A fools retreat

Oct 12 2021

These four fools escaped from their lives 

and fled to the country for a sliver of time,

To laugh and to play and to eat and to talk,

and listen and love and learn and walk

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Reflections On Writing

Sep 15 2021

In January 2021, I received a 'Developing Your Creative Practice' (DYCP) grant from Arts Council England, to pay for support, inspiration and time to focus on my writing practice. Having come to the end of this project, here's some reflections about what I've learned.

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Clowning and Covid Update

Sep 06 2021

Here's a little COVID update to let you know where I'm at with the workshops.

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My Facilitation Story Part 2: Going Deeper

Aug 27 2021

As part of designing my new creative facilitation training course, The Well-Held Space, I've been thinking about my own facilitation journey. I already posted Part One: The Early Years, which charts my journey from circus workshop leader to playworker to drama workshop leader to performer-facilitator. This blog picks up where the first one left off.

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My Facilitation Story Part 1: The Early Years

Aug 25 2021

As part of developing my new online facilitation course, The Well-Held Space: Creative Facilitation Training, I've been thinking about my facilitation journey and all the influences that make up my practice. Here is part one, The Early Years; from Arts Play Umbrella to Oily Cart.

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How to surrender: lessons from nature

Jul 29 2021

Hello dear reader, well, have I got some stories for you?! I'm fresh from a soothing and enlivening wild women woodland retreat on the lush green hilly Sharpham Estate in Devon. I've been meandering, river swimming, meditating, moving, singing, chatting, laughing, crying, eating and howling with a pack of incredible women with astonishing stories, under the gentle and powerful guidance of Nina Jankelson and Shoshana Moskowitz.

This blog tells the tale of my solo day and what it taught me about surrender. 

After three days of developing a toolkit of mindfulness techniques, sensory exploration, nature reflection and ritual, each of us were given a packed lunch (yay!) and invited to cross a flowery threshold onto the vibrant, undulating beckoning land, solo, guided by our chosen intention.

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10 Top Facilitation Tips

Jul 27 2021

Haaaaaaahhhhh! What a breath of fresh air to be project-hopping again! Before COVID, my life used to be travelling around the country by train with a suitcase full of red noses, colourful feathers and rubber chickens, as a clown consultant.

As someone who thrives on variety, connection and adventure, you can imagine how delighted I've been for the last 6 weeks, getting to facilitate six different groups, both online and in real life.

I'm now in the process of designing a new three-month creative facilitation training course, called The Well-Held Space. As part of this process, I've been reflecting on my role as facilitator through these six projects. I'd like to share some the things I've learned / remembered about facilitation with you, dear reader, in the hope that it's useful to you.

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Surrendering to creativity, grief and beauty

Apr 20 2021

Trigger warning: miscarriage, grief, swearing

Clear blue sky, warm sun, cool breeze and a cacophony of birdsong. I'm sitting on the balcony of my tiny Holly-sized converted garage apartment on the south coast of Cornwall in the midday sun (I might regret this decision later when I'm lobster red). I rode three trains, a bus and a ferry to get here, to walk and breathe and BE for a week. As I gaze out at the frenzy of blossom, the cornucopia of plump rhododendrons and the swarms of frantic dancing bees, I think, “Oh Fuck Off!”

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Why the red noses?

Mar 15 2021

In the circus I grew up in, we hardly ever used red noses. Our shows were character-driven theatrical performances which integrated circus skills into the narrative. On leaving the circus in my 20's, I carried on performing non-nosed stealth clowning on streets and stages for another decade. I resisted the title of clown, referring to myself instead as a 'character comedienne'. I'd only ever worn a red nose when I was safe behind the closed doors of a clown workshop.

Then in 2009 / 2010, I got a job touring with The Honk Project, a non-verbal, ensemble, red nosed, musical-theatre show. Spending extended periods of time wearing a red nose and not speaking English seemed to give me permission to drop deeper into the state of clown, to trust my clown's logic and let her make the choices

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Mindful Play Reflections and Poems

Mar 01 2021

For the last four weeks, I've been running The Mindful Play Sessions on Zoom, for a carefully selected group of wonder-beings as part of my process of writing a Handbook of Mindful Play for group leaders. This blog offers some of my reflections on the past 4 weeks and a collection of poems capturing the essence of Mindful Play written by the group during the sessions.

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