Folkdays: Rose Lore

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

I’ve been working with roses quite a bit recently, as I’ve been making pigment from rose petals and using them to paint the flowers themselves. They’ve crept into my life in all sorts of other ways, too: I’ve recently written a piece about thorns (and the Anglo-Saxon rune ᚦ, ‘thorn’); meanwhile my research into foraging for a different creative project lead me to look a bit closer at rosehips.

As one might imagine, based on their popularity, roses are steeped in all sorts of lore, from how they were created and how they got their colours, to their meanings and associations. There’s plenty out there to read (as ever, links below); this post will focus on the aspects I find most fascinating!

Continue reading “Folkdays: Rose Lore”

Blog: Rose Petal Pigment


To brighten my small flat during lockdown, my parents brought me over some beautiful bouquets of flowers. I noticed, when the stamens of the lilies began to fall, how they stained any surface they touched a deep russet. I decided then to collect them, and try to use their powder as a natural pigment to paint with. Along with the lilies were so many beautiful roses of different colours: when they began to wilt, I laid their petals out to dry in the sun. I’ve since ground them and experimented in painting with them — read more about it below!

Continue reading “Blog: Rose Petal Pigment”

Folkdays: Rainbows

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

We’re living in a very precarious and frightening moment in time. Looking back through history, humanity has faced moments like this many times before; look through the lens of folklore and myth, and we see that humans have always been able to combat our fear with creativity.

Today, creativity is being revived in a myriad of different ways, as people all over the globe seek an emotional outlet during the various quarantine measures. Here in the UK, the reoccurring motif has become that of the rainbow. Paintings and collages decorate the windows of homes, places of work, and schools; rainbows can be seen everywhere, from roadsides to the virtual platforms online.

Inspired by this, I thought I would take a look into the folklore and myth surrounding the rainbow, and what it has meant for humans and our creativity.

Continue reading “Folkdays: Rainbows”

Folkdays: Cave Art

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

Some weeks, for these Folkdays posts, a topic will reveal itself to me and more-or-less demand to be written about.

That is precisely what happened this week. The phenomenon of prehistoric cave art has been on the peripheries of my mind for a while: a writing residency that I have been working on has led my trail of thought from foraging, to hunter-gatherer communities, to cave art.

At the beginning of this week, the subject came more to the fore, as my family and I watched an fascinating film about cave art. The following morning my partner sent me a link to another, very different but equally inspiring, video on the same subject! It practically asked to be written about, so here it is.

Continue reading “Folkdays: Cave Art”

New Role at Mookychick!

I am so delighted to announce that I am now an Assistant Poetry Editor for the online magazine Mookychick! The magazine centres around themes of womanhood and feminism, literature and art, lifestyle, well-being, and magic, and publishes a variety of things from artwork to reviews, articles to tutorials.

Mookychick is run by a wonderful collective of womxn, and I am so happy to be joining the team. While I work on balancing my own writing alongside my work and studies, I really wanted something to help me feel a little more connected to the poetry world, and put my experience of editing to good use. This new role is precisely what I was seeking, and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!

Folkdays: Hedgehog Lore

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

For the past few evenings, my parents’ patio has been visited by a hedgehog, who appears quite brazenly from out of the undergrowth to feed at the birds’ ground table!

Enticed back night after night with the promise of scraps of corned beef, he has grown increasingly comfortable with us watching him. A patch of white spines on his back has made him quite recognisable, and we’ve named him Beefy, on account of his favourite snack (not to mention his hefty size)!

These nightly visits got me thinking of what folklore there might be surrounding this little creature. Read below to learn more about them.

Continue reading “Folkdays: Hedgehog Lore”

Throwback: Shakespiration

To those that have read the previous ‘throwback’ posts, and followed me on my journey of recounting my poetry journey – thank you! This will be the final post under this thread, and will bring everything up to the modern day, and where I’m at now. In this final chapter, I’ll be focusing on my life in Stratford-upon-Avon: from reading my poetry on the RSC stage, to studying and working in the hometown of the Bard.

Continue reading “Throwback: Shakespiration”

Folkdays: Folktale Openings

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

Come and have a seat. The campfire has been lit, dusk is drawing on, and the golden flames appear ever more vivid as the sky darkens. Somewhere, a blackbird trills his evening song.

Look into the depths of the fire. Perhaps you see blue there too, maybe green? As vivid as a mermaid’s scales. Keep looking, and I’ll begin the story.

‘Once upon a time…’

‘No!’

‘No?’

‘I’ll never tire of hearing your stories, but please, begin them with words other than ‘once upon a time’.’

Continue reading “Folkdays: Folktale Openings”

Throwback: Page to Stage, and Screen

Through these ‘throwback’ posts, I have sought to tell the story of poetry journey, recounting instances beginning with my first ever foray into the form, all the way up to the present day. However, as these posts move into 2018 and 2019, they begin to cover moments that are expressed more thoroughly elsewhere on this site. The full story of Bella can be read on the dedicated page; today’s post will only be short, giving moments of personal insight into my post-publication adventures!

Read more

Folkdays: Bluebells

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

I am blessed to have grown up in an area where bluebell woods abound. At this time of year, the Clent and Walton Hills, Uffmoor and Hagley Woods, and Wychbury Hillfort are carpeted with swathes of this beautiful flower. Though I cannot walk through these indigo seas this year, I found a much-desired stand-in this spring at the Key Hill Cemetery, close to where I live in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Sitting amongst these stunning blooms, even if only for a little while, I really felt at peace. I decided to write about bluebells for this week’s Folkdays post, and share some facts, folklore, and photos of this, the country’s favourite flower.

Continue reading “Folkdays: Bluebells”