Solstice Stories at Story Fridays & Greenlanders at Liars’ League


Great fun at Bath’s Burdall’s Yard reading for Solstice  at Story Fridays. You can listen to my story, Midsummer Morris Marathon and the other stories here.

And here’s the video of Tim reading Greenlanders at Liars’ League. It’s been a busy week!

Kate Foley & Cherry Potts reading at Gay’s the Word – Video


Arachne Press

We had a great evening at Gay’s the Word – thank you to Uli & Jim – and despite Kate’s determination to walk out of shot, we have some video – where it got silly, with just a sleeve on show, there’s audio instead.

Here’s Cherry reading a bit about family from The Dowry Blade, chosen specially to link with Kate’s themes, and not read elsewhere.

and audio of the other section read

Here’s Kate reading a varied selection of poems from The Don’t Touch Garden

Blue Glass, Empty Pram:

Oral History:

My Father Counting Sheep:

The Elephant Aunts:

and here, reading an abridged version of the long title poem.

continued off camera…

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World Premier… my very first tune


Organising Longest Night kept me away from my own blog for a while, but it was completely worth it, not least because it gave me an opportunity to share my first ever musical composition with musicians who would do it justice. Here are Ian Kennedy and Sarah Lloyd singing The Cold Time.

This is a Trobairitz song from the late 12th Century, written by Azalaïs de Porcairagues, in what is now Languedoc. It is written in a form of Provençal known now as Occitan. The tune is lost, and I came across it in Meg Bogin’s book The Women Troubadours, while researching my historical novel about Cathars and Trobairitz, The Cold Time, which I may eventually finish.

I actually wrote the melody a very long time ago, but coming up with harmonies has been a slower process. Ian & Sarah were incredibly patient with me!

I learnt Provençal, and tweaked Bogin’s translation for poetic rhythm and sense. The original song is a much longer work, but only this first section stands alone without understanding the social mores of the time and the geography and architecture of the city of Aurenga (Orange) – it was only when I went there and visited the museum that I understood a reference later in the song to the ‘Arch with the Triumphs’. A Roman triumphal arch, which for several centuries was built into the castle, effectively forming the front door. This was certainly the case when Azalaïs knew the then count,  Raimbaut d’Aurenga. These days the arch sits on a roundabout to the north of the city centre, and getting to it is a death defying race across, dodging massed lorries.

Roman triumphal arch, Orange, Provence
Raimbaut d’Aurenga’s Front Door

Notionally the section here is a typical Troubadour song of the seasons, although Spring was a more popular subject than Winter. However, the song is in fact an extended metaphor and a farewell to Raimbaut, Azalaïs’ ‘Nightingale’. She does not say so, but he had died.

Portrait of the Artist’s Model as a Young Woman at Liars’ League HK


Brad Powers and Saffron Chan reading Portrait… (rather well!) at Liars’ League Hong Kong for True & False.

The What Else in the Water read at Liars’ League Leicester


Eleni is reluctantly accompanying her cousin Jane on a cold morning walk when they find something surprising in the river
read by Sophie Talbot

follow the link toLiars’League Leicester

Three Mermaids


I have a bit of a thing about mermaids. The house is strewn with pictures and even a bit of stained glass.

So recently I wrote about a mermaid in my story The Real McCoy which  has been read at three live literature events by three different actors in under a month.

To celebrate here is the first mermaid picture I bought, which is a print by Fran Slade. Look – there’s three of them!

mermidsand here are links to the readings.

Louisa Gummer at Literary Kitchen Festival

Lin Sagovsky at Liars’ League

and Carrie Cohen at Other Worlds (Brockley Max Festival)

Fascinating the different takes each of them give it!