So, what an odd week this is turning into. Yesterday-big scary interview…resulting in me finally getting the big scary job. Better not say what the said big scary job is – not 100% sure it’s allowed to be official yet-not until the last ref has come back. But anyway-it’s a grand job – and one that I’ve spent the last 3-4 years getting the funding in to make happen. Kind of feels a bit odd though-now it finally has.

Then, first SLAM workshop this evening. Always a bit anxiety provoking-first session with a new group of people-and co-facilitating with an excellent facilitator, but one I’ve never worked with before. Hopefully will be fine, but in the few hours before I seem to be having the obligatory nerves.

To be honest, lately life seems like a little bit of an assault course-Challenge Lydia. Museum performance stuff, museum workshop stuff, funding applications, interview, SLAM, Freedom Showcase stuff, the day job…Damo’s always telling me not to bite more than chew-but I never listen and before you can say ‘ohmygod’ I’m curled up on The Donkey, refusing to talk to anyone, ever again.

Luckily though, I seem to have got through most of this in one piece and after tonight I will at least be able to sit down and  focus on the Freedom Showcase. Rather frustratingly it’s had to take a bit of a back seat lately-no time to follow up on the weekend before lasts rehearsals. Still, now the other stuff is done, I can get back in front of the mirror and make like Heyrick.

Meeting the designer tomorrow to pick a dress out for the character I’m portraying. Apparently we’ve got the run of the Leicester Haymarket’s Wardrobe, so that should be good…though I’m terrible when it comes to the trying on clothes and settling on something. The designer’s a bloke. Poor guy;)

Really, I should  now busy around the flat and tidy up before heading out again-but am far too exhausted.Winge,winge,winge. Not helped by bad weather and icky cycle. Winge, winge, winge. Isn’t it always my cycle though? Wasn’t it only just last month?!;)

No, I think what I shall actually do is curl up on The Donkey (sofa, for the uninitiated) and get some furtive shut eye. May even make some tea. Stirring in the Feminax like sweetner…

I have a stressful thing on Monday.
I must be careful not to eat all the chocolate.


June 23, 2007

Hurts my molars
lines my hips
when I’ve got my cycle
makes me sick
Late at night
Nice with tea
Always take some
on long journeys
When your hungrey
When your tired
good when get it
Once in while
not for children
naughty nice
more addictive
smoking crack
favourite food stuff
cliche girl
want some quickly
give it here.

Ode to Lemn Sissay

June 23, 2007

I’m falling in love with Lemn Sissay.
Lemn Sissay: the poet.
Lemn Sissay: the creatively industrious
pioneer. I’m becoming obsessed
with Lemn Sissay-
Lemn Sissay who
I do not know at all.

I saw him in a magazine
his photograph a smudge
of charcoal black and blue.
And later on (a week or so)
an article about a show
at which he’d been to speak-

And the reviewer said:
“Lemn Sissay
was erudite and well conceived”

And the reviewer said,
that “when he read his poetry
he read it well – with poise and

And I’d never even heard
of Lemn Sissay-
but this morning on the radio
I turn it on and here again
he’s going to read a piece –

who’s everywhere I go
and who I’ll probably never meet

with your intellectual weight
and your Calvin Klein like sweep,
with your London based acclaim
and your heady rise to fame
and your way of making
everyone who hears you fall
a little head with feet-

Lemn Sissay if we
ever chance to meet
I think I’ll say I half recall-
but wonder if you’ll
just remind me.

And if you say there’s nothing worse
Than Hero Worship, Fan Based Fic
I’ll act real cool
and smile real sweet
and never read this piece in London
and totally agree.

and it was like some kind of magic spell:
your hand – flat back of knuckle,
curling into
my palm –
fingers gently curved up,
like a Venus fly trap –
if someone took a stick
and gently pressed its tip
into the net of
palm lines
it would circle like a conch
or a rhoda-demdrum
or a rose, rising to the air
from underneath of water –
but your hand –
when I lay my thumb inside of
your hand –
it is simply held.

June 18, 2007

This morning and back to the Abbey Pumping Station. I was…

Trailing Lizzy Heyrick
Promoting the Freedom Showcase and
Edu-taining 50 (yes, that’s 50) 11-13 year old, school children.

It went well. Obviously, I’d tried to imagine the worse…the kids would be little monsters, hell bent on not digging the performance and not being into the idea of writing poetry. And guess what? They were fine. More than fine in fact. Lovely. Oh, they were rowdy and loud and apparently even elicited a couple of complaints from older users of the museum (sigh) but the most important thing was that they were really into it all.

After my Freedom taster, the young whipper snappers did some pretty cool poetry – which they also confidently illustrated. I left out some wavy safety scissors, glue sticks and art materials, stuck up work from my other groups session and did a round of the room to mentor the poetry writing. When I came back – well, they’d made like genius sponges. They’d built on the example pieces and produced stuff I never would have believed that age group able to. My pastel collection will never be same, but the final results make their sacrifice worth it. Well, kind of;)

All 50 of the little mavericks dutifully took home a Freedom Flyer for their parents to peruse. I caught one little group gathered around such a said flyer, pointing at the photos and in the hushed tones of the unintended stage whisper, debate:

‘Is that her?’
‘No that’s not her.’
‘Is it though?’
‘I dunno.Not sure.’
‘I reckon it is you know’

Ah, fame at last;)

I’ll be pulling all the work produced by these budding Blake’s into an exhibition at the main Newalk Museum, later this year. The Museum service also seems to want me to do another session in October. So, must have gone well I guess:)

After the super kids left, MATV turned up to film the exhibition and then also me, reading the first part of my commission piece. Before you get excited, that’s MATV- NOT– MTV.  But be still my beating heart, we can still dream;)

Can’t get MATV on my set, so if anyone catches the broadcast let me know how it looks. These things are impossible to control…

All for now,

Lydia x

Girl walks into a bar-
says the name’s
“Poetry – Girl
Guy says “Fine
the name’s Tender – Bar
Girl says – “Tender,
I think we’re gonna get on fine,
now – mix me a whisky and soda
and stir it don’t shake it,
while I compose some lines.”

Tender watches Poetry
glide across his floor,
then he says-
“Hey, Poetry – look
you’re like

Poetry in motion”

Poetry laughs
then fixes him with
two cool eyes –
she says
“you’re like the night”

Tender looks at Poetry
and Poetry looks at Tender
and suddenly,
they just both know
what’s on each others mind

-put them together
and they’d make
Tender Poetry-

and for that split moment
they really do think
there is no other kind.

Just Say NO (2)

June 11, 2007

No to department stores
No to department stores
that have escalators to take you up
but stairs to take you down
No to coffee shops that lock their toilets
to prevent their use by
No to coffee shops
that don’t do fairtrade:
No to Starbucks
No to Nero
No to Mcdonalds, Burger King
and all other
similar places
No to eating meat
No to recovering the last dregs of flesh
from inside of carcasses
No to Evangelical Christians
No to right wing politicians
No to pro-life anti abortionists
No to reality T.V
No to reality T.V stars
No to reality TV stars, magazines
No to no means yes
when no means no.
No to junk mai, bad sex
and Arthur Conan Doyle
No to Yes
’cause No is no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no,
No to No way out
there’s always a way
you’ve just got to make it.
No to sugar in tea
No to football and cricket
and all other sports that aren’t
running, gymnastics or tennis.
No to mornings
No to beer
No to poems that are
completely impenetrable
No to Tesco
No to Asda
No to holidaying in Altinkum
No to everyone,
all the time,
just for the moment
No to the ending of all good
No to perms
No to thongs
No to the knowing
of just how to end this

Mission Accomplished

June 9, 2007

So, another Secret Agent Artist mission, has been accomplished. Just got in from being Lizzy and doing poetry with kids at Leicester’s Abbey Pumping Station. All in all it was a groovy outing. Here’s what happened…

I put on my long, mauve coat and strutted my stuff across 3 Freedom Showcase extracts. There was a small crowd. There was a photographer. There were also a few local dignitaries…Lord Mayor, Local MP, all that jazz.

As its first public performance, it seemed to go down pretty well. Said local dignitaries have given firm commitments to attend on the main Showcase date, as have various others. Doing the extracts has also given me some ideas on areas to explore in it’s performance.

Then, there were the kids…

Do you know, I think I actually, really DO like kids. I know. Came as a bit of a shock to me too. But they’re alright. Better than adults really. They did some wicked poetry too. I’m going to be collating it over the next fortnight to create a display at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. If you get a chance to go see, leave a comment in the comments book (that I’ll hopefully have remembered to put out!)

My favourite line came from little Steven and was in response to the exercise “What would happen if everyone in my class was chained together…”His poem began:

“All the girls would die first”

…He was only 11 and 11 year old boys are meant to hate girls, so I forgave him;)

Four books of Poetry-
mentioned off handedly
to the ambulance man
when he came for my
boyfriend –
on the morning

Two – individual punnets
of Rachel’s Organic
Rice Pudding –
in a pale pink gift bag,
given to the bartender
to put in their fridge, forgotton
before the night was over.

A small red envelope,
containing 5 clear marbles,
assorted colours.

A large box of Maltesers
Lighter than ordinary chocolate,
but not when eaten
in place of breakfast

Milk and honey
bubble bath,

grapeseed oil
body scrub,

a heart shaped candle
in a plastic box.

Money. Lots of money. Always nice.
a new set of wheels for my bike.
A hair cut. My hair died – and looking
suprisingly good for it.

My boyfriend –
was alright.
Don’t worry about him.
It was just a burgeoning
chest infection –
but a nasty one
so we weren’t wasting
the ambulance’s time.

A nice chat
with the nice man
in the green uniform.

His name was Sudiq.
He thought I was a student.
He liked my cards.