Daily Archives: April 18, 2014

The Busy Saturday – that Became a Lost Weekend!


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I loved last Saturday – I have been too busy to update the blog regularly this last week, now I have some time and am trying to get posting so that as of tomorrow we fall back into real time, otherwise we will still be ‘in April’ by May!

Saturday 12th April, was such a busy day that I ended up suffering hot flushes and had to have a powernap to make it through!

My day started early (which is a miracle in itself – as many weekends I am not awake until the afternoon) but it was the start of my Easter holidays and the pressure of work has disappeared. I have been awake most days between 7-8. It was closer to 9.30 when I woke up which didn’t give me long to make a decision and drive to the train station. Especially as I had to pack a bag for an overnight weekend too!

I took a train into Birmingham, reading through my set on the 20minute journey. Making it in good time to the Urban Coffee House and Najma’s Exhibition. female force Read all about it here.  Female Force

Female Force was the opening exhibition launch event for Najma Hush a.k.a Photogiraffe.

I couldn’t stay for the whole event unfortunately as it didn’t finish until 1.30pm and I was due in hive3 The Hive, 30 miles away at this time.

I told Ian about the event at the WWM Meeting on Thursday, I knew the travel time would be tight, had I stayed on the train I may have made it in time, but we went to a party in the evening and I needed my car.

WWM I work for Writing West Midlands as an Assistant Writer, once a month in The Hive (library) with Young Writers – 12-16 year old age group. Write-On-2013-300x287

I just made it in time for the Writing Group, it was fun to tell the kids where I had been, especially as this week Ian asked me to share my poetry with them. We were looking at role-play and dialogue, I had intended to write a poem especially for the group. Clearly there was no time. They seemed to enjoy the two I shared.

We had a great meeting, they really enjoyed the role play and drama, Ian is great about me having more input – he knows my intention to become a lead writer (even though I have just agreed to do another full year (academic year) as an assistant writer with Ian), it will be great experience. Next month we have a change of venue into the studio and there was mention of a murder mystery, I hope to help Ian with some practical activities/ideas for our next session.

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After the meeting I raced around the shops to buy Claire cards and a present – as we were going to her 40th – a buffet and band at a local pub. I couldn’t find a suitable card in time, so I tried to pick one up in town when I had driven back there. I ended up with the PERFECT one! She is as close to 40 as a 30 year old and all the cards seemed more appropriate for people over 70 – I found one that perfectly matched our birthday wishes for her – which were basically fulfilled that night. It was a great party and the band ‘Happy Accident’ were absolutely amazing, all covers, lots of Kings of Leon and it was great fun – especially all of us dancing together.

The sad thing was they bought a tray of mini desserts out that we didn’t know about – having moved around to the dance floor and Stewart had made a custom peanut cake that none of the staff could find the next day – when we all really needed the sugar!

It was a late night 1.30 am and in the morning we got up early, just after 8, as that was the original plan. We ended up staying until teatime. I had a great morning in the garden, in the sun, with Mr G and 4 of our close friends. Eventually there was talk of pubs and all day breakfasts, several trips to the shops to stock up on fridge drinks. We did all make it to the pub by 3 – they were serving carvery  by then, a Sunday Roast would have been PERFECT – but we were a little cash negative after the bar bill from the birthday party the night before.

Eventually we made it home, close to 6pm to share a lovely evening together after a fabulous (tiring) weekend!

Female Force – PhotoGiraffe Exhibition Launch Event


Saturday 12th April was a day of events. WWMThere was the Independent Book Fair at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. This event was organised by Writing West Midlands, who I was working for in Worcester the same day. I toyed with the idea of getting into the city early for an hour and leaving to journey across the county. I decided I would only have an hour and it wasn’t worth the early start and extra journey. I have read reviews and I know I wouldn’t have managed much in just an hour.

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Then I found out that Najma Hush’s event was also in the morning. It was touch and go and I really appreciate her squeezing me in on the line up as I couldn’t confirm until the morning of her opening event. Now an hour of poetry was something that I was willing to make a journey for!

female force

The Diverse Dancers exhibition was such a great event to be part of. I knew I would have a great morning and was sad that I couldn’t stay for the whole event as I had to travel back for my Assistant Writers job.


Female Force is the title given to a selection of photographs taken of statues by Najma Hush. These images been manipulated by the process of multi-layering, to modernise and re-present, a few and various neoclassical and classical sculptures, from the fresh perspective of a digital age. Currently exhibiting at Urban Coffee Co (Church Street Birmingham, from April 6th – May 3rd 2014).
With the exhibition open day held last Saturday 12th April, Hush hosted her very own launch event inviting Poets and Musicians to platform their own skills and celebrate her latest exhibition. You can see all the photographs of the beautiful people who came to support this event on the PhotoGiraffe official page. The theme was ‘Women’ and all performers prepared work to coincide with this exhibition. After all, these open exhibition events aren’t titled, ‘Exhibition for Exhibitionists’ for nothing you know.
photogiraffe bernard davis

Copyright Bernard Davis

I met new poets and had the chance to see some of them perform, it seemed like ages since I had made it into the city to see my Birmingham based poetry friends and reconnecting at this event was lovely! And I had a cupcake for breakfast! Well it would have been rude not to, I was in the Urban Coffee House, ‘where magic happens’ and it is filled with sweet treats.

I read some very personal material. The theme ‘Female Force’ gave us a platform that was safe to share such things and I wasn’t the only performing exposing the edge of realities. Strength and vulnerability meet somewhere on that circle.

It was really hard having to leave in the interval, I am glad I managed to catch Charlie Jordan and Julie Boden before I left.


Copyright Photogiraffe



I missed the second half and it sounds like it was a great day. I am linking Photo Giraffe’s review for you all to enjoy the full scale of this event.