Sunday, 9 April 2017

Landscape and Literature at the Wealden and Downland Living Museum

Just back from a glorious day at Singleton at this event - incredible sunshine and bursting buds and birdsong, and a splendid gallery of speakers organised by writer Suzanne Joinson, author of two good novels I've enjoyed, The Photographer's Wife and A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar . In the morning there was a great presentation by Alexandra Harris ( Weatherlands and The Romantic Moderns) starting off a discussion with Suzanne which then widened out to include us all; then Clare Best introduced and launched her new book done with Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis Springlines (available now from Little Toller) - from dew-ponds to ancient wells via hammer ponds and other hidden stretches of water; there will be an exhibition from the project 9th June to 23 September in Tunbridge Wells with Mary Anne's artworks.

In the afternoon poets Sasha Dugdale and James Simpson read from their work and discussed how the West Sussex landscape had inspired them and referred back to certain themes which had been cropping up throughout the day - a fascinating and in the end very wide ranging and pertinent discussion about the role of the artist and poet in difficult times and within a global perspective, enhanced by Sasha'a experiences at events meeting poets from around the world and touching on political and ecological issues.

All in all a really interesting day in a beautiful venue and the best possible weather.
Here are a couple of views of the Reddleman's Daughter books I did with James for those visiting this site after the event. ....

Here a some pages from the original book

and the cover

Monday, 3 April 2017

Back from BABE

As usual a very nice experience with good friends old and new on both sides of the table. The sun shone and the Arnolfini is in a beautiful spot ( the road works locally and part closure of the M4 the only fly in the ointment for some people). Sarah Bodman looks after us all brilliantly with excellent organisation and tea, coffee and cake. This year her colleague Stephen Fowler was running a BABE passport scheme for the public - visitors could collect an empty passport from the passport control office and have it stamped at participating tables. ( All very topical). My grandsons enjoyed collecting and stamping our communal passport as well as seeing the books at the fair.

I think this might be my first (and possibly last) ever selfie!
And we now have indefinite leave to stay at the Arnolfini - quite a relief. P is looking fierce because he's remembering the M4 and concentrating on willing the tea trolley to appear