Poetry Installation in rural Big House location

Beneath The Boughs was a poetry installation created in the grounds of ruined Lowther Castle in 2013. Featuring contemporary poetry by writers from Cumbria to Singapore, the installation was funded by Arts Council England.

An [insert text here] project. Concept by Katie Hale.

More about [insert text here] and Beneath The Boughs here:


Poet as job

So – you like writing poetry – but how can you make it into more like a paying job?

Here’s a short article by Anthony Anaxagorou.  It describes how he gradually moved from a shy 27 year old writer who printed his poems and made Youtube clips of himself reading his poems….. gradual interest led to poetry teaching work in 3 London schools….


Songwriter – Carly Simon

Just watched a BBC documentary on the making of the album “No Secrets” – which includes the song “You’re so vain”.  Absorbing.


We get to hear from the producer, bassist, sound engineer, drummer, lead guitarist, her manager and most of all Carly herself.  What were her inspirations for her songs?  What was it like to be at the centre of recording such a phenomenally successful album?

A great insight into songwriting and the team effort which is recording an album. And also of the personal and emotional toll it takes on the performer, in the concentrated pressure chamber of the studio. Should be watched by all wouldbe musicians.

Much of the documentary is about the single “You’re so vain” because there are so many little separate elements which made it special.  One of these is backing vocals by a very young Mick Jagger, whom Carly randomly met at a party shortly beforehand, and brought into the studio.

Carly also talks about how she was influenced by the soul stylings of singer Odette (photo featured above).  The photo on the album and its title were not chosen til the very last minute.  The photo used on the front cover was literally as Carly left the photo shoot, dressed in her own favourite clothes, to go back to the studio to work.

Much of this album and its making are indeed life and art combined – the life of one particular musician, at a particular phase in her life and in the technology of sound recording.

This one hour documnetary is available to view on BBC iplayer but only until 5 June – so watch or download soon.

Time travel to Jane Austen – the Fashion Museum, Bath

The museum setting includes the Assembly Rooms in Bath – which often occur in scenes of Jane Austen novels.  At the same time, you can view the typical outfits which would have been worn at that time, in the museum.

Bonuses also include:

First Saturday of each month 10-30-12.30     Sketching morning (free with museum ticket – sktechbook and pencil supplied)

Second Saturday of month – 10-12midday Bath Knitting and Crochet Guild (free)


On now – film festival on creating

Real to Reel craft film festival. 3 days, 44 films.

2-4th May at Playhouse Cinema, London then

5-7th May to The Bureau in Blackburn.

includes films on getting more people to knit through MC, painting roadmarkings, dropping pottery from a great height, basket weaving, far Eastern women’s traditional crafting….

In Lancashire 6th/7th it is part of the First Festival of Making, more details at:

Baking Calm

Seattle-based Oh Honey Bakes made this enticing recipe to celebrate St Valentine’s Day this year, on her visually sumptuous blog.

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See, I told you it was a scrumptious blog….

At the same time, the blog post (link below) speaks to the deeper movement in society at that time, the unsettledness of international relations.  And also to the baker’s personal anxieties, with her beautiful remedy

“When I’m stressed or life is feeling out of control I retreat to my kitchen and the comfort of predictable chemistry, it’s one of the most effective ways I’ve found of dealing with the anxiety and bouts of depression I’ve faced for years. Sharing the delicious things that emerge from that process with you is like life springing from an unexpected place, a light shining into so many dark corners.”

This blog entry for vanilla meringues with dark chocolate ganache, rounds up with an exquisite, calorie-free, hope-dipped 34 word verse by the poet Hafiz.  Worth popping over to the website to visit, at:

And where did the name from Tiffany’s blog come from?

what’s with the name? My sweet great-grandmother called everyone ‘honey’ and never met a person she didn’t like. She never said hello, she said ‘oh, honey!’