The Last Bank Holiday of the Year, August 2017.  #holiday #Hastings #beach #festival #music #Boyzone #weekend

What better way to spend the bank holiday weekend than down on a British beach, with summery British weather & a wild mix of British people all having a thoroughly good time. Everyone entertained by Hastings Old Town, spending their English pound and speaking in their English tongue, turning pink and trying new things. Watching and observing, or taking part and letting go.

The weekend started with a big Boyzone concert on Hastings Pier. Ronan Keating and fellow Irish lyrical lads were singing till late, out at sea, under an orange moon and far from the madding crowd. Girls were ecstatically happy, the boyfriends were less-than pleased.

Safe parties on the beach, picnics, swimming, sailing, church-bells, wrapped fish and chips to individual tapas, it can be original or fancy, working classy to posh and arty.

Everyone is welcome.

By next week this pebbly beach will be a desert, not from stones to sand but from lots of people to very few. But it won’t be long before we can fish out and dish out a new festival, The Seafood and Wine Weekend, in 3 weeks, for example: the celebration of British wine and seafood; a feasting festival, with plenty of live music and tipsy-ness.

Wherever you are in Britain, I hope you’re taking full advantage of the last, long bank holiday of the year. It is still summer, despite an early crop of apples, signifying a shift into autumn.

Hastings is merely a stone’s throw away from London… lots of things have happened since 1066…

http://www.katebarnwell.com

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Pirates & Piracy #pirates #Hastings #records #drummers 

Piracy in Hastings Old Town has become a mid-July, summer celebration and each year, along buccaneer mile, a little variation keeps it ever-exciting and wildly entertaining. Pirates from all over the country, county, cities and o’er the seas come to revel and rollick.
This year includes, ‘The Tigers’ free-fall parachuting, and landing on the end of Hastings pier; fierce and feisty drummers – Section 5; drinking gin before 11am; beards, parrots and real wooden legs; the creation of the largest pirate flag in the world on the beach and filmed from air; drinking whisky after 11am and everything else onwards; dancing and a full pirate orchestra performing Pirates of the Caribbean music as well as folk band, The Pyrates from Holland, and ‘light’ Opera (Pirates of Penzance); Jack Sparrow and entourage in drunken swagger parading along the seafront. He really looks like Johnny Depp.

Arrrgh…a jolly good time had by all!’

Please take note Hastings features in The Guinness Book of Records for the most recorded pirates in one place … that’s 14,231 Pirates.  I was one of them.


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Pirates party before pub refreshments.

Star Movies, under the stars, on Hastings Pier #hastingspier #cinema #movies #films #outdoors #summer #weekends #stars

Hastings Pier is happy to announce three summer weekends of classic cinema, as voted by the general public; “you asked, we listened!” was their mantra. So it’s time to look forward to these all-time favourite movies with family and friends and enjoy their iconic lines and lyrics, on the Pier, just as the sun goes down, the sky turns black and one by one the stars appear.

The first weekend is May: 26/27/28.

I’m booked in for Back To The Future, “Great Scot!” “save the clock tower!” “You made a time-machine out of a deLorean!” “where we’re goin’ we don’t need roads!”

Then comes ‘the unsinkable’ Titanic, “take a deep breath, jump!” Hmm this will be a chilly night, as the tide rolls in and the waves crash against the steel girders, and you hug your dearest and offer her your life-jacket; “women and children first.” Over a hundred years later it’s a struggle to find a man who’ll hold open a door for you.

Then it’s song and dance time with Mamma Mia “does your mother know that you’re out?” Here’s a film to really let your hair down; serious and un-fun people, keep away or be warned, Dad may do his dance…

Moving into June 15/16/17.

Hastings can’t resist a pirate, so Pirates of The Caribbean – The Curse of Black Pearl will be sailing onto our shores; dressing up is essential, although some people won’t need to, they are gifted with the pirate look.

The cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show follows next, actor Tim Curry turns transvestite; and then action-packed men-in-the-air, Top Gun, flies in, with the adrenaline-boosting, “the need for speed.”

And finally July 20/21/22.

The dinosaurs are coming as Jurassic Park opens its doors and lets you in. Buckle up and smile at the T-Rex, he’s got lots of teeth to eat you with. And that scream will echo as far as France; we do like to keep them guessing.

Then comes Quadrophenia: mods and rockers clash in a ‘coastal’ town.

Last but not least comes Grease (hopefully no atmospheric lightening). John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John bring their summer lovin’ into town, to warm those ‘chills that are multiplying.’

Well you’d ‘better shape up’ and get along to one of these cinema events. Tickets don’t buy themselves, there’s a great time to be had and once again Hastings Pier has the right touch. Weather cannot be promised, but an unforgettable night is assured.

Walk the prom, see you on the Pier!

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Kate Barnwell, Lyrical HIP http://www.hastingsindependentpress.co.uk

A pea-green boat, a runcible spoon & a lot of nonsense #EdwardLear #poetry #limericks #London #May #nonsense #morals

Poet, Edward Lear, was born in London of Danish ancestry on 12th May, 1812. 
His ‘Book of Nonsense’ was published anonymously in 1846 and holds his most famous poem ‘The Owl & The Pussy-cat’ as well as over 100 limericks.

From the age of six he suffered from epilepsy and asthma. Despite being a sufferer he was still able to write creatively with a unique humour and to decorate his rhymes with fanciful illustrations.

His favourite nonsense word which was his own ‘sweet’ (‘they took some honey and plenty of money’) creation was ‘runcible spoon’ from ‘The Owl & The Pussy-cat.’  The word runcible appeared many times in his writing, defining different objects.

runcible cat’ 

runcible hat’

runcible goose’

As I tap away, scribing this tidy little blog, my iPad already dislikes the word, runcible, stating firmly ‘No replacement found.’ 

Moral 1: don’t let computers say to you, ‘wrong word, stupid.’ How are we to produce anything new, weird and beyond the ordinary?

Moral 2: don’t let being a sufferer stop you from branching out beyond the ordinary and making something work for you.

Since the 1920s dictionaries have come to define the term ‘runcible spoon’ as a fork-like utensil with two broad prongs and one sharp curved prong. 

A grapefruit spoon? A pickles or hors d’oeuvres spoon? Whatever your social habits, Edward Lear created spectacular vernacular.

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Lyrical Writer http://www.hastingsindependentpress.co.uk

Cliffhangers #books #cliffs #EastSussex #NationalTrust #reading #adventures #cliffhangers

Are you on the edge of your seat with a good book?

May I recommend: The Case of Aleister Stratton‘ by K.G.V. Barnwell 

http://www.aleisterstratton.com

http://www.katebarnwell.com

Also available worldwide on Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com

The photo below shows The Seven Sisters of East Sussex, the white Chalk cliffs of the Sussex Downs. The landscape, seascape and cliffs-scape are all protected and proud sculptures of British culture. The crumbly bright white cliffs are chunky slabs of cheese sandwiched between two beautiful blues: the shimmering sea and the celestial sky.

All the people look so small, even those long reflections on the rocks below, bottom right.

You make recognise this view from a National Trust calendar or from the film ‘Atonement

Best to find your cliffhanger in a book and view these cliffs from a safe spot.

Happy reading, happy adventures.

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Highlighting the Highlife in Hastings  #Hastings #Battle #1066 #celebration #October #fireworks #bonfires #parades

From the 8th to 16th October 2016 the Old Town of Hastings, East Sussex is celebrating & commemorating the great Battle of Hastings that took place 950 years ago exactly on 14th October 1066.  

There will be two enormous parades:

1. Come dressed as an Anglo-Saxon or a Norman warrior and join the fight for a feisty procession. Friendly weapons of the 11th century variety allowed.

2. Fire breathers, bonfire societies, and drummers join forces to light the East Cliff beacon and rumble through the old town wielding burning torchlights, culminating in a gigantic 🔥Bonfire on the beach, and a spectacular 💥 Fireworks display above the black skies of the English Channel (perhaps even visible from France over 20 miles away).

Also…. 1,066 people will be taking on the 17 mile foot race following the 1066 country walk from Pevensey (where King William landed) to Battle (site of his famous victory).

This 950th anniversary will be an eye-popping (sorry King Harold) momentous occasion – its been sitting in the calendar waiting to explode onto the scene for many-a-year. 

Now we’re warming up because here it comes and Hastings Old Town (the most extraordinary place in the world) has it completely covered. 

Prepare to be amazed at what a town can do!

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Hare & Hawthorn have it! #books #bookshops #poetry #story #Hastings #local #AleisterStratton #EastSussex #history #hare

It is with great pleasure I now happily announce that my two poetry books, Poems & Lyrics, and Ever Truly Yours and my short story novella: The Case of Aleister Stratton (special, signed pre-release copies) are now available to buy in a lovely, local bookshop and bindery in Hastings Old Town, ‘Hare & Hawthorn.’ A unique little shop with beautifully bound new and old classic books, illustrated paper, mugs and pens all chosen and selected to the owner’s taste. This special, individual shop is found down one of the many twisted alleyways in one of the oldest towns in Great Britain.

Hastings of East Sussex, known as the 1066 county, celebrates its 950th anniversary in October, 2016. It is wonderful to be part of its fabric of history.

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Check out… ‘The Case of Aleister Stratton’ http://www.aleisterstratton.com

Drumming up support #RNLI #charities #lifeboats #pirates #Hastings #Shakespeare #TheTempest #parades #drummers 

In this photo The Drumskull pirate drummers are drumming inside the Hastings Lifeboat Harbour Building (RNLI Hastings. Saving lives at sea since 1858). The echo of the beating drums is defiant; a pounding and thunderous roll.

A small sense of irony in that pirates are raising money for lifeboats, but what a wonderful thing! Hats off to anyone and everyone who raises and contributes money for charities big and small.

William Shakespeare is said to have derived some of the inspiration for his play, ‘The Tempest’ from a shipwreck that began on this day in 1609, as described by Silvester Jourdan, “… we were taken with a most sharpe and cruell storme upon the five and twentieth day of July, Anno 1609, which did separate us from the residue of our fleet…”

Luckily for the crew, on their way to Virginia, they fell upon ‘the islands of Barmudas’ where they remained for 9 months, ‘fruitful and inchanted.’

Back in 2016 it’s time to enjoy the summer season whether on the English coast or abroad or maybe some exotic island.  

Remember to pop a bit of money in a charity box; a few savings.

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Swings and Roundabouts #HastingsPier #seaside #beach #summer #May #concerts #cinema #funfair

This carousel (see photo) is particularly special, it has a new and permanent home on Hastings Pier, East Sussex, also known as the ‘1066‘ county, in England.
The original pier was built in 1872; it was the marvellous work of architect genius Eugenius (yes, real name) Birch using the screw-pile technique, an engineering feat of Victorian proportion. It has weathered many storms and given immeasurable joy to the town and to seaside visitors; pier promenading being a classic attraction.
In 2010 a fire destroyed many parts of the pier, but now after 6 years of strong community spirit and sheer determination, and a good deal of cash…donated by the townspeople and matched by the National Lottery Fund (no government grants were given)… the pier is back for the future in 21st century fashion offering a new kind of ‘fun’fair.
There is an open-air cinema, presenting the original films ‘Jaws‘ & ‘Star Wars‘ – perfect for out at sea and under the stars.

There is a sold-out ‘Madness‘ concert mid-May; if not booked on the pier you’ll be able to rock about on the beach and for miles around.

From 10am – 10pm you can eat, drink and be merry; ride, swing and relax; dance, dawdle and stroll. 

The People’s Pleasure Pier of Hastings 2016 awaits…roll up and roll on summer!
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Thumbs up: New release on YouTube  #poetry #TobiasMenzies #YouTube #video

Hello, Greetings and new News

I have just released a Poetry Video on YouTube, a lovely one minute, calming piece.

The poem is ‘Wanderings’ by me, Kate Barnwell and it is beautifully read by actor Tobias Menzies, whose birthday – quite incidentally – it happens to be today: 7th March.  

Tobias is currently performing at The Almeida Theatre, London in Chekov’s ‘Uncle Vanya’ and in the BBC John Le Carre drama, ‘The Night Manager’ (if you are in America, or outside the UK look out for this fantastic 6 part series of espionage, intrigue, plots and swirling locations).

Congratulations all round.

The poem was recorded at Essential Music Studios in Soho, London and features in my second collection book:

 ‘Ever Truly Yours – Reflections on Love’.

It is also available to hear and view in the POEMS section http://www.katebarnwell.com alongside other read works and one other video, ‘In Fields’.

I appreciate the kind comments that have come my way, particularly in a world so competitive, critical, sarcastic and cruel, should it choose to be so. Lovely people unite!

On a happy note follow the LINK


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January Joy comes flowing in #January #poetry #England #NewYear #quotes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Continued from yesterday…

Poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, ‘I Stood on a Tower’ (1865)

‘Seas at my feet were flowing,

Waves on the shingle pouring,

Old year roaring and blowing,

And New Year blowing and roaring.’

Tennyson wrote to his lifelong friend and poetry editor, Francis Turner Palgrave:

“What a season! The wind is roaring here like thunder and all my holly trees are rolling. Indeed, we have had whole weeks of wind.” 

Here we are in January 2016, 150 years later, a new wind whips up the waves, stirs a restless sea and rustles the senses.

‘The gulls to the sky, went soaring

The waves, heavily churned, came falling

Whipped to the tip, spilt on the beach

A hundred horizons for us to seek

Today, tomorrow as the days flow

Bathe thousands of places for us to go

At home, for rest, we safely stay, until

The leaning winds send us far away

And just like birds, who leave awhile

We’ll each return to our worlds and smile.’

KB, 2015/16
Take the first week of January calmly: ‘J‘ for Jolly, for Joy, for enJoyment.
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Fancy a swim? #NewYear #Lifeboats #charity #sea

On New Year’s Day, precisely 3 weeks today, the 1st of the bright 2016 Year falling on a Friday, hearty Hastings folk like to take a New Year sea dip (this is when I show my London side and profusely refuse to remove even a sock).

All in good faith and despite the sign below, bathing takes place, money is raised, and a donation to the ‘Lifeboats’ (RNLI) charity is given.

Everyone makes a brief, but splendidly supportive effort, a swig of whisky is included, warm towels lie in wait and enthusiastic cheers abound.

I recall one member of the party covering himself in organic goose fat “to lock in the heat” … 

“Yes, but when did a goose ever swim in the sea? Incidentally does a goose cluck or quack? If the fat doesn’t work, try feathers instead!”

It will be interesting to see who turns up this year for the swim, I’ll wait for the warm Caribbean and a cold piña colada …perhaps…perhaps…perhaps…

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Scarves, coats, gloves, hats, Sea Fever and Lines for Winter  #December #poetry #poets #Winter #sea

Welcome to December.  

If you are living on Earth, in the northern hemisphere of a temperate climate disposition then this is most definitely a Winter month.

And the wind, rain, grey, dull temperatures, and lack of light confirms it…. 

Sunrise 07:38 Sunset 15:55

‘Tell yourself 

as it gets cold and grey falls from the air

that you will go on

walking, hearing

the same tune no matter where 

you find yourself – 

inside the dome of dark

or under the cracking white

of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow…’

From ‘Lines for Winter’ by Mark Strand (US Poet Laureate from 1990-91)

Poetry, in many forms, can bring a lot of light into your ‘darkened’ world.

A source of comfort and pleasure, on your own or openly with friends and family…start choosing a ‘party piece’ to share this Christmas.

In other news…

Leigh Hunt’s ‘Young Poets’ published 1st December 1816, named John Keats as one of three “young aspirants … who promise to revive Nature and put a new spirit of youth into everything.”

On 1st December 1902, the poet John Masefield was not hopeful the book, ‘Salt Water Ballads,’ which features his most popular poem ‘Sea Fever’, would sell.

He wrote: “they are a rough and tumble lot of ballads dealing with life at sea and drunken sailors…not much romance about them.”

The 500 copies were sold out by the end of the year (ie. a month later).  

Find your Winter Spirit and Keep Warm!

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Standing up for Taking Time #quotes #poetry #leisure

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” Words of wisdom and reflection from The Beatle Mr John Lennon.

Busy people in a busy world, all staring at their computers and phones, are not watching the world go by, but letting the world pass them by.
To stand, and to stare costs nothing at all, yet the rewards are great gifts to humanity. The simple, inexpensive pastime pleasures are even better shared and smiled at with someone special.

Reading this poem by W.H.Davies,‘Leisure,’ I could not miss out a couplet of it, he says it all so perfectly…

What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Find your inner beauty…Start standing, staring and caring Today!

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Day and Night #Equinox #poetry #time

The 23rd September 2015 is the date of the Autumnal Equinox, when day and night are of equal length.
In Hastings, East Sussex the sunrise is 06.45 and the sunset 18.55.
Drive 59 miles north to central London and the sunrise is 06.48, the sunset 18.58.
At night the moon is half full, by day we are struggling for sunshine; there is a grey light by which to live, however today is purposefully bright and sunny!

By small degrees every day is altered, although we can never tell these slight variations. In a week from now the days will be shorter and the nights longer and on occasion this will be noticeably more defined.
Whether you are enjoying a totally absorbing life or finding each day harder and more complicated, remember to take things as they come, all things pass…

All things pass
A sunrise does not last all morning
All things pass
A cloudburst does not last all day
All things pass

What always changes?

Earth… Sky… Thunder…
Mountain… Water…
Wind… Fire … Lake

Theses change
And if they do not last

Do man’s visions last?
Do man’s illusions?

Take things as they come

All things pass

All Things Pass
Lao-Tzu (6th century BC, translated by Timothy Leary 1920-1996)

This may be a poem, a prayer, a statement, a short speech, or even a personal prescription.
Whatever it may be, it is essential communication: the means by which all things pass.

‘I must go down to the seas again’

On departing London’s Charing Cross by train to Hastings, East Sussex who cannot help but think of this compelling line ‘I must go down to the seas again…!’
How lovely – a deep breath of salty sea air, a wet breeze, some dozy clouds & the tide tirelessly lapping on the beach. The seashore is a timeless, evocative & ancient old place to cast off your woes & to make new wishes.
John Masefield’s (1st June 1878- 12th May 1967) poem ‘Sea Fever’ captures every worldly imagination of the seas – ‘a grey mist on the sea’s face’ ‘the white clouds flying’ ‘the flung spray’ ‘the blown spume’ ‘the call of the running tide’ ‘the seagulls crying.’ This poem is every schoolboy’s favourite & every grown man’s old romance.
On our Island nation ‘Sea Fever’ is all around us – get out, see it and live these lines!