Monday, 30 January 2012

Before I get old

I've just discovered The Who - a great beat combo who I'm sure will do well.

They're no youngsters either - which makes me wonder if they're still saying: 'I hope I die before I get old'.

As I slip into my middle years, faded and frayed as a well-worn pair of jim-jams, I begin to accept that perhaps it is a little too late to be an angry young thing, 'a promising young novelist' or indeed a 'girl'.

My mum once said to me with a creak of bones (it was a while ago, she's perked up since): 'Never grow old, never grow old.'

It was a mixed sort of message really.

Then I remembered this cracking version of My Generation - it's a couple of years old now, but I love, love, love it and had to share it with you.  Sorry I'm not allowed to embed it here... you'll have to go all the way over to YouTube for it... and I bet there isn't a bus!

Saturday, 28 January 2012


My first published story of the year is a wee one.

It's not quite as wee as the 6-word stories I wrote about in this post but at Twitter-length of 140 characters, Nanoism's stories aren't exactly verbose. But they still have the power to say more than they say.

My story is HERE.

Friday, 27 January 2012


I don't know what you call them, but we call them 'blurbs'. You know - those little quotes on the back (or inside) cover of your book saying how great it is/ you are.

I don't have a book (yet!) but I made some pamphlets of my poetry to flog at gigs, back in the days before I had any real blurbs to put on it, so I had to make do with this one from my mum:

"I think these poems are great - but I know nothing about poetry and I am her mother."
Mrs Kirwan

Since then I have twisted a few arms, nicked the odd sound bite from publicity for things I've been at.
But I was very chuffed to be described - by a follower of this blog if I recall correctly- as "Roger McGough in bra"

Other comments from here I could use if necessary:
"I don't care how many other zombie Santa poems might be out there, this has got to be the best."

"She has better legs than John Noakes" (I have no recollection of how the comparison came about)

Which somehow sounds better than a gig organiser who said: "Clare's massive body of work is funny, profound, thought provoking and moving."   I think it's the fact that it starts with my 'massive body' that put me off that one.

Sometimes, I confess, I have touted for blurbs to help promote myself to potential gig organisers. My old mate David Bateman, who's well thought of on 'the circuit' came up with the completely unhelpful: "Strangely good." I suppose it could have been worse: "Good, strangely."

What's the best line you've had to describe YOU? Don't be shy now!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

(Not) seeing the light


Where were we?  Ah yes, I was saying about how I'd emerged from my winter nest back into Blogland.

I was a little premature.


Actually, I've had a big stinky cold, which put me off my stride just as I was feeling perkier. *coughs weekly*

But this is not a picture of what I've been snotting into my hanky.

Oh no.

But I'm feeling better now and cheered up by these remarkable pictures of aurora borealis, visible 'in the north' the last few nights -  but not here, proving that Merseyside is not as northern as some southerners think.

These images were taken in Scandanavia and Alaska - for a 'Wow!' moment, try doing a search of 'aurura borealis' pics.

Go on.

So what makes aurora borealis?  Not a clue... I start glazing over when it comes to star gazing.  But Astro Bob will tell you if you pop over there.

I was just going to add seeing it to the old bucket list, but find it is already there! Doh!

And if you're reading this from the southern hemisphere, don't feel left out. This last pic is Aurora Australis - the Southern Lights - as seen from South Australia in 2001.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Hibernation over?

I fear I have been remiss in my blogging - but who can blame a girl for a little hibernation at this time of year?

After all, I had fattened myself up, lowered my body temperature, plumped up the duvet.

Having said that I've actually been rather busy in my nest - the book, the play (oh, didn't I mention the play yet? I'll come back to that presently).

And I did foray out yesterday because it was very lovely and I thought I may need some more nuts (metaphorically speaking).  Here is proof that it is spring already and I shall be frolicking in the green fields of the blogosphere before you know it.


Hillbark House in Royden Park - where Wayne Rooney had
his wedding reception, but otherwise quite respectable

Thursday, 5 January 2012

National Libraries Day

Doh!  OK, so it was National Libraries Day yesterday and I'm now overdue a post... I'll probably get a 12p fine.

If I'd written this yesterday I would have exhorted you to visit your local library forthwith to celebrate the last no-strings, useful, free stuff available to the general public... but local readers would have complained because traditionally most of the libraries in Wirral are closed on a Wednesday.

National Libraries Day is always on a Wednesday and hence is not very big in Wirral - that's why I never hear about it.  I wouldn't have heard about it now but for Twitter, which also helped create one of my favourite posts about libraries I did when I first started: 'Why there are so many songs about librarians'*

The library in both pictures is not the one I work in.  It is the stunning Strahov Library in Prague, which I visited last year - you can see more than I did by taking this 'virtual tour' ... and if the pictures whet your appetite, there are many more gorgeous library pics at Beautiful Libraries. No drooling, please!

* Caution, dreadful pun alert


OOOPS! Just discovered National Libraries Day is 4th FEBRUARY!! I'm not a day late, I'm a month early!! As you were... *grumbles: 'Bloody Twitter'*