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Dahlias, Songs and Face Moulds


As I write this I am being filmed! It’s the last bits for the Inside Out film, so the team are in my room watching me looking as if I am concentrating, or writing great poetry. It’s been an interesting process, and as we get to the editing stage the whole thing has tightened up and got more focused. I haven’t seen the rought cut yet, just read the script which makes alot of sense. My fear is that it will be weepy…that however one presents cancer it has a built in misery factor. Incidentally, I have found a way to stop oneself from crying in public, which is, when the lump in the throat moment occurs, to visualise a stupid cat. Stupid cats are the opposite of tears!

I have been out in County Durham photographing dahlias with Sharon Bailey, the photographer. Also antimacassars, mantelpieces, and fruit bowls. It’s a project of images and words about how people make artistic choices in their ordinary lives all the time. Mainly, it’s provided Sharon and I with some fantastic days out. We walked along the swelling sea at Seaham Harbour, and went to the very peaceful church next to Seaham Hall. Aren’t dahlias amazing? They almost make me believe in god, they are so unnecessary, yet full of euphoria and joy!

I’m sorry about the error in the last web log. I am not having chemotherapy, and the face mould is for keeping ones head still during radiotherapy. I went for my first blast this warning, and had a pleasant time in the waiting room making a hooky and proggy mat with the resident arts project. It quite transforms the experience of waiting, and I am quite looking forward to getting back to my ‘seascape’ tomorrow. The treatment was straightforward…a long buzz, while I lay on a hard bed with my moulded face tightly screwed to my real face.

Last night I heard the ‘first drafts’ of the musical settings of the poems in ‘Sudden Collapses In Public Places’…it was a lovely experience, a gift. The music gives the poems new life and atmosphere. They will be performed at Live Theatre, sung by Zoe Lambert, with Dave Scott and Neil Blenkinsop and other musicians on 5th December.