The pandemic has pushed us to find new ways of staying connected, and to explore new kinds of creativity. Here are a couple I’ve been involved with:
I have done a series of zoom interviews for the National Women’s Register, each with a woman who has found her way to a remarkable creative life, often after a long time doing other things.
- Music For Dogs – Carol A Caffrey, Irish actress and poet, talks about returning to creativity later in life & performing Paula Meehan’s one-woman play
- Story Cafe – Wendy Kirk talks about running a read-aloud group in the Women’s Library in Glasgow’s East End & how she balances work with raising two children
- Be an Angel – Pauline Prior-Pitt, poet and artist reads from her collection of poems about women’s lives & talks about life as an artist in the Outer Hebrides
- Poetry Breakfasts and more – Anna Dreda, founder of the Wenlock Poetry Festival, talks about running an independent bookshop & encouraging a community of local poets
- ‘Our Lives’ – Mary Simpson, teacher of English to adults, talks about what she has learnt from her students, and supporting people to write their own stories
- Food, Poverty & Children – Anna Taylor, director of the Food Foundation, shares her story of campaigning to ensure children are not hungry.
National Women’s Register
I’m the patron of this great organisation. It started 60 years ago to “connect women who are interested in everything and talk about anything!” Members meet in local groups across the UK. Each group decides its own programme of events or topics to explore – stimulating, serious or just fun. They’re open and welcoming – women moving to a new town have found a way to get to know others through a local NWR group. Some groups have been going for years and members have supported each other through many life changes. In the last year they’ve put on a fantastic programme of on-line talks and activities. To find out more go to: https://www.nwr.org.uk/join-nwr
Thinking about children and parents stuck at home while schools were closed, I got together on zoom with 3 of my grandchildren and 3 others aged between 11 and 14, to plan a magazine to publish things by children about what they’re doing. They came up with the ideas of what could go into it, put together some starter pieces of their own, and wrote an invitation to other children to contribute. My designer friend Becky Joynt created a great website for it. I told people I knew who have children or grandchildren, and people I met (socially distanced) on my daily lockdown walks, and gradually an amazing range of contributions emerged.
The magazine is still up there, if you’d like to take a look. And still inspiring!