Wednesday, 26 October 2016

WEDNESDAY NIGHT NEWS - Newcastle, Weddings Poems and Tiny Hannah

In the interests of ‘getting back into the swing of things’ I’m back with another update – only a few days after my last one! How very efficient!

Anyway, I’ve spent the last few days Up North, and it was marvellous!

On Thursday, I toddled up the motorway to Newcastle, to perform at The Stanza in North Shields.

This is what Newcastle looked like in 1832 - it doesn't look like that now tho...

I’d been invited along by Harry Shearer, one of the organisers, who I met in Nottingham when we both performed at the launch of the Write Minds Madder Than We Look anthology back in February.

What with one thing and another, I hadn’t been able to make it to any of the summer sessions, so Harry and his partner in crime Mandy very kindly invited me along to their Hallowe’en special performance instead.

And I really enjoyed myself!

The variety of performances on the open mic was really brilliant, and it was great to see that so many of the poets had written spooky pieces, in keeping with the theme. I also really enjoyed the prose courtesy of the Elementary Writers, who performed some of the spooky tales from their latest collection, ‘Blood from the Quill’ which sent shivers down my spine!

Edgar Allan Poe was upset that he wasn't invited tbh

There was also some music from the fabulous Renata & Trev, and an incredible performance from local poet Jane Burn, who absolutely blew me away with her words!

I was really pleased with my set in the end as well, and I managed to sell a few of my books and made back enough money to pay for my accommodation on the night, with a little bit extra to spend on motorway service station food on the way home too! (I really know how to live you see!)

AND I also stayed in one of those spare room renting dealies (rhymes with 'Fair Deity') for the first time, and it was actually really lovely!

I’d been wanting to try it out for a while, but I was always put off by the fact that you’re literally staying in someone’s house, which always seemed a little weird to me. That being said, the price difference between a room in someone’s house vs a room in a B and B was just too big this time around, so I thought I’d chance it, and luckily for me Akanksha and her husband were the nicest couple, and their spare room was clean and cosy – perfect for a one-night stop-over! I'd definitely recommend them!

Then, on Saturday I went back up north to Yorkshire for my friends’ wedding. It was wonderful and they even let me do a poem at the ceremony (you can read all about that here.)

I love a good wedding, and this one was a cracker, with all the good wedding bits: frocks, cake, and disco!

Shiny disco balls

Plus it was one of those weddings where I didn’t know too many people so it was nice to have a chat with various friends and relations of the bride and groom – people are always so interesting! It’s my favourite part of going to new places!

I also had a very important role at the wedding ceremony: I was in charge of looking after Tiny Hannah!

Pictured: Tiny Hannah, ready for Hog Roast!

Tiny Hannah is the creation of my lovely friend, the marvellous artist and illustrator Hannah Radenkova. Tiny Hannah is a little doll-sized version of Hannah who’s is able to attend events in Hannah’s place. See, Hannah has a horrible illness called ME, which means that she’s unable to travel long distances or get out much at all. So Hannah made Tiny Hannah as a way to stay involved in her friends’ lives. I think it’s an awesome idea, and as is characteristic of Hannah, her creation is beautifully-made with incredible attention to detail!

Disco dancin'!

I really enjoyed hanging out with TH on the day!

If you’d like to know more about what it’s like to live with ME/CFS, you can check out Hannah’s blog here. It’s a really enlightening read, and I love how she manages to make her posts funny as well as informative.

Upcoming gigs:
This Friday (28th October) I’m going to be doing a few poems at Word Wise, a new spoken word night in Derby. Jess Green, Miggy Angel and Toby Campion will be heading (What a line-up!!) and I’ll be doing a mid-tier feature slot alongside the very excellent Dan Webber.

It’s going to be a fantastic event, so if you’re anywhere near Derby on Friday, get down to the Maypole for 7pm, and I’ll see you there!

Then, on Saturday 29th Oct, I’m heading down to London to take part in the TEDxUCLwomen event Intersect.

TEDxUCLwomen celebrates the achievements of women and girls, and showcases work that breaks down barriers caused by gender. This year's speakers include Jacob V Joyce, Nicole Crentstil, Funda Ustek, Bethany Koby, Deb Roach, Katie Ghose, Tschan Andrews, Olivia Head and Sneh Jani, and they'll also be loads of brilliant workshops, entertainment, stalls and food!

I'm going to be performing in the evening and I'm really looking forward to it! You can get tickets for the event here.

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