Monday, 24 October 2011

Anne Bronte's grave and Dracula's port: A trip to Whitby and Scarborough

What was a pleasure jaunt now looks like a bit of a morbid trip in the light of all the graveyards we visited on a recent trip to Whitby and Scarborough. Mike was itching for a celebratory excursion after writing his final exam (the culmination of 6 years of on and off Open Uni studies) and so we tripped off to Scarborough for a glimpse of the sea. 

While the sea front was gaudy in the extreme (Coney Island ice cream parlour anyone?) we stumbled (not quite literally) onto Anne Bronte's grave. Lying in the shade of the castle walls, it seemed rather sad that Anne ended up so far from her sisters, but she at least she had a chance to enjoy the 'unspeakable purity - and freshness of the air'. Saying, 

"There was just enough heat to enhance the value of the breeze, and just enough wind to keep the whole sea in motion, to make the waves come bounding to the shore, foaming and sparkling, as if wild with glee." 

It reminded me of Elizabeth Gaskell's excellent, The Life of Charlotte Bronte, and made me want to read it again for its sympathetic look at the sister's lives. 

In keeping with our horror tinged holiday, the hotel we stayed at was like an alternative set from The Shining, complete with mustard and gold bar room where all the guests met in the evening before dinner. I kept waiting for the waitor to tell Mike he needed to 'correct me'.

Next was Whitby, where Bram Stoker apparently stayed when he wrote about the infamous bloodsucker. Being a bit of a Gothic fantasy fan myself, it was great to mooch around the graveyard at Whitby cathedral and soak up the atmosphere in the town below.

With its numerous 'goth' shops and tea rooms, and its picturesque harbour I would definitely recommend it - especially next weekend on All Hallow's Eve. Who knows what will come crawling out of the grave?

Friday, 7 October 2011

Gig dates for Scarlet Starlings

Well, we're definitely starting October with a bang. Having finally completed the band line up (now that Joe has moved to London - it took him long enough...:) we are now working on the lovely Jen in the hopes that she'll have the ahem...cajone(s) to join us (sorry that was a bit of a muso joke. We want her to play that spanish box drum thing above). 
So for those of you kind souls out there who care to come and share a pint with us (it's free) hop along:

23rd October @ The Bull and Gate in Kentish Town, from 5pm.
We'll be playing in the front room sessions. 

27th October we're performing at a fundraiser for an award winning documentary (we're on the soundtrack)  details TBC. The documentary is by a great and inspirational friend of mine who is featured on the cover of the next issue of New Trespass ( which is not out yet. Watch this space. Actress and filmmaker Michele Hallak has survived cancer and is documenting her journey in a variety on creative ways. Check out her blog:

Plus there is to be a mini fest/private party at the end of the month...

3rd of November sees us performing at the World's End Pub in Finsbury Park...its no wonder our heads are spinning.

Still think we have a bit of work to do in terms of getting everything right and tight but here's hoping we can pull it all off.
To listen to some of our tracks go to

Arts Council grant for Loose Muse!

My lovely friend and a gifted poet, Agnes Meadows has long run Loose Muse, ( monthly event for female performers. Because of the warm and inviting atmosphere, it attracts its share of men - at least to watch. Although Agnes has always said that if any bloke were willing to dress up in a wig and frock she'd be happy to consider 'her'.  Now it looks as though the Arts Council has given her a grant to develop the evening and perhaps create some anthologies each year to showcase the best of the female performers who attend every second Wednesday of the month.

Having hosted some of the evenings myself and thoroughly enjoyed it I'm delighted that Agnes has managed to get the financial support it deserves.