Brighton Festival draws to a close and the highlight this year was the Festival Fringe's Relight My Fire,a transgenerational extravaganza from CircusSeen and Poi Passion troupe. On a warm summer Sunday evening the show began with a joyous performance by the children of Worthing's very own circus school (including my seven year old daughter and her brilliant friends). They treated us to a choreographed routine showcasing their talents in hula hooping, tight rope walking, poi spinning, juggling, staff twirling and even unicycling. The audience was delighted and I beamed with pride. The success of the show was testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved - the CircusSeen team are truly inspirational!
As the sun went down Poi Passion's dazzling fire spectacular began. The crowd was thrilled by their skill and ease in dancing with flaming fiery hula hoops, spinning burning poi, and their energetic routines using fire fans and flaring staffs. The finale saw the dancers stepping out into a wall of fire. I have never seen anything like it and neither had my 72-year-old mum! Everyone should try to get to see them at least once. They gave us a show of blazing brilliance.
I've finished sewing some book bags and lavender bags intended for relatives in Germany - my mother is planning a trip there and wanted to give them some idiosyncratically British gifts. The vast quantities of Union Jack merchandise currently on sale in these parts didn't quite seem appropriate, so I went for an English Afternoon Tea theme instead. I found some pretty teacup print fabric by Clarke & Clarke in a local furnishing fabric shop and used 'Everything Stops for Tea' motto ribbon as a trimming (The Ribbon Reel has a great selection of trims).
My aunts and cousin are expert and exacting needleworkers, so fingers crossed that these gifts to them pass muster!
Where do all the cool and creative people in Worthing go? On a Tuesday morning you'll find them at Meet and Make, a free weekly craft and coffee drop-in. Set up by two of Worthing's savviest women Nicky Fijalkowska and Chi Chi Revolver, in three short months it has become a hub for the town's crafting community. All forms of stitchery and handicrafts are welcome, and procrastinators are positively encouraged to bring along garments needing repair and a bit of TLC.
The venue for this splendid meet up is our town's best independent cafe Mooey's Mocha Shop which sadly is forced to close at the end of the month. The owners Danny and Linzi Harrocks have done so much to create a lovely, welcoming environment (as well as serving delicious food and damn fine coffee) and as a result Mooey's became a magnet for the great and the good of the town. We're heartbroken at the cafe's demise - there's no where else like it. But rest assured Meet and Make will continue and is currently in negotiation with a forward-thinking seafront establishment - watch this space.
Great news as our new venue has just been confirmed! Starting Tuesday 12th June 2012 our weekly meets will be held at Coast Cafe on Worthing seafront (at Splashpoint, east of the Pier), from 10.00am to 12noon. Our last two meet ups at Mooey's will be on 22nd May and 29th May.
I've added a new tribe of handmade monster toys to my Etsy shop. These beasties are a little bit smaller and a perhaps even a little bit cuter than the first lot. They're made from vintage fabrics and I think the barkcloth ones are especially covetable. A couple are in the same fabrics as two of my ukulele tote bags - also on sale now in the shop.
This week I invented a spoof political party. I've been left feeling perplexed and disappointed by the poor campaigning efforts of candidates in my area in the run up to our UK local elections. I live in a traditionally safe Conservative ward and it seems that the general air of apathy and complacency the (non) voting public are so often accused of by politicians has gripped our local opposition parties too.
I was baffled by the lack-lustre campaign of the second most popular party in my ward, the Liberal Democrats, whose bland slogans and empty promises were combined with bad typography and pitiful media presentation (by a candidate who doesn't even live in the area) and I'm infuriated by the absence of any attempt to mount a campaign at all by Labour and the Green party.
So, on impulse, believing I could do a better presentational and rallying call than any of them (and with just 48 hours to go until voting day) I decided to express my feelings by inventing The Ukulele Party. I spent an evening designing the website and set up a Twitter account.
I did this in a mischievous spirit because it amused me and because I thought it would make my ukulele loving friends laugh. What happened next was a surprise as the blog attracted a steady stream of visitors throughout the day and at the time of writing the site has had hundreds of visits from all around the world. People tracked me down via Twitter and have sent messages of encouragement, support and even offers to join their political parties. It's made me realise that there is a demand for a real alternative party in Worthing and convinced me to get properly involved in a real campaign next time round.
You probably won't see a candidate for The Ukulele Party on the roll for the next general election, but then again, stranger things have happened in politics. www.ukuleleparty.co.uk