The wrong word!

I write a tiny poem, decide to share it in a blog, spend ages writing a description of the tiny poem for the blog, agonise over one word in the tiny poem, find the perfect word, tell myself to stop dithering, post the poem, immediately look again at the poem and add a comma and a full stop, chide myself for concentrating so hard on one word that I neglected the punctuation. Go to a meeting, come back from the meeting, look at the tiny poem, see the word in all its dullness and think No! After all that hunting through the thesaurus, being sure I had it, I chose the wrong word! Another much better word pops straight into my head. I’m cautious this time. Has this new word been sent to fool me into a false sense of security? Wait. Do something else. Look again at the tiny poem. Have a meal. Look again at the tiny poem. Go to bed thinking, if I still like the new word tomorrow, it’s in. Next day, edit the tiny poem (about sausages, for goodness sake!) to include the new word. 

Is it really that important? Yes it is. The tiny poem is no masterpiece, but I will not leave it languishing with the wrong word. In fact the first word I chose was ‘languish’, which then became ‘beefy’. If you really care about my tiny poem and the difference one word can make, you could go back and look at the shiny new word. You may think Pah! Why did she bother? You may not look at all, having far better things to do, or you may be a poet who knows exactly what I’ve been going through.

Free range sausages

Free range sausages

My haiku about sausages was inspired by a conversation in a pub restaurant. On the menu were ‘free range sausages’, conjuring up images of happy little sausages growing up in relative freedom before ending up on a dinner plate. One of our party had a poetic description of how he likes his gravy, hence this:

Free range sausages,
bullish on mash, with descent-
controlled gravy.

© Heather Wastie

I’ve got lots of performances coming up. Here’s a link to my DIARY which, as I type, needs updating so you’ll have to look past the old dates!



Absent Ginsberg Now Available

My contributor copy of Absent Ginsberg arrived in the post today. The ebook went straight to No.1 on Kindle. It’s a lovely inviting book and, having read a few of the poems, I’m really looking forward to getting to know it better.

A Swift Exit

41Ipl6HatvL (1)We are thrilled to announce that the books are now live on both the Amazon Kindle site and on Amazon Marketplace for the physical book.

Physical Book

eBook here

Copies for UK contributors have been posted out today and overseas contributors will be posted out tomorrow.

In the meantime, a cup of tea and a Jammy Dodger seems like a good way to relax.

If you would like to buy from us directly, the cost is:

£7.99 + £1.50 postage (£9.49 total) (UK and Europe) or

£7.99 + £4.75 postage outside of Europe. (£12.74 total)

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#idlewomen autumn tour news!

I’m delighted to announce that ABNB Boat Brokerage will be supporting Alarum Theatre’s Autumn tour of Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways!

September 16 Tour flyer.inddSeptember 16 Tour flyer.indd

Wednesday 7th Sept – 7.30pm • Garden of Camp House Inn, Grimley, WR2 6LX, 01905 640288 – In association with The Worcestershire Literary Festival & Fringe

Saturday 10th Sept – 7.30pm • The Windlass Cafe and Restaurant, Stourport, DY13 9EN, 01299 871742 – In association with Stourport Heritage Open Days, Stourport Canal Basin

Thursday 15th Sept – 7.30pm • The Folly Inn, Napton on the Hill, CV47 8NZ, 01926 815185

Friday 23rd Sept – 7.30pm • The Wildside Activity Centre, Wolverhampton, WV6 0HA, 01902 572240

Sunday 25th Sept – 1.30pm • Wolverhampton Boat Club, Codsall, Wolverhampton, WV8 1RS, 07977 101411

Friday 30th Sept – 7.30pm • Theatre in the Dock, Tooley’s Boatyard, Banbury, OX16 2PQ, 01295 272917

* Saturday 1st Oct – 2.30pm • Theatre in the Dock matinee, Tooley’s Boatyard, Banbury, OX16 2PQ, 01295 272 917
– Includes a wartime tea!

* Mon 28th & Tues 29th Nov – 7.30pm • The Rosemary Branch Theatre, Hoxton, N1 3DT, 020 7704 6665

* indicates a ticketed event (see for details) otherwise free entry with donations to support the artists


Photos from our Summer Tour:


Didn't they have a lovely time at The Bonded Warehouse 29 June 2016

Weaver’s Cottages an inspiration 

Today I took advantage of a free-to-attend Open Day at the Weaver’s Cottages in Kidderminster, as inspiration for the song-cycle I’m writing about the history of the cottages. The site manager took us up to roof level to see tiles of clay and slate highlighting the fact that the cottages were not all built at the same time. Craftsmen demonstrated and described the making of bricks, wall plates etc and we were able to speak to the project director and volunteers. Everyone spoke with passion and enthusiasm and brought aspects of the cottages’ history to life. A walking talk by Melvyn Thompson, always an inspiration, then took us to the Museum of Carpet where more information was available.

The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust is doing an excellent job, not just with the building work but also with its programme of events to engage and inform the public. I’m delighted to have been commissioned by the Trust to write songs which will be sung for the first time at free workshops in Kidderminster on 16th August 11.00-1.00 and 2.00-4.00. You’re invited to take part! See to find out more.


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

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.



Kate & Heather, Cookley, Staffs & Worcs Canal