Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Be more Kate

A few weeks ago I was in the privileged position of being at one of Kate Bush's concerts. My husband being a forever fan had managed to secure tickets for us. I didn't realise just how privileged until the night of the concert. Don't get me wrong, I like Kate Bush and have enjoyed many of her songs. 'Cloudbusting' and 'Running up that Hill' are long time favourites of mine. I was looking forward to seeing her in the same way I've looked forward to other artists. However, I had no idea of the impact of attending this particular concert. It did something to me. It moved me. I would even go so far as to say it changed my life.

How can a concert possibly change your life you may wonder. The thing that came across so fiercely for me was the honesty in Kate and her music. She came on stage and it felt like I was listening to the one and only concert she was ever going to give. It felt like the first time and the last time even though I knew she was giving the same concert at the same time the next day.

Her on-stage presence was spiritual, warm, trusting and surreal. She was humble and thankful for the fact that we 'the audience' were there and she smiled so often I was reminded of the Cheshire Cat. She was eccentric yet adorable because of it. She totally owned the show and herself. She made no excuses. She was authentic and completely congruent. These qualities sprung forth from her and I stood in the rays of her energy and let myself get soaked from head to toe.

The show was wonderfully theatrical. I'd deliberately not read any reviews so it would be fresh to me. And fresh it was, completely unlike anything else I'd ever experienced. I was surprised, thrilled, excited, unsure of what might come next. I found myself falling into it, within moments moved to tears and somewhere within it, I found part of myself. A tiny piece that had been forgotten, but was now awoken and eager for attention. At times, it was like I was in a dream, some sort of trance. Kate was the White Rabbit and I tumbled down the rabbit hole eager to follow wherever she wanted to take me - deep into this storybook fairy tale world of hers. I wanted to remain there forever and for this performance never to end.

Leaving the performance, I travelled back through London with other concert goers. We were all blown away, people for once happy to chat on the tube about what they'd experienced. I almost didn't want to talk about it - as if doing so would make it less real and disssolve it in some way.

Since the concert, her songs continue to worm their way into my head. I find myself quietly humming the first few bars or singing the chorus of one of her songs. Kate has hypnotised me in some way I'm sure.

And what have I taken from this experience. As I writer, I want to apply this level of honesty and authenticity to my own work. I want to be more Kate. I want to write things that will engage my audience in the same way - to take their hands and lead them somewhere that they never wish to return from. When I look at my work and I'm struggling for what to say next, I want to be more Kate. I want to own my creativity and my life in the way she does. I want to twirl and sparkle and smile at others. I want to work it so that you feel I've given you everything.

I want to be more Kate.

Monday, 8 September 2014

A little piece of bliss in the city

I'm sure you'll agree that finding a little piece of calm and quiet space in any city can be hard. And finding a space to sit and read, perhaps even more difficult. So it gave me great pleasure to find this delightful space in amongst the shops and cafes in Seven Dials in London. It's called the Seven Dials Book Exchange and of course I wanted to share it with you, just in case you're in need of a book and a sit down which if you're reading this, I'm sure will be the case.

It does what it says on the tin. You turn up with a book you no longer want and add it to the collection and then take a book from the shelf that you'd like to read. Sounds a nice idea and yes, you say, there are lots of places that do that. But not all of them provide you with some comfy sofas and vintage chairs and a place to relax and read your new book.

OK - now we're talking, but it gets even better than that. If you really want some peace and quiet, they even have their very own private reading rooms, where you can lock the door and completely immerse yourself in the joy of reading and away from the crowds outside.

See I told you it was good. I'm sure they wouldn't be adverse to you doing some writing while you were there too.

And when you're done with reading and you need sustenance, you can wander up the street to The Timber Yard for coffee, tea and all sorts of yummy loveliness.

Here's what we had for breakfast - Porridge with Bananas and honey and coffee of course!

I'm definitely putting Seven Dials on my 'return to when in London next time' list.

I think it could be my new best favourite place.