Leigh on Sea News

Sleepless in SS9

Readers, I've been suffering from insomnia. Well, it's been a weird one. I've been able to GET to sleep, but then my neighbours go to bed directly above us and they have the creakiest floorboards known to mankind

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Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Palace Theatre begins with a sparse set of distressed walls and decayed decor, and we go straight into dialogue that's, of course, Oscar Wilde - so it's peppy, zingy and immediately compelling

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An evening at Create98

Many of you reading this will already have seen Create98 on the Broadway; a creative space that hosts a multitude of workshops from painting and crochet to poetry and cooking.

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Southend Subcultures

At the weekend I visited the Subcultures exhibition at Southend's Beecroft Gallery, part of the brilliant Southend Museums. A collection of photography, fashion and memorabilia, it charts Southend's subcultures past and present, from mods and punks to teddy boys, goths, and more recent scenes like Junk Club. 

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The power of stories

Last week, Jo and I were invited to perform at True Stories Live at Norwich Arts Centre, a night of (yes you've guessed it) true storytelling. 

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Bulbs, buds, and badgers

Well, dear readers, the badgers are back. Last year I spent a small fortune creating a fortress in my garden and lo, the stripey crims of Leigh-on-Sea are back and causing havoc!

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On balance

Well, January is almost over and well done to all of you that have resisted the temptation to drink booze as part of Dry January. 

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Bleak beauty

Hello, readers, and a Happy New Year to you! I hope you are rested, full of good intentions, and enjoying cocktails which I miss because I'm doing Dry Jan.

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Review: Wreath making workshop at Scent

Damp moss, mince pies, and a buzz of anticipation... Last week my colleagues, assorted colleague-mums and I all squished into Scent florist in Leigh after work to get festively crafty. 

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Get happy

The cynics among you will joke about Leigh being voted 'Happiest Place to Live' by property website Rightmove, but I can't help but like the fact we've been given the accolade. 

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Endings, and new beginnings

Our baby is fifteen years old. No, you're not going mad. My wife and I haven't been hiding a secret child from you all for the past decade and a half. Sundown Arts, the arts organisation that we both run, is 15 this week.

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Dropping the C bomb

It's happening, isn't it?

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Clay Club and Craft Market

I've had such a Leigh-on-Sea week, dear friends. Last week I attended Clay Club in The Old Foundry, or what used to be The Lynn Tait Gallery. 

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Exploding in the distance

Sunday night. It was cold - not bone-chilling proper winter cold, but still chilly. We were in layers. So many layers - leggings under my jeans, big socks under my boots, a top AND a jumper AND my big coat and scarf. Woolly hat, my Mum's hand crocheted fingerless gloves.

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Halloween lols

I was reading an article on the history of trick-or-treating (hey, it's Halloween week) and it stated that "The British hate Halloween." It read "In 2006, a survey found that over half of British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween...

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Feminist stories

Last week I was invited to perform at a feminist storytelling night at Metal in Chalkwell Park, and I thought long and hard about what to read. 

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On autumn

I love this time of year. It was always my favourite. It makes me think of You've Got Mail, when Tom Hanks' Joe Fox says to his mystery email-romance (Meg Ryan's Kathleen Kelly) "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

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Matt Abbott spoken word show in Southend

On Thursday 11 October, poet Matt Abbott is coming to Southend to bring a five-star show to Twenty One Gallery in collaboration with local organisation Sundown Arts.

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Badger woes

My previous knowledge of badgers was previously exclusively a) kids TV shows of my childhood (Animals of Farthing Wood / Bodger & Badger) and b) a surreal conversation about badgers and the Bronte sisters both having TB in a brilliant scene in I'm Alan Partridge ("Heathcliff, pang! Then he really would be 'wuthering'."). Until now...

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Elastic weekend

Time is weird. For example, some mornings I get up, do yoga, have a shower, do my hair and make up, make breakfast, get dressed, check Twitter, and saunter out of the door feeling great about life.

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