Monthly Archives: March 2008

Where the strange is normal…

Well, I’ve been at the Eastercon for about 24 hours and I am enjoying it… even if my jaw is getting a lot of exercise in dropping! It’s basically a bunch of interesting people whose interests include a lot of things most of people would call eccentric… having the space to be themselves. Or whatever avatar or character appeals to them at the time. It’s a really great atmosphere.

Have been to some very interesting panel discussions – fascinating thoughts on mythology and how it changes through different periods. And on the characteristics of London that make it such a fruitful setting for fiction.

Oh, and I can report Ceilidh dancing with someone wearing a cloak is a little challenging – when you form an arch it tends to have curtains! But I’m glad someone danced with the werewolf, who was looking a little lonely…

That was just the first evening – the costumes are due to come out this evening for the masquerade! I have a feeling I ain’t seen nothing yet!


A rather strange adventure…

I’m just off to my first Eastercon!

Not at all sure what to expect. I’ve read the programme, and I’m particularly intrigued by:

  • Make your own dragon
  • The hovercraft of disbelief
  • Clanger physics and ecology
  • The great crystal cyberdrome

Not to mention the rope bondage workshop and the alien jazzband!I’ll let you know how I get on…

A new adventure…


About a fortnight ago I heard that I’ve got a new job… in South America! I wasn’t sure whether to mention it as this isn’t a work blog and I do want to keep my anonymity so I can talk about personal things. But it’s rather important in my life too, so I’m going to talk about it in general terms!

It will last for 6 months, and will I hope give me the challenge and responsibility that I’ve been missing in my recent jobs. And it’s a temporary promotion, which recognises the experience I’ve developed and should help me towards getting a permanent promotion. It will also mean working and living overseas in an area of the world that has interested me for a very long time. I won’t be able to take forward my singing exactly as I had planned – but it will give me the space to do a bit more of the personal and vocal work that I need to do before I’m ready to do anything more serious with my singing.

I’m a little daunted, but I think very ready for a change. It will be good to be in a new place for a while – there’s nothing like a change of environment and a new challenge to really help you move on from old disappointments.

But my goodness, what a lot I have to sort out: I leave in early April! So blogging may become a bit sporadic over the days to come…

Tree life (poem)

Drinking. Always, slowly,

A thousand thousand days of the cycles of the earth

Distilled to sweetness,  running in my veins like golden blood

Always slowly drinking

Around my roots the mulch quivers with small scraps of life

As I draw on the deep mustiness of the earth’s secrets

Drinking always. Slowly.

I must be growing old… Earth and air and water…

they do not taste the same

as they did…


I was


This poem was inspired by readwritepoem’s latest prompt – to write a poem from the point of view of a tree. To see what other poets have done with the same prompt, click here.

I wanted to try to capture something of the slowness of a tree’s existence, and its intimate relationship with its environment.

To touch is to be human…


To touch is to be human.
To press skin to skin as if seeking
To transcend the boundaries
Between one being and another.
Giving comfort, taking comfort.
Simple, and strong, and sweet.

To touch is to be human.
Nothing eases soreness better
Than the strength of a massaging hand.
Human reaching out to human.
Soothing the tensions of loneliness,
Of stress, and strife, and separation.

To touch is to be human.
The mind thinks alone, yet
The body knows connection
In every pore and every nerve.
Through touch we create connection –
Subtle, and sensual, and strong.

(Photo by captured soul photography at flickr)

Mess (10 minute writing practice)


I often think life’s too busy to be tidy. Sometimes the accumulated clutter of my daily life does begin to get on my nerves. I like clear space around me. But the moment I get things tidied up I’m off to do something, normally in a rush, and somehow within a day things have started to accumulate.

A cup of tea. A toothbrush I’ve been meaning to take back to the bathroom. Paper. A pencil. A jumper. A drawing pin (need to be careful there!)

But I’m not writing about what really comes up when I think of mess. Which is emotional mess. The tear-streaked puffy-eyed tousle-haired mess of my miserable self this autumn, sometimes barely able to take two steps away from distraction without bursting into tears again. A hormonal mess of emotions. For a week every month. Far more humiliating than letting someone see the chaotic bedroom even at its untidiest.

I’ve emerged from that time with the triumph of new strength (and a much-more-stable hormonal balance), but looking back, its messiness is poignant and painful.

The books accumulating on the side of the bed where there was an ex-sized gap. Nobody would need to sleep there, so let the books pile up. I like sleeping with books. Messy, but companionable. (I’m keeping it tidy now… you never know…!)

I hate mess of the emotional kind. I like to see things clear and rational. And while I’m mostly on good terms with my emotions, I wish they’d not go oozing all over the place and getting me into trouble and tears. Still, they’re part of me, and life would be very dull without them.

Mess. Well, life is, mostly – the plans we laid ganging aft agley, our dreams that seemed like a guiding star which suddenly, as we approach them, reveal themselves as a whole galazy of confusing and tempting possibilities. But mess is interesting too. I don’t want my life to have the sterility of a magazine photoshoot house kept in arctic perfection.

My skin is a bit of a mess – old acne scars, chicken pox scars, that strange blodge the doctor told me was nothing to worry about. All fairly faint– I’m sure I notice them more than others do. The odd freckle. But then who’s to say that these are imperfections – or rather, who is to say that the airbrush perfection of cover photos is better than my face whose messiness tells a story.

A story I’m generally happy with, though not one that worked out quite to plan. With many messy loose ends and bits of emotional detritus. A lot of untold stories. But that sort of mess makes a life – and a face – and a story more interesting.


This is a 10 minute writing practice inspired by the regular topic posted at red ravine – this week’s topic was “mess”. The idea is to write without stopping or going back to edit your writing, and see what comes out.

(Images from an article called celebrities before and after photoshop at www.

Dance like there’s no-one watching…


Couldn’t resist posting this image of Calvin and Hobbes – I just love how it captures the sheer bliss of being utterly immersed in music and dance! Being able to be this spontaneous and unselfconscious is such a gift…

Click here to see the whole cartoon and more like it at