Reinvigorating the life of a great Victorian artist

September 15, 2014

I spent an inspiring day Saturday at the Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey at day one of the Gallery’s Heritage Open Days. The Gallery celebrates the work of the artist G.F. Watts and his wife Mary but other artists’ work is also displayed.

Watts Gallery taken in August 2012
The Watts Gallery taken on a previous visit in August 2013

Watts’ nearby home, “Limnerslease”, and his adjoining studios are about to be renovated and I felt privileged to take part in the House, Studio and gallery tours.

Watts House and StudioLimnerslease and adjoining studio

Watts made his living mainly from his portrait work but alongside these produced some ground making paintings such as Hope (a reproduction of this was reputably kept in his cell by Nelson Mandela) and the Minotaur (currently on loan to the Watts Gallery from the Tate). He was meticulous and some of his most paintings took over thirty years to complete. I could identify with this as I am still working on a novel I started in the early 1970s. The Watts Gallery is well worth the visit. Details can be found on their website at:

http://www.wattsgallery.org.uk.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press


Providing entertainment and quality writing

September 7, 2014

Peatmore Press was originally setup to provide entertainment, information and quality writing. Unfortunately, the information aspect of this mission statement has been taken too generally as we are receiving many comments asking about website development and computing. I am afraid our expertise in this area is extremely limited as we concentrate solely on promoting writing and hopefully provide entertainment along the way.

We welcome the comments we get about writing (particularly our writing) and try to answer most of them. Please address your technical questions about websites, blogs and computers elsewhere (you will probably get a better and more accurate reply if you simply type such questions into Google) and note that the word “information” has been removed from the mission statement on the Peatmore Press home page at:

http://peatmore.com


What’s in a name

August 19, 2014

Peatmore Press has just released a second ebook short story collection as a follow up to Crime and Passion. C&P brought together two writing styles, one dark and one light that also manifested itself in the first two Peatmore novels, Cogrill’s Mill and Victim of Compromise, and because of this two different pen names were used. This was always going to be difficult to sustain with the second short story collection particularly as it encompassed just one central theme, namely that of starting over. Thus it was decided that the new book would be put out under my real name and the title New Beginnings.

This does not mean that the names Jack Lindsey and Luke Johnson will no longer be used. There is a third Jack Lindsey novel, written in the same light vein as the previous two, currently in the planning stage.

NBcover

New Beginnings by Keith Jahans is available on the Amazon Kindle Store and as an Apple ibook on the iTunes Store via the Peatmore Press website at http://www.peatmore.com


Travels in Southern England

August 14, 2014

14 August 2014

Yesterday I took the 1 minute tent to Dorset and camped at a small, very basic site at Owermoigne. In the morning I visited Weymouth once more as I had fond memories of the town when I visited it in June. It has one of the best public libraries I have encountered. Because of the free wifi access I was able to work unhindered for most of the morning and I donated a copy of the Peatmore Press novel, Victim of Compromise, to show my appreciation.

Weymouth LibraryWeymouth Libray

In the afternoon I visited the Cider Museum, which is a short distance from the campsite. There I gave the friendly owners three copies of Cogrill’s Mill to sell as the novel’s central character makes his own widely praised cider and it would be interesting to see how the books would sell in their farm shop. I also bought a litre of their dry cider. Unfortunately, I was unable to connect to the Internet at the campsite so I was not able to post my blog.

Mill House Cider PressInside Mill House Cider Museum

This morning I heard the sound of Thunder and the weather forecast was for heavy rain so I broke camp (I’m sure it would just have taken the required minute to take down the tent if I did not have to wipe away the moisture from the overnight rain and due) and packed the car.

Minute Tent at OwermoigneMinute Tent in Owermoigne (just before it was taken down)

Before I set off I returned to the Cider Museum and bought another litre of their tasty dry cider and some home made marmalade (I’m very partial to the stuff). I was pleasantly proud to find that Cogrill’s Mill was on display in their book section. They hold open days in the autumn so it will be good to visit there again when one is in progress. Information about the Cider Museum can be obtained from their website at www.millhousecider.com.

On the way back to Surrey I stopped off at Bournemouth Public Library and donated a copy of Victim of Compromise. It seemed only right that they should have one seeing that a small part of the action takes place in the town. I was also pleased to find it yet another excellent library with very helpful staff, great internet access and an excellent place to study. Please support our British Public Libraries their contribution to our culture cannot be measured. It will be a tragedy if many are lost during the current round of Government austerity measures.


Audio Books

August 6, 2014

Audio Books have become popular recently.  This may becaucse the increases in digital mobile platforms available make it easy for busy people to asimilate their books while on the go.  Peatmore Press has managed to sell a few copies of its audio books without even actively promoting them.  Now, all three of its audio books, Returning Love, The Queen’s Screech and The Christmas Turkey, are available at audible.co.uk, amazon.co.uk and Apple’s iTune Store.  It will be interesting to see how well they sell.

To find the links to the audible, amazon and itunes websites go to http://peatmore.com and click on the links to the audio books mentioned above.


Travels in Southern England

July 21, 2014

20 July 2014

This was the last day of the Festival. At 11 am I took part in a travel writing workshop led by award-winning Cornish travel writer, Tim Hannigan. It was expertly run and I received some excellent tips on how to sell articles to travel magazines.

The workshop was held in a rather grand room in the Union Hotel. It was from the balcony in this room that Nelson’s victory and death at the battle of Trafalgar was first announced. A rather ghoulish face which we were told was Nelson’s death mask is suspended below the balcony. Thus we discussed our views on how to make the best use of our travel adventures as an exceedingly unhappy Nelson looked down on us from above.

Balcony in Union Hotel from where Nelson's victory was announcedThe balcony in Union Hotel from where Nelson’s victory and death was first announced

Nelson's Death Mask
A closer view of Nelson’s death mask suspended below the balcony

I returned to the Acorn Theatre that evening to witness a script in hand reading by ‘The Wireless Ensemble’ of Penzance writer Stephen Saunter’s comedy radio play, “It’s What he would have wanted,” about along overdue burial. Given that I have recently witnessed two very sad funerals I should not have found it funny. But I did.

After the performance finished I was honoured to be allowed to take part in Shout Kernow: the tradition of Cornish pub singing in the theatre bar. It was hosted by two ladies, Hilary Coleman and Sally Burley, who had succeeded in obtaining funding to travel to all the pubs in Cornwall to write down traditional songs they might hear there on condition that they would write a book of there experiences (some in the audience thought it an enterprising way of financing a pub crawl). The book has yet to appear but I added my email address to the long list of people who wished to be notified when it finally materialized. However, they did produce some song sheets and we set about them with great gusto with the aid of the Red River Singers. It was a perfect end to a great festival. Long may it continue.

 


Travels in Southern England

July 20, 2014

19 July 2014

 Although I had been in Penzance for three days I had not ventured far from the literary venues except to visit the odd pub for lunch so I decided that I must see more of the town. I wended my way down to the sea front and strolled along the promenade. I saw the Jubilee Pool and St Michael’s Mount. The Jubilee Pool (or Lido) had been damaged by the winter storms and closed for repair. If the required money is not forth coming then it is in danger of closing. I stopped to buy lunch at the Pirates Fish and Chip Shop and ate it while sat on a bench on the promenade overlooking the sea. Then I strolled round the harbour before returning to the town centre where the festival venues are held. Penzance is not among the most picturesque of Cornish towns but I enjoyed what I saw. There are many intriguing shops and pubs to explore. One shop was inhabited by a Darlek. I knew it must live there as a sign said that it was not for sale.

Jubilee Pool with St Michael's Mount in the diistanceJubilee Pool with St Michael’s Mount in the distance

Pirates Fish and Chip Shop
Pirates Fish and Chip Shop

Penzance Swing Bridge and Harbour
Penzance Harbour and Swing Bridge

Penzance Darlek
Penzance Darlek

That afternoon I took part in an “open mic” poetry session at the Penlee Coach House run by the delightful Dina Dixon. A wide range of poems were read by both young and old. Adrian Rodda gave a rendition of a Cornish folk tale, ‘The Changeling of Chapel Carn Brea’. There were some excellent recitals from the works of Dylan Thomas. Two of the younger participants, Roxy from New York and Sebastian who was local, performed some thought provoking social commentary renditions. I read my Dulux colour poem and the Joe Thropp eulogy from “Cogrill’s Mill”. Both seemed to go down well but one lady in the audience thought that the Thropp poem might be directed at one of her forbears as Throp was her family name. I assured her that it was not as my Thropp was a totally fictitious character and his name had a different spelling anyway. But it was a close shave.

The Penlee Coach HousePenlee Coach House

 


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