Idle Women Finding Their Feet On The Cut

Adventures Aboard AreandAre

As a Life Coach for women, I’m inspired by stories of the ways in which as a gender we’ve changed, grown, and discovered our strength and sense of purpose in the world. Which is (thankfully) no longer just getting married and having babies!

Despite the progress made, to this day it frequently feels as though life ‘on the cut’ is mostly dominated by the views of men.

I can only imagine how it would have felt for the women who heard and accepted the call to action in the Second World War. They were brave and adventurous enough to take on the role men left behind, carrying a variety cargo in working narrowboats, from London around the country.

Who were the Idle Woman?

Last year I read a brilliant book that epitomises such women – called Idle Women (al), by Susan Woolfitt.

Here’s the synopsis on Amazon…

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Poo Stick Parade

My poem Poo Stick Parade was written after a walk along the Staffs and Worcester Canal during which I encountered the most noisy group of walkers I have ever come across. It was published on this site for humorous poems yesterday http://www.spillingcocoa.com/poo-stick-parade-by-heather-wastie/

This week I’m doing 2 performances at venues alongside the same (very beautiful) canal. Kate Saffin and I are presenting Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways at Ashwood Marina tomorrow night and the Eagle & Spur Cookley on Wednesday. Both performances start at 7.30. See Idle Women Midlands Tour for full tour details.

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Kate & Heather, Cookley, Staffs & Worcs Canal

Grimley show cancelled due to grim conditions

Sorry folks! The stage at the Camp House Inn, Grimley is under water which has forced the venue to cancel tonight’s performance of Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways. They would very much like us to reschedule so we’ll see what we can do, but in the meantime, there are plenty of opportunities to catch the show. See below, and keep up to date on Facebook or Twitter @Alarum_theatre

Idle Women 1Tour flyer back UPDATEDv2

I had a gift

To mark my final day as The Worcestershire Poet Laureate, here’s the sonnet which (I’m told) wowed the judges a year ago. I’ll be performing it again tonight alongside the winner of this year’s competition. Whichever of the 3 excellent finalists takes over, I know they will make the most of their own poetic gift.

I had a gift

I had a gift, a flush of fragrant flowers,
a wild bouquet tossed carelessly into
a slender vase, so crammed with colour, full
of bursting buds, each of them beautiful
but standing so unruly, heads askew,
competing for the sun’s receding hours.

These fresh, young beauties wooed me as I stood
to contemplate the many ways I could
arrange them. Since no teacher ever taught
such vital skills, I gave it years of thought.

As one by one the weaker blossoms failed,
my task was rendered easier by the day
and when the final bloom had drooped and paled,
an empty vase was gently borne away.

© Heather Wastie

Free poetry workshops & open mic opportunities

Here are details of 2 poetry workshops I’m running, in Bewdley and Kidderminster, and 2 performances with open mic opportunities, in Bewdley and Ledbury.

FREE POETRY WORKSHOPS

Thursday 16th June 10.30-12.30
Poetry Workshop – Women of WW1
St George’s Hall, Load Street, Bewdley DY12 2EQ
To mark 100 years since the formation of the Women’s Institute, this workshop is part of an outreach project to create poems for a new art installation at Croome Court from November. Of the poems written by members of 16 different and diverse groups across Worcestershire, 100 will be chosen to be included in the installation, and poets are asked, if possible, to write about the experiences of a female relative.
Free to attend but advance booking required.
See https://worcslitfest.co.uk/programme-tickets-2016/

Wednesday 6th July 10.30-12.30 or 1.00-3.00
A Taste of Words poetry workshop
Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster
The workshops are suitable for all abilities and will draw inspiration from Kidderminster’s wonderful heritage, including current research from the Weavers Cottages project. At the end of the sessions, participants will be encouraged to work on a piece for inclusion in the final Weavers Cottages open day and celebration events later in the year.
See http://www.weaverscottages.info/Events.htm

POETRY OPEN MIC

Saturday 18th June 1.00-7.00
Hopfest Music Festival
‘Airlock’ family poetry/storytelling tent including poetry open mic
Hopley’s Family Camping, Cleobury Road, Bewdley, Worcs DY12 2QL

http://www.hopfest.co.uk
Email poetry@hopfest.co.uk for details of open mic

Saturday 2nd July
Outdoor performances with Jiggery Spokery at Ledbury Poetry Festival
11.15-1.00 Walled Garden including open mic – sign up on day or email Spokery15@mail.com
Afternoon performances (no open mic): 2.30 Caffe No.21; 3.30 The Muse Cafe; 4.30 The Horseshoe Inn

http://www.poetry-festival.co.uk

 

Worcestershire LitFest & more

This coming Friday, 10th June, sees the start of Worcestershire LitFest. As the outgoing Worcestershire Poet Laureate (yes, the year is up!) I’ve agreed to do 3 performances and a workshop, details of which are summarised in this Worcester News article and appear more fully below. In the same week, I have 3 performances elsewhere so it’s going to be busy!!

Saturday 11th June between 12.00 & 4.00
Jiggery Spokery at Cheltenham Science Festival
Jiggery Spokery Worcs Mus Fest
Street entertainment – details to be announced
See https://twitter.com/heatherwastie for updates

http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science

Tuesday 14th June 7.30pm
City Voices – 15 minute feature, Weaving Yarns poems & songs
Lych Gate Tavern, 44 Queen Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1TX
Admission £2.50 (£1 under 16s)
Contact: simonfletcher58@gmail.com

Wednesday 15th June 7.30pm (doors open 6.00)
Weaving Yarns
Museum of Carpet, Stour Vale Mill, Green Street, Kidderminster DY10 1AZ
Admission £5 including Museum entry

http://museumofcarpet.org
https://worcslitfest.co.uk/programme-tickets-2016/

Thursday 16th June  7.30pm
Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways
The Camp House, Camp Lane, Grimley, Worcs WR2 6LX
https://worcslitfest.co.uk/programme-tickets-2016/
See #idlewomen Midlands tour for more dates

Thursday 16th June 10.30-12.30
Poetry Workshop – Women of WW1
Severn Room, St George’s Hall, Load Street, Bewdley DY12 2EQ
Free to attend but advance booking required

https://worcslitfest.co.uk/programme-tickets-2016/

Saturday 18th June 1.00-7.00
Hopfest Music Festival
‘Airlock’ family poetry/storytelling tent including poetry open mic
Hopley’s Family Camping, Cleobury Road, Bewdley, Worcs DY12 2QL

http://www.hopfest.co.uk
Email poetry@hopfest.co.uk for details of open mic