The Antagonist

28/03/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘The Antagonist’ by Ms Paige Turner
I know the UK is heading for a Snow Filled Easter and has had a basin of it but Cape Town would welcome a few handfuls. When the North West wind, that harbinger of rain blows through, Cape Townians clap their hands and are happy. Lack of Water was the antagonist at Fish Hoek Scribblers last week but the Brits know that Snow can stop all play and work.
I’m looking forward to tackling the same topic at the Amersham evening workshop on Wednesday 25th April. You can email me for details but I think Catherine Klyhn is saying we are full, as is my final Creative Ink term at the Fitzwilliams Centre this summer. But I am not retiring and am available for workshops and ‘Red Lipstick’ presentations!
Happy Easter Bunnies – may the sun shine on the UK and rain in Cape Town.

Busy in Bourne End

24/02/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Busy in Bourne End’ by Ms Paige Turner
The people in Bourne End are so community minded. There was a great turn out for my perf of ‘Red Lipstick and Revelations’ yesterday at Bourne End library. This was assisted by four former Creative Inkers who have seen the perf before but came to support and encouraged me that the presentation is developing. So thanks to Pamela Mintner who followed my text faithfully (and said I did). It’s always good to have the actual books on show in the audience. To John Moore, who has seen the perf I think three times now and reviewed a number of Creative Ink for Actors’ performances. Added to this he is one of my three blog readers. To Richard Candy, who brought along a posse of lovely people and to Chris Johnson who brought along a life sized stuffed wolf. I tried to get the wolf into the perf but will cover wolves with Fish Hoek Scribblers next month when we examine antagonists.
These are the details for my next UK perf of ‘Red Lipstick’:Words for the Wounded LitFest – Guest Speaker – Saturday 21st April 2018, Downley Community Centre, Downley, High Wycombe HP13 5TR.
My next perf in the Land of No Water (Cape Town) is next month in Scarborough, Cape Town.
Creative Ink classes for the summer and my final term is full with a waiting list. Let me know if you have attended Creative Ink classes and would like to come to my Farewell Fitzwilliams Drinks Potty – just after midday on Tuesday 22nd May, Room 1.
This is not a retirement. I continue with one off workshops, editing and one to one consultations and of course my ‘Red Lipstick’ perfs. My website is still maintained beautifully by Mr Red Hat whom Mr Justin Case I met with his lovely husband last week. If you would like Mr Red Hat’s contact details for a superb looking website just email me.

Creative Ink for Writers’ Summer and Final Term 2018

11/02/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

Creative Ink for Writers’ Summer and Final Term at the Fitzwilliams Centre 2018 – Blog 182 by Ms Paige Turner

I’m touched that this course was fully subscribed as soon as enrolments opened last week. A number of former Creative Inkers have enrolled and I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy the term’s theme: ‘Beginning with Endings and Ending with Beginnings’. I wanted to let go of these courses which I have been running for 18 consecutive years when I still absolutely loved what I am doing.
I will still be available for any workshops. Catherine Klyhn runs my evening workshops. I will still be available for one to one consultations and editing. I will still be available for performances of my ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ collection. Mr Red Hat (an eternal friend) will still manage this website for me.
Present and former Creative Inkers are invited to a glass and some nibbles just after midday on Tuesday 22nd May, Room 2, the Fitzwilliams Centre.
You can get me reading and talking about the Gerrards Cross Poetry competition on Wycombe Sound Catch Up/Afternoons with Amanda. I croaked right the way through as I was on the tail end of something like bronchitis or internationally unknown flu. But I didn’t cough once …

Some Dates for Your Diary

28/01/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

Some Dates for Your Diary by Ms Paige Turner
Forthcoming perfs:
This Thursday 1st February – Wycombe Sound Radio at 2.00 pm.
Friday 23rd February – Bourne End Library – 10.30 – midday – free entry
Wednesday 28th March – Off the Wall Poets, Scarborough, Cape Town
Saturday 21st April – Words for the Wounded LitFest – Guest Speaker Downley Community Centre, Downley, High Wycombe HP13 5TR.
Saturday 26th May – Gerrards Cross Library – Gerrards Cross Poetry Competition Prize Giving and Performance. Details of entry on

Gerrards Cross Poetry Competition which I have been invited to judge.

Under 13s – an acrostic poem using a Shakespearian Character’s name. The letters of the name begin each line. Example:

Home Thoughts from an Inebriate Fairy Abroad by Jan Moran Neil (Using the word ‘London’)

London, London, you are like fine wines,
Oh how can I decant thee in eight lines?
Niftily have I fairied in the dark,
Dancing spirit and body in Regent’s Park.
Oh your magic to distil bereft I am
Now I’m bottled plonk in Amersham.

P.S. It’s Beaconsfield really, but it didn’t rhyme.

Over 13s and adults – a Shakespearian or Petrarchan sonnet which must include the name of a Shakespearian character.
Submissions open Thursday 8th February and closes Monday 23rd April.

Not Fizzing in Bucks

20/01/2018 // by Jan Moran Neil

Not Fizzing in Bucks by Ms Paige Turner

I’m sorry my three blog readers that this bi-monthly is a week late but I have had an internationally unknown flu virus. This means that for the past ten days I have been feeding myself on a diet of clementines and daytime television. Oh, my. I now know about the new 8 pronged cancer test, Prince William and Theresa May’s new haircuts, Her Royal Huggable Princess Megan Markle and how anyone with any sense simply hates President Trump who is not coming here shortly. My head is a mass of myriad global facts and Vitamin C. I just wish the latter would reach my body parts but I seem to be turning a corner.
Anyhow, on the daytime television theme I saw that Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz is skating on that Sunday night ice that Philip and Holly are compering. For those of you who don’t know about ‘Good Morning’ that starts at 10.30 am every weekday, these are two of the daytime special’s presenters. What do Cheryl Baker and I have in common? Well, we were both part of girl, boy quartet singing bands in the eighties. Yes, three blog readers I sang for my supper singing Abba songs and jumped up and down as much as Cheryl Baker did earning much less per jump than she.
Well, she’s still jumping. Readers, she is 63 and skating on ice. For the past ten days I have taken my stairs very, very carefully. I’ve had difficulty breathing but none so much as I watched Ms Baker spinning around on thin ice. I think I’ll stick to my writing classes but I guess I had better watch myself and my flu as I go round that corner.
There’s still a couple of places left on the Creative Ink ‘Cities and Synchronicity’ Tuesday morning course at the Fitzwilliams Centre this term.
I will be performing ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ at Bourne End Library on Friday 23rd February for a bit of Post Valentine slash of red at 10.30 am. Free Entry.

What is Christmas?

22/12/2017 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘What is Christmas?’ by Ms Paige Turner
Catherine Klyhn has been organising evening workshops at her home or at local venues which I tutor quarterly for a number of years. The Christmas workshop is always a fun thing. (I don’t know how Catherine manages to provide the copious wine and nibbles inclusively on the fee she charges.) However, she introduced me to Alexa on this last workshop and I asked Alexa all sorts of questions during the evening.
At the end of the jolly evening I asked Alexa what was Christmas. Without hesitation she replied, ‘BBC Radio 4’. ?
Happy BBC Radio 4.
Creative Ink classes at the Fitzwilliams Centre, Beaconsfield begin on Tuesday 9th January for 5 weeks and the course is running but has four places left. Email me.
Also the ‘Get that book’ arrangement has some places.
For evening workshops throughout 2018 email me.

‘In Search of the Holy Teddy Bear’

16/12/2017 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘In Search of the Holy Teddy Bear’ by Ms Paige Turner
When I was three years old I went to the London Palladium with my mother, sister and her friend. This is important: that my elder sister and her friend came too. My mother was approached in the foyer and asked, as I was the youngest member of the audience (ah …) would she allow me to go on stage and push the arrow on ‘Beat the Clock’. (This was a quiz game where contestants had to perform a task in 60 seconds.) I was told that I would receive a lovely gift for spinning the arrow on the huge clock.
The compere – I think it may well have been Bruce Forsyth – asked for a special little helper from the audience to come up and assist the Quiz Game and an usher came to our seats to guide me up to the stage. I flatly refused. I remember it well. The usher said, ‘Your sister can come up too’. I shook my head. ‘Your sister’s friend can come also.’ No way, Hosay. The usher then asked the woman in front of our row whose daughter I was reliably told later was four. (I’m not quite sure how my mother was privy to this information but the child’s mother said, ‘You’re going up’.) That four year old received the hugest teddy bear you could ever imagine. I cried all the way home. My mother gave me my reliable miniature ted. But I’m afraid I didn’t want him.
Did that experience set me on my stage path? Did it make me face the spotlight when I just wanted to flee? I do know that not being able to get to my performing stage cuts me to my emotional core quick. I had to cancel two performances in the eighties when I was touring with my Ruddles Theatre Company due to snow. This last week I had to cancel Egham WI for the same reason. And I felt showered with lack of teddy bears. But wind me up and I’m still trying to beat the clock.
Creative Ink classes at the Fitzwilliams Centre, Beaconsfield begin on Tuesday 9th January for 5 weeks and the course is running but has four places left. Email me.
Also the ‘Get that book’ arrangement has some places.

Living for a Thousand Years or More …

05/12/2017 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Living for a 1000 years or more …’ by Ms Paige Turner

Heather Smith is the chairman of Abbeyfield Residential Home in Gerrards Cross and an old friend. No, she’s not old but I’ve known Heather since I started teaching Creative Writing in Beaconsfield thirty years ago. How time flies and fugits. Heather has done the most amazing illustrations for the annual anthology ‘Rhyme & Reason’ in aid of the Iain Rennie Hospice and she also penned the illustrations for my ‘Serving Bluebird Pie’ collection seventeen years ago. Time fugits again.
Heather invited me to go and do one of my ‘Red Lipstick’ perfs at Abbeyfield. It was truly a delight. There was I in my red dress, with red tablecloths and my Red Lipsticks performing in front of a red Christmas tree. Some of the twelve residents bought copies of ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ as Christmas presents. (I suggested pairing it with an Estee Lauder lipstick – what a great gift – Estee Lauder do the best of lipsticks.) At the end when the overhead Christmas lights were switched on in preparation for the Brownies’ visit I suddenly realised that I had performed to a small group whose total of life years came to over a thousand. Vivienne had started the proceedings by beginning to beautifully recite the poem ‘Nicholas Nye’. Neither she nor any of us knew who had written it. The group are light years from Google but I was able to do so this morning. Beautiful ‘Nicholas Nye’ was written by Walter de la Mare:
‘More than a score of donkey’s years
He had been since he was foaled.’
It’s worth a read …
Creative Ink classes at the Fitzwilliams Centre, Beaconsfield begin on Tuesday 9th January for 5 weeks and the course is running but has some places left. Email me.
Also the ‘Get that book’ arrangement has some places.

Oh Very Young – Blog 177

26/11/2017 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Oh Very Young’ – Blog 177 by Ms Paige Turner
I’m back from Cape Town where I enjoyed doing three performances: readings from my poetry collection ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’. Mr Justin Case and I also enjoyed the company in our swallow drop’s last ten days of our daughter: Miss Trial and Maddie Lil, our granddaughter. (Our son-in-law Master Mind had to stay home to earn money for the lollipops.) We didn’t enjoy having our flight cancelled on Tuesday night and waiting for another twenty four hours to get home to Black Week.
Maddie Lil was born on Black Friday one year ago – or rather as we like to say Thanksgiving as we are truly grateful for her sunny presence. When they both arrived in Cape Town we had already booked to go see Cat Stevens at Kirstenbosch, attended by five thousand people on Remembrance evening. Cat Stevens filled the seventies for me and I was honoured to write a minor biography of him for Reader’s Digest some years ago. Cat, Steven or Yusuf (he converted to Islam) is older now but the remnants of the Greek god that he was were still there.
I couldn’t help thinking of his ‘Oh Very Young’ song yesterday at Maddie Lil’s first birthday party. Cat Stevens’ songs are much like TS Eliot’s poetry to me. I understand little but I hardly care. The words give me something. Cat and Maddie have given me bundles.
Creative Ink classes at the Fitzwilliams Centre, Beaconsfield begin on Tuesday 9th January for 5 weeks and the course is running but has some places left. Email me.
Also the ‘Get that book’ arrangement has some places.