Monthly Archives: May 2009

Launch Delight

Oh what a night! What a launch and what an auspicious start to the Bayside Literary Festival! Last night thrilled, informed and entertained effortlessly. Although, to any who’ve organised even the smallest event, the planning, focus, attention to detail, energy and hours behind such a success were obvious, even if well hidden. It was a credit to our talented organisers.

Such a delight, from the moment we entered the foyer of Beaumaris Library – a lovely, light, welcoming space, with artworks and lively Festival posters, plus refreshments proferred immediately. How appropriate and festive is a glass of bubbly on such a sparkling occasion! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

From initial greetings in the foyer, we flowed into the smaller meeting room, which was invitingly warm, where delicious finger food was graciously served; and provided by a generous, local sponsor: Ludo’s The Good Food Store.

After a judicious amount of mingling and nibbling we moved to the larger hall where the formalities were held. The Mayor officially launched the Festival;  Arnold Zable spoke fondly of his association with and affection for Bayside, and then announced the recipient of the inaugural Billilla artist in residence programme; the judges of the various writing competitions gave insights into the quality of the entries and their assessment criteria; winners and runners-up were announced; winning entries were read (but extracts only of the adult prose categories); prizes were given and recipients ushered out discreetly to be photographed, and later ushered back in.

All was most ably facilitated by the MC, Phil Norton (aka the preacherman says); a witty, mentally and vocally agile, spoken word artist, who welcomed us with an amusing, insightful piece (supported by music); introduced participants, commented, kept us entertained and the event flowing; then concluded the formalities with another clever, appropriate work. Smooth! ( Love the material and the style)

But wait, it gets better!  Two talented friends gained well- deserved awards. I left, exhilarated.  Applause and kudos all round and especially to Ali (Bayside Library) and her colleague Mark, from Arts & Culture (Bayside Council) for their considerable organisational skills (right down to the large screen which displayed the sponsors – rightly to be acknowledged and thanked – and competition winners).

A night to be proud of and delight in.

So, get yourself a brochure or get on line (Bayside Library) and look at the web version and come along. Most of the sessions are FREE!

I’m looking forward to the sessions I’m involved in – most exciting.

My Bayside Poetry Group is ready to entertain you – yes a bit of advertising and promotion here folks.

The Memoir Writing Session has a very interesting panel (one of whom took out an award last night!)

And my dear friend Shirley (who hosts Write Now on Southern FM – 88.3FM  Thursdays 7 – 8pm, as she has done for 17 years!)  and I will be taking a workshop on writing for Radio & Stage.

I chatted with Christine Darcas, author of Dancing Backwards in High Heels, a few days ago about the worlds of writing and publishing. We’ll be in conversation in a session during the festival. She’s a talented, gracious, articulate and down to earth woman with so much to offer. Her book is an excellent read. She writes well and the issues she deals with will resonante with many; and perhaps especially her main character’s way to regain her enthusiasm for life by pursuing her passion.

It’s been quite a week – very full and fulfilling – and SOOOOOOO  much busier than I’d expected. Funny how you think you’ll have time to relax, a breathing space before an extra full week and then the time evaporates! But, they were good things, those absorbing my down-time and so were lovely, even if I was very tired by the end of each day.

A plug for Southern FM before I sign off. It’s a great community radio station offering a great range of programmes and warrants a listening. In our broadcast area tune to 88.3FM otherwise we stream on:

Next time a little about a special OB (outside broadcast).

Thanks for your thoughtful responses.

I hope all in webworld and elsewhere can find some delight each day, to nourish and sustain you. Goodness knows we all need that.

Autumn Delight

Gold, primrose, lemon – palest, sweetest. Not quite. I search for one word to capture the Autumn Silver Birch.  Each time I step into our garden, even on the greyest, near-Winter’s day it is bright. It is light made leaf. Alight. Bright with promise – beyond the fall, the naked limbs,  buds await. The year turns – well really it races; bolts away.   But the garden has its own pace. Thank God. Otherwise, we’d all be crazed, cracked like over-fired clay. Brittle, breaking.

Our Silver Birch and her sister – which always greens and gilds a little later, giving double joy – our Silver Birches delight. Thankfully, our garden survived the brutal Summer – the relentless, excessive heat, water restrictions (oh, the too-numerous buckets of grey water I’ve distributed). But these are small concerns in the greater context – particularly the savage fires that raged. The horrifying toll of death and suffering. But  then, how communities rallied to help each other and then the whole nation and other countries responded to our pain and loss. People can be so generous, kind and compassionate. Thankfully. I take comfort from that in dark times.

For me, a garden is a necessity, not just an optional extra. We all need that connection with the natural world – even one of our own contriving. That’s how we remain better connected to self and others. In fact there’s evidence of the psychological benefit of gardens. Never forgetting the wonderful work of providing oxygen and absorbing carbon and other pollutants that plants do. Their lovely, much needed  and very welcome shade. Their beauty – such delight.

I navigate by my polestar – delight – garnered from true friendships, the natural world, music, literature, the arts, laughter, writing, talking (I do a lot of that !!) broadcasting and performing. All enrich, nourish, sustain and enable me to survive hard times. I hope I give enough in return to others. I certainly give much of myself to our garden.

Delight in every day – Gaytana