Friday, 9 October 2009

Off to the hills....

I'm off to Hawthornden Castle for a 4 week writing retreat. A world without internet and probably without phone reception.... so no blogging, no emailing, no distractions, just me and my novel - I can't wait! I'm back on 9th November.

Check out Global Poetry System, the brain child of Lemn Sissay, writer-in-residence at the South Bank Centre, co-ordinated by the fabulous Participation Manager, Lucy McNab. The site, which encourages people to photograph and upload the poetry they find in their environment - engraved in marble, scratched onto trees, written on toilet walls in permanent marker - was launched yesterday, on National Poetry Day. There are some real gems - have an explore and add your own discoveries.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Barking Arboretum

I went to the opening of Barking Arboretum on Wednesday. Having spent so long looking at plans and thinking about the potential of this space, it was great to see it finally open and being used. I love the way muf have made the space so magical: the railings turn into trees, seats are hidden away in corners, there's a stage just asking to be performed on.

There was also an exhibition of the work the RCA students did as part of Barking Metamorphosis. It was great to see how their work has developed since I last saw it. Some pieces have been made into permanent chairs and flooring in the arboretum. Will brought along a table-tennis table made from the Olympic blue fence, which was immediately put into use by passers-by.

My only disappointment was that there were no library staff or residents at the opening. I really hope people make this space their own - and I think there's real scope for the library to spill out into the arboretum...