

So I am sitting here jealous and bitter, feeling increadibly sad and isolated, looking at everyones photos of them having a fab time and feeling angry at myself and the world and causality and rocks and well everything.

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