The United Kingdom is a fusion of four old countries that have fought wars together and with others. It has had kings, princes, invaders, usurpers, pretenders, bishops, priests and parliamentarians who have fought among themselves. Going back into archaeological time and pre-history and even in legend there have been conflicts of people and ideas of which we know little. No wonder that the country is littered with old castles, battlefields, abbeys, forts and earthworks. [Read more…] about Ruins, what to Do with ’em?
Every photograph we take, every show we present, or every song and hymn that we sing, we bring inspiration, creativity and joy to the community. Our artists have taken risks. They have brought us wonder and beauty of nature.
The joy of reading includes the discovery of genres new to you, leading to a wealth of new stories to enjoy. I have just finished reading my first graphic novel – Blood and Valour by Matt Beames (story), Marcus Pullen (art) and Guy Stauber (covers).
[Read more…] about Blood and Valour: Comic Book Review – Allison Symes
I went to see a West End theatre production recently. But I didn’t have to travel to London or pay a small fortune for my ticket; it was at Thornden Hall and the ticket was only £15.
This was one of the National Theatre Live productions – live theatre beamed to cinemas around the country. [Read more…] about West End Theatre in our own Backyard
I love interviewing authors and reading interviews in publications like Writing Magazine. There is always something to learn from how other writers work.
One interesting comment about my recent joy of radio post came from Chippy when he discussed Desert Island Discs and felt it was a good show because it wasn’t just about people plugging things. The best interviews are those that encourage the interviewee to reveal more about what motivates them.
Late last year, I was interviewed by fellow writer, Jacci Gooding. I thought I would share some of the interview here and discuss what I liked about the questions. It is an interesting experience being on the other side of the fence.
I love radio. I rarely watch TV these days. It has to be something special to make me turn the box on and that’s usually a Doctor Who!
(And yes I am sorry Peter Capaldi is going – I’ve liked an older Doctor being in charge of the Tardis. That’s nothing against David Tennant, Matt Smith of Christopher Ecclestone, all of whom were great, but for a Time Lord meant to be over 900 years old, having an older actor playing the role fits). [Read more…] about The Wonderful World of Radio by Allison Symes
Spring is here. Do check our Upcoming Events Chandler’s Ford page to find out more about local events. If you would like your events included, please send your posters and details to Chandler’s Ford Today via email or Twitter.
(We’ll do our best to include events, but unfortunately we can’t promise we’ll be able to publish everything you send due to our workload.) [Read more…] about Chandler’s Ford: Spring and Summer Events 2017
I am thrilled to announce my debut flash fiction collection, From Light to Dark and Back Again, has now been published by Chapeltown Books. It is available in paperback and in Kindle format via Amazon and, of course, directly from me but more on that later.
The stories range from 100 words tales to 500 words to 750 and there are one or two which just creep in as flash fiction, being just under the 1000 words limit. This is generally recognized as the cutting off point between flash and standard short story lengths. [Read more…] about Published – My Debut Flash Fiction Collection
I’m not total philistine; I have read some of the classic novels. However, Treasure Island is on the list of the many that I haven’t. So I was doubly excited to go to see Thornden’s Schools’ production of Treasure Island on Friday (10 February). Partly to top up my “blagger’s guide to the classics”, but mainly for the chance to see another of the school’s productions. [Read more…] about Review: Treasure Island by Thornden School
JANE AUSTEN FESTIVAL AND THE SARAH SIDDONS FAN CLUB
One of my favourite authors is going to have a Festival in Southampton in 2017 thanks to the Sarah Siddons Fan Club winning a Heritage Lottery Grant to co-ordinate such an event. [Read more…] about In the Footsteps of Jane Austen and Sarah Siddons by Allison Symes
I went to see the Chameleons’ production of the pantomime, Robin Hood, on Thursday January 26th. The production was excellent and the pantomime had all the key ingredients you’d expect.
Humour, topical jokes (at the expense of D.J. Trump Esq), songs (sung with gusto and great enjoyment) and a wonderful story. There was the “oh no we won’t” moment from the audience and the usual dressing up of women as men (though not the other way round as well here). Robin was actually a man in this production! (And played by the excellent Paul Jones who got into the traditional thigh slapping with considerable enthusiasm). [Read more…] about Robin Hood and the Chameleons – Review by Allison Symes
My post last week was all about Classic Books but the problem with this topic is it will be inevitably biased towards fiction. Tonight’s post will redress the balance.
I look at why reading non-fiction widely is vital for fiction writers (as well as being a great thing to do given it widens your reading “diet” and general knowledge). [Read more…] about Fiction -v- Non-Fiction? No Contest!
Name a classic book from any genre, any period, any author. I’m willing to bet certain names and stories cropped up in your thoughts immediately. If there was an all-time list, entries would include Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Bronte, and Hardy. I’d be surprised if many, if not all of these authors, were not on your bookshelves somewhere. [Read more…] about What Makes a Classic Book
One of the great joys of writing for Chandler’s Ford Today (and in reading it too) continues to be the wide variety of topics it covers. It’s only due to CFT that I found out about the Road to Agincourt Project and, due to my love of history, started writing about it.
I’ve particularly liked The Story Shuffle Project and the Sir Bevis of Hampton posts as the first is a phenomenally good idea to get kids involved in creative writing and a local legend. The second post was, of course, all about that local legend. [Read more…] about Introducing Guy Stauber – Marvel at Sir Bevis Comic
One of my favourite post-Christmas traditions is to ride on the Watercress Line between Alresford and Alton just after the end of the Santa specials and before New Year.
My family used the Santa specials years ago when my son was younger and the present given was always a good one. The downside is these Santa trains are very popular and booking early is a must (not a downside from the Watercress Line’s viewpoint of course) but now my son is older, we can avoid all that! The post-Christmas trains are also busy but not to the same extent and booking is generally not necessary. [Read more…] about Review the Watercress Line
Review of 2016
(not quite a poem)
You gave me Vice-Captaincy,
coffee with friends,
massages, the gym, weight loss.
You gave me a published poem
about a girl in white socks. [Read more…] about Review of 2016 – by Sandra Gordon
I thought I’d finish for this year with some light-hearted seasonal limericks and flash fiction pieces. Hope you enjoy them.
I also hope you had plenty of books (in print or electronically) for Christmas and you are happily working your way through them! [Read more…] about Seasonal Limericks and Flash Fiction
“It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas” – well, it certainly is for the 380 people who went to “A Swing-Along Christmas” concert presented by the Thornden Community Wind Band with their special guests The Spitfire Sisters on Friday evening. This was a wonderful concert and a fine introduction to the week before Christmas.
[Read more…] about Thornden Community Wind Band Christmas Concert
Yesterday, we went to see the Mummers street play in Otterbourne, Hampshire.
It is a very old and traditional folk play and depicts King George slaying the dragon, Turkish knights and other adversaries. It was good fun to watch and the costumes were very colourful. [Read more…] about Otterbourne Mummers: Traditional Mummers Play in Otterbourne, Christmas 2016
I attended the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in St. Boniface (CofE) Church this evening. The church was packed. Superbly directed by Dr. Hugh Benham, the carol service certainly defines Christmas musically for Chandler’s Ford.
(If you missed the carol service this year, try not to miss it next year. Trust me, you won’t regret it.) [Read more…] about Review: Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at St. Boniface Church 2016
Christmas is, for authors and publishers, the most important time of the year for selling books and is a major lifeline for our bookshops.
With so few independent bookshops around now, it is nice to be able to share news of one that is not only continuing to do well but is also stocking local author Richard Hardie’s Young Adult novels, Leap of Faith and Trouble With Swords.
[Read more…] about Local Author News: Richard Hardie