Isn't my (usually v v skinny and boney) ankle a delightful heather colour! I don't know quite how I managed to do so much damage (broken ankle and all the tendons ripped out) just coming down awkwardly from a 4-inch-high stone, but there you go - I've obviously got real Injury Talent! Am in plaster for the next 5 weeks at least, and so this is somewhat curtailing my Watershed work.
However, Peter (Saddleworth Museum curator) and I got the Saddleworth Watershed exhibition sorted out, and I am being driven down there tomorrow to hold a celebratory event with the various groups I have been working with there: Oldham Cafe Writers' Group, Saddleworth Arts Festival workshop participants and the Canalside Quilters group who have produced some STUNNING textile pieces for the exhibition. (I'll put up some photos of the exhib later in the week.)
I had to postpone my workshops with the Mytholm Court ladies and Thorn Park deaf school, but went ahead yesterday with the performance for Hebden Bridge Arts Festival to celebrate the work I've been doing with the residents at Mytholm Court and with skateboarders from Hebden Bridge. Despite my ankle and crutches, I did a rap version of a poem the skateboarders and I had created; got the audience doing their own writing - about their thoughts on moorland, and on watersheds in their own lives; showed the fabby DVD of me working with the Thorn Park kids up on Ovenden Moor; shared various sections of the soundtrack that Bill (BBC soundman) and I have produced for the Watershed exhibition; played a lovely soundscape of the Hebden Bridge skatepark with interviews with teenage skaters that Bill and I had recorded; and shared a selection of the poems I have written about the Watershed since starting this project.
These two photos show some of the audience busy with their writing task. It always amazes me that I simply need to tell people that I am a writer, and complete strangers will - at my command - pick up pens and immediately start trying to express themself in writing - great stuff!!
This is a lovely poem that Dave wrote straight off the cuff.
Dave (pictured above) was born and bred on the Kent marshes and is clearly still coming to terms with being married to a Yorkshirewoman (shown v busy on the right!) and living up amongst our strange language!:
I am a flatlander
barely above the sea
who left the low places
and high thinking
(and perhaps long drinking).
The cry of the curlew
now the shriek of the moorland.
The murmured words,
lost glottal stops and
now the flűd
(flood rhymes with food?!?)
of broader, higher words.
A longer view,
not of the sky,
but from the sky
but still that curlew cry
calls me back.
Well done Dave! And a big thank you to all the audience, and to Rebecca from the HB Arts Fest who looked after me so well - and to my very long-suffering partner Janina who had to zoom back home cos I'd forgotten the paper and pens....how on earth can I call myself a writer?!!
Char March - I'm a freelance writer and tutor. I am Writer-in-Residence for the Pennine Watershed Project, and this blog takes you through some of the work I've done in that role