Well, friends, we’ve made it. Thank you so much for being with me on this blogging extravaganza of thirty whole days! And doesn’t the world look different today?
As I look out at our frosty garden, I can hardly believe that it’s only been one month since my husband, Andrew, and our son were in their T-shirts, working together on some kind of new wooden structure for our garden. We jokingly call it our Arts Centre because both my musician son and me have our eyes on it! Whatever it turns out to be, its progress is stalled for now since it’s a weekend, weather and spare time-dependent DIY project.
Something that hasn’t stalled is Andrew’s facial hair! He’s a MoBro for the second year running and has grown a moustache (and taken part in the Bristol Movember 10K run) to raise money for the Movember Foundation. Thank you very much if you’ve donated to his page! I am really looking forward to getting my clean-shaven man back, however.
Since I started this month-long blogging project, I’ve had my hair done and popped into the monthly Artists’ Café at Trowbridge Town Hall (next meeting is tomorrow!). Blogging every day has given me a chance to tell you about the kind of life I lead in this small town in west Wiltshire. I’ve spilled the beans about my favourite pen and notebook and filled a few of them up with writing as the month has rumbled along.
It wasn’t so much rumbling as exploding when the the US election result came in and left me wordless. All I could do was share a picture we keep on a wall in our house; an image my daughter draw when she was seven years old had started at a new school. I get a lump in my throat thinking about how alone she must have been feeling and I don’t know if I felt the same on November 9 but it might have come close.
The world is in turmoil and I questioned what I was doing continuing with a blog. I’m feeling frightened, as I shared with you over imaginary coffee. But to take on the world’s sorrow would break me as I wrote in my post ‘The miracle of keeping going.’ I’ve been strengthened and inspired by the actions of people who are doing something to make a difference, however small. Stephanie Norgate’s beautiful poem ‘Miracle’ which she read at this year’s Winchester Poetry Festival (where I was the Festival Blogger) is simply about the miraculous ability of babies and small children to sleep anywhere. I am drawn to this poem because it shines a light in a year filled with hateful headlines. Stephanie Norgate is taking part in a Poemathon on Sunday 11th December at the Komedia, Brighton to raise funds for The Refugee Council. You can support Stephanie on her JustGiving page or head to Brighton for the Poemathon – it will be wonderful.
I’m glad that I’ve been able to share with you some of my work as Poet in Residence at Trowbridge Town Hall. I would love to do more work with children and the general public in schools and community settings and this is something I hope to be able to do more of in the future. I’m struggling with funding so that’s something I’ll have to get to grips with if I want to pursue my ideas.
Trowbridge is in an area where general educational attainment is lower than the national average and cultural engagement is minimal. I approached the Town Hall with the offer of running weekly poetry workshops, setting up a Poetry Society Stanza and running an event for National Poetry Day and I’ve been thrilled that they took me in and helped me get my events up and running.
I don’t know how I’ll move forward but I’ll continue to share my plans on this blog. It’s a funny old thing blogging – sharing my secret notebooks with complete strangers! Rest assured, I don’t share everything with you….. but it was good to talk to Anthony Wilson about some of my reasons for blogging. It was good to think about what got me started and ask myself why on earth I do it.
I have to be truthful and tell you that I’m quite pleased that November is nearly over but I’m really, really pleased I’ve taken part in National Blog Posting Month. Thank you to Lizzie Ward who posted about Nanopoblano and inspired me to join in and to everyone who’s cheered me along and YOU, dear reader, for your visits, comments and likes. Thank you.
I’m not going anywhere, I’ll still be here so please keep calling in but maybe not every day, for a while.