Saturday, 26 May 2007

A picture speaks... several words?

You may remember that I was harping on a while back about getting a digital camera and pursuing photography. Well, I did, in the end. I thought you might like to see some of the results. Excuse the blue dates on some of these pictures - it took me a while to figure out how to get rid of them.

Taken at my university: Royal Holloway, University of London.

At a park in Southampton.

Taken at my old school, now deserted: Grove Place, Southampton.




Ditto. That's my friend, Alex, there.

Mudeford. That's my baby brother.

Windsor Great Park.

Ditto. My friend, Katie, feeds the ducks.

Aforementioned ducks.

In the New Forest.

And ditto.

Monday, 21 May 2007


You know, I intended this to be an academic weblog. Not very academic of late, is it? More my-life journally type stuff. I will reform my ways after exams are over, and I have more time to read into stuff of an academic interest. Or, rather, read into it and then write about it. I'm still reading. Wikipedia is my friend. Sure, it's biased and often inaccurate, but that's half the fun! I've been reading lots about Neopaganism: Druidry, various types of Wicca; there are all sorts of types of Paganism. Also read about Gnosticism, and Simon Magnus, and all that. Very interesting. I'm currently a Christian Druid! And, yes, that is possible. I'm going through a very spiritual time in my life at the moment. Should lead to some debatey/thinky type posts over the summer.

As usual, I'm also reading novels. Since my last post, I've read The Taxi Driver's Daughter by Julia Darling, which I enjoyed. It managed to be neither superficial nor heavy reading. It also mirrored by own life and upbringing, in the "respectable working class." My dad's a taxi driver too. I also read Knowledge of Angels by Jill Paton Walsh, which I found a little tricky to get into at the start, but certainly worth it. It was both pleasing to the imagination and stimulating to the intellect with its religious/philosophical discussions. I'd have liked a happier ending, though! I'm on to Giving up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel now; will start on the train tomorrow.

There was Adam's pamphlet launch, of course, last Tuesday. It was published by The Tall Lighthouse, which specialises in poets under 30 and provides quite a lot of extra help and guidance, it seems. Perfect. I plucked up courage and spoke to Roddy Lumsden about submitting a manuscript, and I intend to have 30 poems sent off by this time next year. So that's hopeful; what's hopeless (at least until next year) is that I received a rejection letter from Tower Poetry summer school this morning. A lot of muttering under the breath, but, other than that, I'm cool. :o)

Next time I post will probably be after my second trip to Rome! Rome! Woohoo!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Mmmm.... books

I've been busy with exams and stranded without internet, so this is just a little update from me, really. NaPo died a death about two thirds of the way through, I'm ashamed to say, but, still, I got some good poems out of it. I sent Bee, Sorrento, Persephone and Samson (those of you from NaPo will know which poems those are) to the Mslexia Competition, and I'm looking to send Nativity to some magazine or other.

I've also done quite a bit of very wonderful reading. I adored Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad, which seemed to combine my interests as if it were written especially for me: Greek mythology, a woman's perspective, poetry in prose.... Then I went on to Oryx and Crake by the same, which startled me in how different it was: a futuristic tale of survival. How versatile she is, unlike, say, Torey Hayden or Catherine Cookson, who basically write/wrote the same novel over and over again. Then I moved on to Angela Carter, and, oh, I fell in love. The Bloody Chamber is a retelling of fairy tales, and gloriously gothic, all blood and death and sex and roses and wolves and beasts and sex, lavish surroundings, lavish language. And I've just finished Wise Children, which is basically a Shakespeare play narrated by a feisty old lady. That was fantastic, kept me away from my revision, though. I'm about to start The Taxi Driver's Daughter by Julia Darling, because I am a taxi driver's daughter.

Don't forget Adam's pamphlet launch next Tuesday (15th May) at 6.30pm, Foyles Charing Cross!