Monday, November 25, 2013

Morning

I'm currently on the way to visit my grandfather. I was woken at about half past five this morning by my housemate being violently ill, so I decided to escape to London a few hours earlier than I had planned. Here are three Haiku charting the journey...

***

Blue sky tousled grey
Where planes leave forgotten streams
Red across the sky

One breakfast tea please
Unaware of how asleep
Until speech comes slurred

Silent solitude
Stare as long as we can bear
At the rising sun

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Poem from Jamie's Turret

I had a slightly surreal day today. Having skulked about for most of it, I escaped my housemates and headed for my old university halls of residence. Three of my friends, still studying, currently reside there, and late evening found me in one of their rooms, scribbling poetry for The Underground Clown Club's upcoming show. In amongst those, I found half a page to scribble this little ode to my surroundings.

***

Whitewashed walls and an odd, protruding pipe
A scratching pencil and occasional sip
Through the pushed-to door is where the real world lives.

But I know where I am here.
Familiar, though not my own.
A sign on the door reads 'Katie's Nest'
Well, not quite
But a pair of pillows
And the humbuzzing silence
And the knowledge of nearby friends
Will do nicely instead.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How They Do It

Hello folks! I'm just back from Greenbelt Festival, having spent a week there volunteering and enjoying myself! I was part of the Site Vibing team, which helps to make Cheltenham Racecourse, where the festival is held) look less like a racecourse and more like a festival! The festival itself runs from Friday to Monday, and I helped set up from the Monday before the festival, and also helped with the take down on the Tuesday after. This is just a little thing I scribbled by torchlight in my tent on Thursday night.

*  *  *

My friend Andy does magic.

We sit at my kitchen table, with a deck of cards and two steaming mugs of tea, and he shows me magic tricks. And after every one I ask the same thing.

How do you do it?

So he shows me. All the sleights of hand, the clever shuffles, the misdirection. So next time he shows me the trick I can see how it's done and it isn't really magic after that.

When I was 16 I went to Greenbelt.

All the way in the car my friends told me stories of how amazing it would be, all the people I would meet, the incredible things I would see.

And they were right. I walked through the festival as though I was in some sort of magnificent dream. It felt a bit like a magic trick. As if by magic on a Friday morning the racecourse had been transformed into a colourful, joyful, bunting-festooned place.

I loved everything about it. The music, the crazy stalls, the huge sense of community that reached its peak at the Sunday Eucharist. I even loved sleeping on the cold hard ground of the Helicopter Field. I knew this place was special.

Five years later, I am at Cheltenham Racecourse again. Because eventually I had to ask:

How do they do it?

You see, I had hesitated before, because I was scared that if I knew it might spoil it.

But I needn't have worried really. I should have known better. I should have realised that it is a bit like Andy's card tricks, at my kitchen table.

Because even though I know how they are done, it doesn't make them any less special. I know that they are not magic, but rather something even more breathtaking; someone with an incredible talen doing what they love.

And that is exactly what Greenbelt is. It's not magic, the bunting doesn't just spring into being of its own accord. Instead it is a collection of dedicated human beings, each with unique abilities and talents, working together to create something amazing.

So as my time as a volunteer draws to a close (at least until Tuesday!) I shall settle in to enjoy the festival. And this year will be different. Because this year I know how everything is done. But that doesn't make it any less beautiful.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Underground Clown Club

Evening all.

I'm back at uni, and by golly have things been moving fast!

I'll start at the very beginning.

In late 2010, myself and a friend of mine, Andy, went to see a play called Lorca Is Dead, by the rather excellent Belt Up Theatre. It was inspiring.

In early 2011, we went to see another play by Belt Up, The Boy James. This time, we started writing.

By the summer of 2011 we had a (near enough) finished play, The Ball or How to Dance. We also had a name for ourselves.

The Underground Clown Club

The name came from a doodle I did in a seminar, just after we'd started uni. However, it was also pretty apt, in that we kept the company, and the play, pretty secret until September 2011. Because by then we'd decided to put the play on.

Thanks to various wonderful people, we went away for Christmas quietly confident that, after several false starts, we would have a space to perform in in early 2012. By the time we returned to uni we still hadn't heard anything. Then on the Friday of the first week back, we had a meeting with the technical manager of the Drama department.

We walked in, and he asked us what dates we'd like.

We were expecting to have to fight our case, to prove that we would be able to pull off the performance, so when we didn't have to that threw us a little.

We walked out of that meeting, and straight to the pub.

It was as we sat, sipping cups of tea with quaking hands, that it hit us. We were doing a show in 4 weeks time. Beyond the script we had nothing prepared.

What followed was possibly the most productive weekend of my life. By Monday morning we had a cast and crew, but it couldn't stop there. We plunged into rehearsals, found music, props and set and started on publicity work.

Now the performance is a week away! Like I said, things have been moving fast.

For now though, we'll have to keep our heads down rehearse as though our lives depended on it.

See you on the other side!

For more information on The Underground Clown Club and The Ball or How to Dance, please visit our blog or Facebook page!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

God bless us, every one!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why Standing Tickets Are A Good Thing

Some thoughts:

When going to the Globe, one must always stand. Unless you are medically unable to that is. But should you be fit and healthy, you should stand, preferably with your chin resting on the stage. There is no better way to experience Shakespeare - because that's what it is: experiencing. None of this passive, observing rubbish. You are right there, having stuff spat at you, being pissed on, flirted with and insulted. I'd rather eat my own hands than sit down and miss out on that.

Standing tickets are cheap. Don't get me wrong, I am HUGELY looking forward to my forthcoming trip to Jerusalem, but for the £25 West End price, I could see five shows at the Globe. Or the National Theatre. Or 250 shows at the Royal Court, where standing tickets are sold for 10p. Can't argue with that.

Currently, I am listening to the One Man Two Guvnors soundtrack, which I was lucky enough to see at the National Theatre this summer (another reason why standing tickets are good: getting into sold-out shows). Stood at the back, boogying to the magnificent skiffle stylings of the Craze, is one of my best memories from the theatre. I would love to see the show again, it is a comedic masterpiece, but I think I'd want to stand again...

After all, it's much harder to dance sitting down...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I did today

Today, I went to buy some bread.

This was a special bread buyign trip as it occurred at 10pm, which is not usual bread buying time, due to the un-student-friendly habit of bakers to wake up early. Also due to the fact that shops tend to close.

Anyway, Tegan and I were watching this video (which is pretty much jumper porn...) and once we'd finished drooling over the lovely jumpers, we noticed the loaf of bread.

I haven't had nice bread for a while.

So I said that I fancied going down to Tescos and buying a loaf of nice bread. Then Tegan said she'd come with me. Then Henry pointed out Tescos would be shut, and anyway, they wouldn't have any bread because it was evening. The he reminded us that M&S is open 24 hours a day.

Then Tegan and I went and put on big coats and scarfs and gloves and other warming items, and went out into the cold.

We got to M&S all excited, and saw they had baguettes. However, we felt we could do better, and by this point I had remembered that Budgens is also open all night.

So we went to Budgens.

And there we found Herbert.

A lovely little white loaf, just the right amount of crust, sat staring up at us. Pausing only for Pop Tarts and Kettle Chips we paid up and hurried him home, cradled in my arms.

I have to say, he was jolly tasty, our little bread baby...