30 songs for 30 days

I spotted this 30-day song challenge on Twitter ages ago…suggested by Halfway 2 Nowhere @H2NUK It is a challenge to identify 30 songs to fit 30 different categories. It seemed fun…so…here are my initial reactions. I could choose different answers everyday! Day 1 -a song you like with a colour in the title ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay. I have…

Poetry in pieces

I leave poetry quotes for my mum in her shopping lists. She has taken to calling me the ‘Poetry Fairy’. They are sometimes quite lengthy quotes and sometimes just a couple of lines, but never the whole poem. Twitter accounts that Tweet excerpts of poems proliferate. Instagram users post select lines from poems. Is it…

David Rovics and the music of hidden histories

3 June 1917 was a day of huge contrasts in Leeds. There was the Leeds Convention; a conference bringing together members of the labour movement from across Britain in solidarity with the Russian Revolution, and in the evening there were anti-Semitic attacks in the city. One hundred years later there was a conference celebrating and…

How I learnt to love summer

It has been the most gorgeous few days in Leeds. Temperatures have been in the late 20s and the sky has been clear and blue. I have been reveling in the weather…hopping on and off the Leeds Water Taxi, enjoying a drink on a deck chair by the canal, taking a walk as the sun…

Poetry and me

I want to use this blog to write about my love of poetry and I am going to begin with reflecting on why and also how I read poetry, and what it means to me. The context for this post is a few facts about me…I can be fast, doing lots of things at the same time. I…

The magic of a bluebell wood

It is bluebell season. Bluebells aren’t just blue of course. They are purple. Violet. Lilac. And this time of year is just the time to notice…when some lucky ancient woodlands have a short but wonderful display of these most loved of flowers. I grew up near a bluebell wood, an ancient wood, surrounded by meadows at…

I predict a Riot Grrrl

This past Saturday Leeds was host to Live at Leeds, a multi venue music festival featuring dozens of artists and genres. My overall review is simple – it was great. Well executed and lots of fun. I have been to a similar event in north London – the Camden Crawl. It works well in Leeds with…

Me and Handel’s Messiah

I went to listen to a performance of Handel’s Messiah at Leeds Minster on Good Friday. And it was great. It is a piece of music I have some history with. During GCSE Music we ‘did’ The Messiah. I remember vividly being taught about some lines that appear early on; “Every valley shall be exalted,…

“I need to walk across this town”

I am not sure how long I have really loved walking. But these days I consider walking to be one of my key hobbies, and a central part of how I keep myself well, both mentally and physically. Today I went out with my local Ramblers group. We started in the fabulously named Barwick-in- Elmet, a…

First greeting of the morning

There is a Henry Moore bronze sculpture in the centre of Leeds. It depicts a reclining woman. Until last summer I was living in Brixton, in south London, and most mornings I walked past Lambeth Town Hall. One of my former relatives was part of the committee that oversaw the building of the Town hall and…