I am a writer and dance/movement practitioner, living in Leeds, Yorkshire. I teach movement and creative writing at West Yorkshire Playhouse – and I am at present very involved with two exciting projects: Heydays – a dynamic programme for older people, and Our Time – groundbreaking creative work for people with dementia and those who support them. For the Every Third Minute Festival 2018, I have co-written a short play, ‘A Horse Called Freedom, with a woman living with dementia. Despite public perception, this work is surprisingly poetic and uplifting.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, I write freelance features for the Guardian, Psychologies Magazine and Femail, and have published three books. The first, way back in 1986, was Flowers in Hell, an investigation into women and crime. The second, A Handful of Earth, came out in 2007. This was a diary of grief and recovery in the garden. (For five years I was garden correspondent for On:Yorkshire magazine, and now write for them online, regularly reviewing books and covering all things green and arty!) My most recent book, Old Dog, was published in 2013, and is about the exceptional bond between dogs and humans – in particular, one special mongrel called Muffin. I am also a linguist, am studying Hungarian – very hard language, wonderful country – and love singing, travelling to Eastern Europe, and messing about in my garden. I’ve just joined a ukulele band which is quite delightful.Communication is really important to me – in words, in movement, in voice. So having a blog gives me the chance to write, informally, sporadically, enthusiastically, whenever I choose, about whatever I like…And maybe someone will read it too!
‘A Handful of Earth’ (John Murray)
‘Old Dog’ (Simon and Schuster)