Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Weather



Its ten years since my play ‘The Weather‘ was on. It was about a shopaholic, addict mother, an absent, fat-cat father and their teenage daughter.  It was also, to me, a play clearly about climate change. It was called The Weather’ for a start, and began with the declaration: ‘It’s over. I mean, have you seen the weather out there? Have you seen the fucking weather?’ In each scene, although they were only days or even hours apart, the weather had changed dramatically – from snow to tropical temperatures. It depicted a world on the cusp of an ‘eremozoic age’ -the age of solitude – as butterflies and birds died out leaving nothing but ‘people and their things’, and there were long speeches about consumption and blame and the impossibility of imagining the end of the world. There was also a poltergeist in the house, flinging things around…

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The Wordsworth Trust

Yet another valuable arts programme has had its funding cut. Bad news for poets, writers and lovers of literature in Cumbria.

Kim Moore

For the last couple of months I’ve been turning this blog post over and over in my mind, writing it, re-writing it, deleting it, starting over again. A couple of months ago, the news came out that the Contemporary Literature Programme at The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere had lost its funding from the Arts Council.

The Contemporary Literature Programme covers the fortnightly reading series over the summer and the workshops that are held at various intervals throughout the year. It pays for one lucky poet to be Poet-in-Residence in Grasmere, living in a cottage on site and being given time to develop their writing, as well as running workshops and giving readings to the local community.  The Contemporary Literature Programme also funds a full-time Literature Officer, AndrewForster, who organises the readings, workshops and everything else that goes on to do with Contemporary Poetry.

The loss of the funding does not…

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Tove Jansson’s Moomin House

How many people know that Tove Jansson built a model of the Moomin House with her partner Tuulikki Pietilä?  The model is now in a museum in Finland.  It has recently been featured on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure to celebrate the centenary of her birth.  The building of it seems to have been a labour of love.   “Tove and Tuulikki built the house using materials they found washed up on the beach. The roof tiles were made from cedar bark they found and cut into shape using nail scissors. Fish-scale pattern. And Moominpappa stands in his room which is  equipped with maritime clutter, looking out of his window through his telescope. The small shy people are in tiny rooms in the basement.”

You can read the whole story here on the ABBA blog…..

Kathe Kollwitz’s ‘Grieving Parents’ at Vladslo: ‘Seed Corn Must Not Be Ground’

The wonderful Kathe Kollwitz, courtesy of Gerry Cordon.

That's How The Light Gets In


Kathe Kollwitz, ‘The Grieving Parents’ at Vladslo cemetery

Even though I’d been there on two previous occasions, there was one place to which I had to return before I finished my brief exploration of the memorials and cemeteries of the western front.  In Flanders, near to Dixmuide, north of Ypres, there is a German military cemetery where the son of the artist Kathe Kollwitz is buried.  It was there, in 1932, that Kollwitz’s memorial to her lost son was unveiled, consisting of the figures of herself and her husband grieving for the loss of their youngest child.  It is, I believe, one of the finest – and most deeply moving – artworks created in response to the devastation of the First World War.

Peter Kollwitz was just eighteen when volunteered for the German Army during the wave of patriotism that swept all the belligerent nations in August 1914. Although Kathe would come to develop strong…

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