Thursday, 14 August 2014

Burrow into a Book..........

Over the months of July and August I have been and still am, reading these books above and reviewing them - not just for myself but for Suffolk Book League (who are in conjunction with the Suffolk Magazine) and also I post them onto Waterstones reviews.

She Rises by Kate Worsley – Review by Meg Burrows

A book of two tales set in the Eighteenth Century, She Rises follows the story of young dairy maid Louise Fletcher and fifteen year old Luke.
Louise, who has been warned of the sea’s lure by the loss of her father and brother, finds herself new employment in the naval port of Harwich to the fickle, proud Rebecca, daughter of a wealthy Captain. With its hidden smuggling passages, busy streets, wavering tides and shadowed corridors, Harwich is a labyrinth that Louise learns to unravel and soon begins to love.     
Fifteen year old Luke, after he has been drinking in a local tavern, wakes to find himself in the belly of the Essex, where he is forced into the harsh world of the Royal Navy. Longing for memories gone by and escape from his new sudden brutal environment, Luke quickly learns that the sea will be his maker. Both Luke and Louise are on their own rolling paths, but like the sea, their waves soon collide in a very organic way.
Luke’s story especially grabbed my attention and supported the wonder and atmosphere of the book as a whole; Worsley really heightens the unpleasant, aggressive and realistic side of naval life very effectively and quite quickly I found myself wanting to help the character out of his predicament.
The setting of the Essex farm where we first meet Louise and the port of Harwich felt very nostalgic for me and like Louise, I was transported into strong imagery and a real thirst for the excitement of the sea and its possibilities. At times I found the book to be a little lengthy but overall the use of description and imagery from Worsley was executed well in a very evocative way and I found myself clearly picturing places and people.

The book is essentially focused on a love story but with both characters, Worsley effectively explores themes of identity, gender & survival and how the world you find yourself in can be embellished in excitement and adventure but with great danger and ultimately, great consequence.  The book, with its two engaging voices, dynamic pace and not to mention, enticing front cover, is certainly worth a read this summer. 

Meg Burrows Music

Over the last few weeks I have had the chance to play some lovely gigs all around Suffolk.

On Saturday 2nd August I happily ventured back to The Sweffling White Horse, one of my favourite pubs. With its quirky yet homely feel, low ceilings and lovely wines and ale I felt very relaxed to play a set of both my own songs and covers with the help of my guitarist Jonathan Coy. I felt very proud to come back and actually play some of my own songs on the guitar - the audience in the pub were lovely and supportive and I couldn't have asked for a better night. It was really good to be back at the White Horse, it had been a year since I had played there.

The 3rd August, I found myself at the Hadleigh Eight Bells as part of a charity fundraiser for ICR. It was brilliant to see young Jordan Hay play again - we met at the Spread Eagle open mic a few months ago now and to see how much he has progressed in such a short amount of time is really inspiring. Unfortunately I had to leave fairly soon after my set but I hope the rest of the afternoon went well and successful in raising funds for the charity.

Last Friday, 8th August I organised a gig at The Steamboat Tavern (which is now run by a new landlord, Andy and his wife.) Again, it was another pub that felt really good to go back to after being away travelling. The night was a real success - I decided it would be great to showcase Jordan Hay, Cherise Philips and Nick Brown at the gig as well as having myself and the wonderful Lucy Sampson as features ( check out the links below.) It was great to see so many people there and play some new songs that have recently been written.   MEG BURROWS   LUCY SAMPSON      NICK BROWN      CHERISE PHILLIPS         JORDAN HAY

Tomorrow I am off to perform both music and poetry at Folk East (ahheee exciting!) It really is an incredible festival, if you haven't been before I definitely recommend - I am looking forward to all the other spoken word artists and musicians (Bellowhead, Tilly Dawglish, Lucy Sampson & Jon Hart especially) but also to all the things that makes Suffolk special - the skills in art, craft, ale, food and general loveliness. I might even crack out some face paints so keep an eye as I'm sure I'll write about it on here afterwards.

Latitude Young Writers Showcase

July and August have been busy months.... but here I finally am again to write into the void that is Thingsfromtheburrow.

I was very lucky a few weeks ago to win two briefs via IdeasTap - one was to Mouthy Poets event in Nottingham which I was thoroughly looking forward to (I had seen Deborah Stevenson perform a while before at The Gallery Cafe in London) and the other was a slot to perform poetry at Latitude Festival in my home hood Suffolk.
Due to commitments to my day time job (and because its one of my favourite festivals!) I took the brief for Latitude.
It was a tad surreal to be greeted in the woods by a lone golf buggy who drove me off to the performance entrance but once I found my way into Latitude (back entrance of the comedy tent, felt like a VIP) I felt at home straight away. There was the poetry and literature tent, the bridge, the flags, the tree's, the circus tents, the postcard station, the fairy stalls. Where I was performing was right next door to the kids area which I was blown away by - those dinosaur sculptures....

I am so grateful for IdeasTap and Norwich Writers Centre for the opportunity - it was such a fantastic afternoon and evening and to perform alongside other young, local poets was brilliant. Tim Claire was hosting our stage in the woods, of which he did a very fine job - I'm happy my surname brought him such happiness and opportunity to banter with the crowd. I also got the chance to see Deanna Rodgers perform finally - wow, what a poet! If you get the chance, go see go see folks.
I am about to perform poetry (& music) again at Folk East Festival and can't wait - Latitude got me very much into the festival swing with its flowers, words, colours and people.