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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Max Likes To Relax....

So Tinie Tempah say's he's never been to Scunthorpe eh? Well more fool him! Check out these "sick" rappers from Brumby Juniors in the town centre. Filmed and produced by Pete.

Rappers from Brumby Juniors (click here to listen)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dasein: being there

I LOVE poetry. I love it because it's the part of my life where I can completely focus on the moment and absorb myself in a passion which fires my mind. It takes me to places I've never been before. As for performance, well it's the icing on the cake; the dream come true; the dog's bollocks.

It's got to a point, for the time being at least, where I'm writing on instinct. For me, it's like letting the thoughts hit the page without first grasping them on a conscious level. I find this really creative because it means I am free and so anything can happen. And so it does; particularly now Pete has joined me with the music.

"Dasein" is a poem we collaborated on and we love performing to ourselves in our little back room in North Lincolnshire when the children are in bed. I sometimes even stick on my one-legged costume for maximum effect.

Whatever turns you on....

New E.P. coming soon!

Sunday, 15 September 2013


This weekend I went to a "Fun Day" in Scunthorpe for foster carers, adopters and their children. It was held in the grounds of a grand Victorian children's home, the only remaining residential home for children in care in the North Lincolnshire area. In a few weeks time it too will close its doors and the handful of children left will move to a smaller purpose-built home.

I took the opportunity to wander around the vacant rooms, the beautiful afternoon sunshine streaming through sash windows overlooking ancients trees and grassland. In vast rooms stood rickety old chairs, a random "Dora the Explorer" plastic keyboard and line upon line of empty filing cabinets; care children come with endless paperwork.

I thought of the hope in those rooms, the dreams and the broken promises of children young and old who'd passed through these doors. Did they ever return to their families or find new ones to go to where they grew to feel safe and secure? Outside I saw some lovely outcomes; children who had been adopted jumping on a bouncy castle laughing with delight; their parents watching on proud and happy. But what about the ones who were left behind?

In my support work with teenagers leaving the care system I've seen this side; the children for whom it didn't work out. Many have experienced trauma, neglect and abuse in their childhoods and so their needs often become complex and their behaviour is challenging. Perhaps they never got the chance to be adopted or foster care didn't work out for them? They just kept moving from place to place chased by the ghosts of their past. Now adults, they don't know what it is to settle; they can't stop because to stop is to think and to think is to hurt.

These young people have had a profound effect on me. Many don't know what it feels like to have some kind of bond with their Mum; perhaps the most fundamental instinct of all? I can empathise with them a bit because, when I was growing up, I didn't live with my Mum. I did see her on a regular basis but it's only in recent years that I feel we've truly connected. It was with this mix of emotions that I sat down at the piano and wrote this...

"Once" by Ruth E Dixon (click to listen)

My Mum

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Stuff Wot I Did This Summer; in no particular order...

I queued up for the David Bowie Exhibition at the V&A and GOT IN!   

I listened to King Krule's new album, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, and read some good books including "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I'm currently reading Julian Cope's biography - what a nutter.

I was gobsmacked on the Hull to Rotterdam ferry when I actually understood someone ask me in german where the lift was coz they wanted to get to Deck 9. Unfortunately I hadn't got a clue where it was.

We continued to forget our dog's addiction to shoe-chewing. This resulted in several trips to "Wynsors World Of Shoes" to purchase replacements. 

I gave up my current role and will soon begin a new job in the Fostering and Adoption Team. I had a lovely leaving do at a pub in Scunthorpe where we ate pie, chips and gravy.

Frank introduced me to lots of naughtily funny stuff on You Tube including "Smack Cam" and It Wasn't Me.

We attempted to play "proper" family games like Scrabble but time seemed to stand so still, we lost the will to live. So we returned to our silly made up games instead; "Lava" being a new one this summer.

I turned 40 and celebrated with a cocktail or two in my back garden whilst dancing the night away. The kids thundered down a huge bouncy slide so they were well happy.

Frank and Connie realised that "Scunthorpe" was written on their passports as their place of birth. When Pete started apologising to them they asked what the problem was? God love them.

My daughter, Connie, got all trendy. Meanwhile I refused to have head shots taken of me (on account of my age)....

....unless I wore dark glasses. I'm not saying I'm vain (much); it's just that being 40 takes some getting used to - not helped by the fact that Frank and Connie now genuinely think I'm "soooo old".

I spent a lot of time waiting for children (refer to above) as they played. It's a Mum thing. I'm probably thinking here:- "When can I get back to my Julian Cope book and his next crazy LSD-fuelled gig?".

I learned that Julian Cope invented a game called "Sock" whilst touring America. It involved putting a sock on your head then climbing out of the van window (whilst the van is in motion); hauling yourself over the roof and arriving back through the opposite window. As I say, nutter.

Pete and I wrote a couple of new poems with music and promised we'd come up with a third before school starts. We have but hours left.

I got my eyebrows tinted by, it turns out, "the trainee" and she left the dye on too long. Ginger hair and black eyebrows is some look I can tell you.

We visited the lovely Dutch university town of "Leiden". Unfortunately we couldn't carry the street art home; much as we tried.

Finally, I discovered that it's not always black and white:- I've previously been firmly in the Anti-Camping camp. The reason being that Camping and Vaginas Do Not Blend. However, there is a middle ground:- the wonderful world of Glamping!
Summer 2013:- DONE