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Friends and followers

Firstly, thank you for all of the lovely messages and posts and comments from you all about what I am doing here. It is always such a pleasure to receive them.

I will now be away for the next few weeks visiting my boyfriend in Africa, who I haven’t seen since January. (Have a look at the Patch Corps section of the blog for more about that.) So, no more posts for a few weeks after this weekend but while I’m away, please have a look at what’s been happening on the Sunday Sessions Tour (despite several attempts, the latest film was just too big to upload, so that will be put up when I return but there are two lots of photos and the Stourbridge film to look at.) There’s a tasty quiche recipe I posted about a week ago that I thoroughly recommend, a couple of poems, my latest London theatre review and of course, one or two Lovely Things!

When I get back, look out for the arrival of Frocktober, the announcement of the next Bath Sunday Sessions and, the debut of a creative collaboration project that I have been working on since February and is now finally finished! All this and more…

Have a lovely few weeks.

Anna

Words of the woods

Monday the 20th June saw the first night of the next instalment from Insignificant Theatre’s ‘The Speakeasy’; a night of new writing showcased in the form of six actors performing eleven monologues, all based around the same theme. The last set of Speakeasy monologues were all to do with ‘The City’, an appropriate theme for the location of the event which takes place at The George on The Strand. This time however, actors had to work to transport their audience away from the busy, bustling city that lies just outside the window, and out into ‘The Woods’. As the night unfolded, a whole host of characters and stories were presented, ranging from the novice bird watcher timidly treading in his father’s footsteps, to a wily wood nymph, meddling in the mortal realm.

The evening, as ever, had a wonderfully friendly overall feel to it as audience members were encouraged to scribble down their thoughts and feedback for both actors and writers alike. Rather than this inducing a critical atmosphere, the vibe was open and supportive, encouraging the audience to invest and engage with the evening’s offerings, with the rare opportunity to share their thoughts on it at the end.

A few stand-out performances included Dan March in Duncan McIntosh’s ‘Into the Woods’, for whom the audience were laughing out loud as they read between the lines of his drug-induced ramble about the wonders of a woman dressed in electric eels and paisley jam. Mike Carter’s ‘Mighty Oak Conqueror’, also performed by Dan March, was a beautifully put together piece that somehow managed to cover oppression, regression and self-expression as it pondered the question; does a man need a cause in order to sit in a tree? Trace Crawford’s oddly enthralling story of ‘The Last Firefly’ was delicately recounted with a nice quizzical innocence by Anthony Steele and by the end of Richard Cunliffe’s cleverly put together ‘Asylum’, I wanted to go to actor, Phil Cross’s party… if only so that somebody would be there.

The Speakeasy runs from the 20th-22nd of August, so if you enjoy new writing or are yourself a writer looking to get some of your work out there, then I urge you to go along and experience Insignificant Theatre’s current offering of interesting and original work.

Insignificant Theatre are on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/insignificanttheatre and Twitter http://www.twitter.com/insignificantuk or you can find them online at http://www.insignificanttheatre.co.uk/

A Day in the Life

I started today off with eggs, lightly scrambled
which my dear friend, Bruce expertly handled.
A morning of making music came after,
with a little perfect pitching and a lot of poetic laughter.
Then off on the train to Waterloo,
for a swift Italian rendezvous
which was, as ever, an uplifting meeting
though sadly, as always, was all but too fleeting.
Then a slow street amble with a Starbucks coffee
which was iced, with soya and not at all frothy.
Followed by ‘The Speakeasy’ on The Strand,
that I was there to review,
with my pen poised in hand.
Then finally home to my bed, far away.
I think, all in all, it’s been a beautiful day.

A number of  my other individual poems, as well as a few collections that I have written, can be found in the Poetry section of the main menu.

Heyford – The Sunday Sessions Summer Tour Photographs

Last weekend saw the final stop on The Sunday Sessions Summer Tour which took place, not in the city of Oxford as originally advertised, but on a canal boat in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside. So after a sleepy morning start to what turned out to be by far the most chilled out Sunday Session to date, having prepared the standard set up of bunting, brownies and flapjacks, I headed off to the boat where our audience gradually arrived until we were finally a party of eleven plus Inka, a twelve week old puppy who also came along for the ride.

We all motored off down the canal and after about half an hour, moored the boat in a quiet little spot surrounded by nothing but birds and trees and the occasional passing train. The next few hours were filled with bananagrams, beer and beautiful music that went on late into the afternoon and then the early evening as the sun shone through, leaving people to pass the guitar around, fall asleep on the roof or attempt to play hacky sack on the tow path. A huge thank you to Matt Chanarin, Evan McGregor and everyone else who played, for making it such a lovely day. For those who weren’t able to make it… although to be honest, we couldn’t have fitted many more onto the roof, the video will be up soon but until then here are a few pictures of how the day went down.

 

Alcea Rosea

Hoards of haughty hollyhocks
hold their heads high,
stretching steadily skywards,
straining for the sun.
The more senior citizens
are strapped to their canes,
hoping to hold out a few more seasons
before their children
and their children’s children
leave them behind
in the great upward race.
A wandering wind waves
the sturdy stems from side to side,
but fearlessly flaunting
the miracles of nature
they fail to fall flat on their flowers.

A number of  my other individual poems, as well as a few collections that I have written, can be found in the Poetry section of the main menu.

Crustless vegetable quiche recipe

For those who are unaware of my bizarre dietary requirements, for the last few years I have been, a somewhat experimental, gluten-free vegan. I have always been a vegetarian but the dairy and wheat intolerance is a relatively new addition. I do, however eat eggs and more recently have started getting into alternative breads and cheeses such as sour dough and rye and goat and sheeps’ cheese.

I remember a few years ago, when I first went onto this diet, thinking that I was going to have to live out the rest of my days eating nothing but vegetables and rice cakes with the occasional glass of soya milk… not the most thrilling culinary prospect but two and a half years on, I now cook almost all of my own food from scratch and have become really quite creative when it comes to improvising meals from a pantry almost completely devoid of dairy, wheat, meat and fish.

So today, I thought I’d share my lunch with you… in the virtual sense. This is an incredibly easy recipe and you could substitute almost everything in it to work with whatever you happen to have lying around your kitchen but the ingredients that I used are listed below. ( I also apologise for jumping around not only between Metric and Imperial but English and American measurements. I picked up a few interesting recipes when I was living in America last summer and I now rather like using Cups as a measurement but it’s very easy to convert if you’d rather stick to one particular system.)

6 oz mushrooms (fairly thinly sliced)
1/2 large courgette (cut into quarters)
1/2 onion (roughly chopped)
4 eggs
1/4 cup all purpose gluten free-flour
1/2 small wheel of goats cheese (cut into small chunks)
salt & pepper to taste

* olive oil
stork (vegetable margarine)

Preheat the oven to 220°
Lightly sauté the vegetables in oil
Beat the eggs in a large bowl
Mix in the veg and other ingredients
Grease the quiche dish with the stork
Pour the mixture into the dish and bake for 10 mins
Reduce the oven temperature to 175° for 20-25 mins
Leave to cool and set for 5 mins before serving

This quick and easy crustless quiche would probably serve about 5 people and makes a lovely light lunch when paired with a simple side salad or you could add a few new potatoes and perhaps some freshly steamed broccoli to turn it into a slightly more substantial evening meal. Enjoy.