Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Anyone for tennis?

It’s that time of year again: strawberries, rain, athletic young folk leaping about in whites, and the gentle thwack of balls.  Tennis balls, that is.  Yup, Wimbledon is here again.  Two weeks of joy for tennis fans, two weeks of fuming and searching the tv listings for *anything* that isn’t tennis for those of a less sporting persuasion.  But hey, it is only once a year.

For me, it’s two weeks of bliss that bring back happy memories of perching on Mum’s knee and watching the likes of Ilie Nastase and a young Jimmy Connors on a grainy black and white tv.  These days it’s slightly less of an event, simply because thanks to cable television there’s more chance to catch up with our tennis heroes and heroines week in, week out.  Back then, if you missed the action at Wimbledon, you’d have to wait a whole year before you saw tennis again, with the minor exception of the US Open final.  Not the whole tournament, you understand – just the final.

So, for the next two weeks I may not be at my desk much.  Instead you can find me camped in the living room with a tray of sandwiches, and perhaps a laptop, hooked up to the telly and imbibing tennis intravenously.  As long as it doesn’t rain, of course.  Because Wimbledon is played on grass, the matches have to be stopped if it rains, in case someone slips over and hurts themselves.  This year, the All England Club have gone to vast expense to fit a roof over Centre Court, so that at least one match can continue if the heavens open.  Normally the spectators hate rain because it plays havoc with their viewing schedule.  This year, according to a BBC website survey, 80% actually want it to rain so they can see the new roof in action.

Including me, I’m ashamed to say.


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This is one of my favourite times of year, and I’m posting today, talking about Whitby.

What do I mean, Whitby?


1) A small seaside town and fishing port on the north east coast of Yorkshire, famous for it’s jet.

2) An important medieval abbey. See also St Hilda (Abbess)

3) “a gathering of as many goths as we possibly can get in one place for drinking, bands, partying on top of cliffs all night, posing for tourists, and generally living it up…”

The Abbey is beautiful, and the lovely town very much part of the thing, but when me and mine talk about ‘going to Whitby’, we’re talking about definition #3 – the Whitby Goth Weekend.

Way back in 1994, a bunch of net-goths decided they’d get together, basically to see how many goths they could get in a seaside pub. The answer was about 250, so the next autumn they decided to actually organise things … bands, the bizarre bazaar, club nights, auxiliary extra club nights, fashion shows, sandcastle competitions, art exhibitions, photo dates with the local photography clubs, history walks, charity football matches against the local newspaper….

Add in personal rituals (for me, that includes at least one afternoon’s raid on the Shepherd’s Purse, buying chocolate coffins in Justin’s, catching up with a lot of people who I don’t otherwise get to see, Getting Ready Together, Sexbat’s 80’s night at Laughton’s, a massed cafe breakfast on the final day for the saying of goodbyes, and the totally unofficial not-quite-legal bonfire) and you have a recipe for a very fun, very full, very customisable long weekend.

It’s a gig-come-convention. It’s a festival. It’s a holiday with like minded friends. It’s an invasion (if you squint – local businesses love us, and the crime rate tends to droop when we’re in town), it’s a party, it’s an opportunity to dress up, it’s – it’s a twice-yearly celebration of community.

I’ve not been able to take time off from my day job to go up to Whitby for three years now, and I miss it. I spent one night this week doing a friend’s hair for him – wielding my latch hook to tidy, tighten and adorn the dreads that were barely to his shoulder blades when I first help make them, and are now past his waist – and I’m glad I got to do that, to be at least that little tiny bit involved in this season’s bi-annual migration to the North.

I could probably ramble on for a few thousand words about Whitby, but, in an attempt not to, I’ll stop now, and just ask this: What do you want to know?

As I write this, my email is all aflutter with people doing last minute prep and posting their farewells, and by the time I post it, on Halloween, there will be a seasonal silence on those channels.

I’d raise a pint of snakebite and black to the departed, but mine’s an absinthe and lemonade ;p

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 Step into a world of ancient inspiration with

Calliope, Melpomene, Euterpe,

Erato, Urania, Terpsichore,

Thalia, Polyhymnia and Clio

and come hang out with the Greeks! Blog with the Muse Sisters and you will be entered into a drawing for Songs of the Muses ebooks and other fantastic prizes. Visit all nine muses on their My Space page for a chance to win!

Calliope will be giving away a prize every week during the summer. 

The first prize will be awarded on June 13th. To enter, see Calliope’s  blog for details. All entrants at each contest throughout the summer will be in the running to win the grand prize.




The Muses on Myspace

Terpsichore’s My Space 

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The latest Coming Together charity anthology has been released today. Coming Together: With Pride contains my short hot erotic story Freedom to Serve. It is a m/f BDSM piece that I hope people will enjoy reading. You can read an excerpt of Freedom to Serve here: Be warned however the content is 18+ and therefore not work safe and adults only!

With Pride


Introduction (Will Belegon)
Today (Kally Jo Surbeck)
Raven (James Buchanan)
A Girl’s Best and Earthy Things (Heather Fowler)
Don’t Look Down (Mari Freeman)
Echoes of the Past (Mychael Black
A Brief Discourse… (P.S. Haven
When the Angels Fall (Helen Madden)
Customer Service (Eon de Beaumont)
Nuit Blanche (Giselle Renarde
Western Pleasure (Shanna Germain
Chemistry (Lisabet Sarai
Fire and Ice (Cassie Exline)
An Early Winter Train (C. Sanchez-Garcia)
Selling Foxx (I.M. Cupnjava)
Be Prepared (Storm Grant
Freedom to Serve (Nicole Gestalt)
The Personal Is Political (Jean Roberta)
Past Perfect (Alessia Brio)
About Coming Together
(Alessia Brio)

The author’s involved will not be making any money via royalties for this anthology, instead it will be donated to the charity in question. In this case that charity is AVERT.

The book is available presently from Phaze (ebook $6, print $14) however it will soon also be available from the following places:

PHAZE (ebook & print)
ARe (ebook)
AMAZON (print) & AMAZON (Kindle ebook)
BARNES & NOBLE (print) & BOOKS-A-MILLION (print)

It’s ISBN numbers are:

Ebook: 1-59426-891-6 / 978-1-59426-891-5

Print: 1-59426-892-4 / 978-1-59426-892-2

Buying directly from Phaze will allow the organisers to donate a larger amount to the charity involved since overhead costs are decreased considerably. However wherever you buy it from I hope you will enjoy feeling good about a product that will also be doing some good behind the scenes!

You can find more information from the books homepage here: Coming Together: With Pride

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Blossoms and Bygones: A Little-England Pic-spam

When I moved to Ely in Cambridgeshire it felt as if I’d also moved twenty years back in time. There were no McDonalds. None of the pizza shops delivered. There was even a tiny petrol garage where you had to wait for someone to come out and operate the pump for you.

It was unsettling, but also rather reassuring. Hand in hand with the lack of modern fast food went a community feeling and a tendency for people to stop and chat as you walked down the street. Gradually I got used to it, and forgot that it had ever felt strange.

But this weekend I went to an early Summer Fete in the tiny villages of Haddenham and Aldreth. I went dressed as a Saxon, representing the local attraction ‘West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village,’

where I am one of the ‘friends’; the costumed villagers.

Haddenham and Aldreth were having a themed fete, or at least that’s what their poster proclaimed. It was to be called ‘Blossoms and Bygones’ and to feature Saxons:

A Napoleonic soldier with his family:

An archaeological exhibit about a locally unearthed Saxon chief, (which nobody I spoke to had actually managed to find). Classic cars and traction engines:

Flower stalls, and Daleks.

Don’t ask me where the Daleks fit in with the theme!

But they were wonderful. There was one Old Who Dalek and one New Who Dalek. They shared a single operator who alternated between both, unscrewing the lids, getting in and making them roll about and talk to people. The Old Who Dalek was very indignant to find out that most of the children didn’t think he was a proper Dalek at all. But I thought he was the cuter of the two

Because the two villages were a fair walk apart and the attractions were spread out between both, there was a park and ride. This consisted of a tractor with a trailer attached. The trailer was lined with bales of straw for the passengers to sit on.

The sun shone all day long. The tractor’s stop in Aldreth was just outside the church hall, where they were serving tea and home-made cakes. And it was just across the road from this:

The most picture postcard cottage I’ve ever seen in my life.

As we left, we wound down narrow roads lined with flowering may and passed the Haddenham windmill, which was also open for the day.

Altogether it was like being in an episode of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple – though with less of a body-count.

I was astonished because I had thought this was an England that only lived in idealised memories of pre-war years, yet here it was, still gently going on. I feel very reassured that if I wanted to write a cosy village story of my own, I could still point people at Haddenham and Aldreth and say ‘see, it is realistic! So there!’

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