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Showing posts from August, 2014

We're Growing a Zoo!

After six months of my two boys researching dog breeds, pestering for a dog, researching dog behaviours, pleading for a dog, researching dog tricks, pestering and pleading for a dog, I finally took them to Rotherham Rescue Centre to look at a few. My intention was purely to show them how big the labradors/irish wolfhounds/alsations were and to demonstrate how hard they would be to walk and look after. I had every intention of getting a dog of some description over the next few weeks, but something a little more manageable than the ones they'd seen bounding along the beaches during our recent holiday in Wales.
That was Monday.

We entered a Bedlam for dogs. Dogs of every size and shape barked and snarled, whimpered and whined as we were shown around the kennels. I can't imagine how the volunteers can bear the sadness in those animals' eyes. They are amazing people who tirelessly show up to feed them, walk them, play with them and retrain some of the most traumatised week aft…

Musical Stories ...

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The Family Festival workshops as part of Grimm and Co's Summer programme went really well - many children enjoyed a variety of activities designed to inspire storymaking and storytelling. We had great fun during my sessions, creating stories which evoked a walk through an enchanted forest and creatures they met along the way - some imaginative and truly inspiring young people took part in and then performed their musical stories to each other during these informal, fun sessions.

We started by looking through a selection of images all of forests, hidden buildings in woodland settings  and creatures - woodland and fantastical. Using a selection of instruments, the storymakers created sounds to evoke elements of their stories, using percussion, guitar and vocal percussion in some instances too. 



It is so refreshing to allow students to follow their own train of thought, to allow them to work in their own way without the constraints of a particular learning intention or success criteri…

Story Making Workshops at Rotherham Family Festival 2014

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I am sometimes asked to run children's writing and story making workshops which is something I relish and would like to do more and more of.  I  will run  three sessions during Rotherham's Family Festival taking children through a story-making process where we use the spoken word and musical instruments to develop magical stories through music. I can't wait to see what our creative young story makers come up with!


As a teacher, my two favourite subjects are Literacy and Music so you can imagine my excitement when asked to become involved in this project. Preparations are underway for this exciting venture and the Writers' Attic is being prepared as I write.

Rotherham's Family Festival is being run by Grimm and Co, part of Inspire Rotherham and Ministry of Stories to offer our local children free access to a range of story making workshops over the week beginning 4th August 2014.  The program is as follows:
I'll be waiting in the Writer's Attic in Rotherham …

Changing Identity - Pen Names and More

Driftwood and Amethyst was written over a two year period when I lived a very different life. Without washing my laundry, I was ill, I was someone's wife and I did my best to make a difficult situation better. I failed.Not on my own, I'll give myself that. But it necessitated a huge change for me, one which over the last three years has resulted in a very different life.
I made the decision last year to go back to my maiden name. Not a decision I took lightly, as I have two boys who carry their father's name - regardless of our relationship or should I say lack of it - and I wanted to make sure this did not cause any undue distress. But the boys were very generous and actually were instrumental in helping me revert back to who I wanted to be.
It may only seem a name to anyone reading, but giving up my name was difficult in the first place and done only at the express wish of my partner-to-be who in time lost the right to have a say.
I have just gone through a rather labori…