Wednesday, 21 July 2010


I had a fab weekend at Latitude thanks to the local paper competition. The festival had grown since the previous year. The field we'd picniked in last year is now an additional car park.
Florence and the machine performed brilliantly though she looked tired - as though she's just performing too much or maybe she just had a late night. Empire of the Sun were spellbinding in their spandex, capes and head-dresses. We caught the end of Temper trap and wished we'd heard more. Belle and Sebastian appeared after a 4 year break in performing. They looked like they'd dressed to meet in the local pub which was actually quite sweet and refreshing. They turned the stage into the dancefloor after inviting youngsters up. It was great to hear Mumford and sons classic songs.

I wanted to stay in the poetry tent all the time but realised I needed to pull myself together. We wandered into the Film and Theatre tent and were so gripped by a soviet era silent movie- the Dying Swan that we didn't realise that the music was live. So much emotion conveyed by music and the written word that talking movies seem tame in comparison.

I've never been to the ballet so we elbowed our way to a space on the side of the Lake to watch Swan Lake. The dancers limped off, the black stage blistering hot in the sun. Still ballet virgins.

We popped out to Southwold for a fry up on Saturday morning as I have a horror of staying in an enclosure for too long. I feel like that in Ikea and in shopping centres too. It was good to eat and drink from proper crockery with the sea sparkling and heaving outside.

The poetry tent seem heavily tilted towards performance poetry or maybe I didn't get a fair view of enough poets. Having said that Kate Tempest 's rap poetry can't help but move you. She speaks to people many try to avoid making eye contact with. Laura Dockrill with her Word orchestra dressed in patterned lyra was amazing. She plays words - they are her instrument and she looks the audience in the eye wanting to see if they are enjoying it. Such young people with such passion and commitment to their art. Written word poet Jacob Polley was outstanding. I wish i'd taken more notes but someone correct me if I'm wrong - did he have a line saying the sun wrote itself across the windows. I loved that - it keeps resonating in me. It was great to hear Neruda's poems but I'm not sure that David Soul made them overdramatic with his delivery.

I danced in the woods - boy I needed that dance.

However much you do you can't do it all so for all the highlights there are the regrets for what you've missed.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Harvest and writing updates.

CORRECTION- redcurrants don't need the fruiting branches cut right off. Will update tomorrow.

First cucumber - it was delicious!

Oh and we've had courgettes- I really miss them when their season is over and can't bear to buy them as it feels so disloyal. I haven't managed to use the flowers yet.

My parsnip thinnings looking rather sexy I think.

Any recipes for courgettes gratefully received. I tend to fry them in butter (especially baby ones) or make ratatouille. Or any recipes as I keep cooking the same stuff.
When it gets busy at the allotment I don't really feel like writing about it so all my posts end up being a bit after the event. I've dug up a row of my Charlotte potatoes which are delicious but the crop is not as abundant this year I guess because of the lack of rain. My neighbour watered his but got even less potatoes so I guess you just can't beat rain. I'm putting my leeks where the potatoes were but due to long winter they are going in late. Last year I harvested my Charlottes on the 18th June. The loganberries (at least I think that what they are- I really should post a picture)I need to finish picking my redcurrants - someone recommended lopping off the fruiting branch then picking off the currants which sounds like a good idea as you need to prune the branches that have fruited and once you pick it gets harder to work out what's what.
I am forcing myself to write 1000 words a day of my novel - some days more successful than others and when I get fed up I look at a poem I've been writing that shimmers in places and trips me up in others. Once I'm in the swing of it I feel happy but always seem to subject myself to hours of prevarication and what's the meaning of it all. The meaning is to enjoy! Some days easier to say than do but I will plod on regardless. Happy plodding or maybe even skipping!!