Autumn quickly came and went with late festivals and a re-joining with my Weaving Words’ groups that I’d missed over the long summer break. Hugs, smiles, catchups, teas and my freshly baked vegan fruit flapjack warmed our space to gather, write, express and explore creative possibilities. We wrote of letting go of summer days as trees let go of leaves around us, as our favourite jumpers and familiar comfort food dishes began to reappear.
Winter’s fresh touch soon crept in, darkening mornings and blanketing afternoons into early evenings; it’s icy hands positively encouraging more hibernatory duvet days of grazing, reading, writing and playful ‘diy’. It also played havoc with ups ‘n’ downs of the mind as my life as a single woman missed being touched and held on long cold winter nights.
Fortunately, some wonderful exciting opportunities and distractions crossed my path. I drove from venue to venue singing and rehearsing as I travelled around the country meeting interesting people, performing my poetry, connecting with some fabulous audiences around the U.K. who laughed, cried and were moved by my words and stories. What a privilege.
I really enjoyed dressing in steam punk attire to be a walking entertainer for the Steam Punk/ Steam Train event in September ‘19. This is one of the videos taken on the GCR station platform on https://youtu.be/NOww-xqP0fo
National Poetry day took me to Rutland Casterton School working with year 7’s and 8’s. After introductions I asked the students to empty their minds onto the page as part of a stream of consciousness. We had such fun, some beautiful pieces were written, photos taken and seeds of inspiration planted, followed by me flash bombing a number of other classes, wings attached, poems performed, encouraging creativeness as I flitted from class to class. There are now 2 copies of my book Permission To Speak in the sixth form library there.
December grew closer. Excited (and rather nervous) I travelled alone to Amsterdam on Friday 6th December ’19 for my first performance abroad. Coach, ferry, train, tube, tram and bus eventually found me my air b’n’b. It was a tiring, testing but learning travel experience which stretched my wits in many ways. I enjoyed an afternoon at the Van Gogh Museum (I always want to touch art but resisted setting off any alarms or being told off, such a grown up) My favourite painting of the day there that really wowed me by its energy was by an artist unknown to me called Jason Brooks. My walk was accompanied by fine classical street musicians, bobbing boats, beautifully lit statues and architecture in the centres streets, I moved by tram and bus to the more industrial rather grey side of the city where I was staying; high winds and rain seemed in constant abundance.
Time was precious so I taxied back into the city later greeted by welcoming smiles and smells of Jamaican spicy vegan food at the awesome Soul Food Poetry event. A buzz of bright expectant faces and colourful clothes quickly filled the venue to capacity. The band played to an excited vibe of seated and standing audience as MP jumped on stage shouting “ Knock, Knock” they shouted back “Who’s there?”, “ All the way from the U.K the Mistress of Mischief herself Kezzabelle Amblerrrrrr” I bounced onto the stage with the band playing did a few little twirls and purple tutu wiggles and the rest is history. Poetry, singing acapella and connecting with great feed-back and applause; I sold some books too. The night concluded with a wonderfully in-depth, interesting and funny conversation with a young man called Daniel who kindly showed me the way to the tube station with his friend. Tired but happy, alarm set, I reflected on the last 24hours adventure as I slept like a log in this stranger’s spare room, in a strange city, preparing my mind, body and soul for another day of travelling and learning the next day. Whilst waiting for the last coach in Belgium I felt totally blessed by a hunched over old lady in shabby clothes walking amongst travellers with matching luggage pretending they couldn’t see the paper cup she proffered. Those last few euros I gave lit her face up like Christmas had come early, she touched her heart with her hand, over and over, nodding thanks and repeatedly looking back. It truly made me count my blessings as I sat on the coach on the last leg of my journey back to England.
‘Soul Food Poetry Event, Volta, Amsterdam 6th Dec 2019 – Photo credit Jadzia Kurzac.
The final tale of this 48-hour round trip was on the last train from London just 15 minutes from home. A 3-year-old boy on his grandma’s lap projectile vomited all over me, followed by lots of apologies and wet wipes. This surprise chunky happening resulted in a conversation with a nearly 10-year-old girl and her dad, on the way back from her birthday treat. They asked where I’d been, she asked me for a poem. I performed Three Wishes to her and the whole carriage stinking of sick; they clapped and smiled. Pretty certain I wouldn’t be let into any taxi smelling so vile, the dad kindly offered me a lift with his friends as exchange for my poem, the driver quickly rolled down his car window as I clambered in and he dropped me home.
I was booked up to the hilt in December ‘19, headlining many events sometimes in my tutu, wings as full bling fairy, performing a variety of different sets exploring love, laughter and ‘what we want and what we need’ at many charity and social events.
Shattered and ready for time off, Christmas was a simple but lovely time spent with my mum, five children, their partners and my two gorgeous granddaughters. Such precious time together, food, fire, music, giggles, drinking and eating farrrr too much, all good intentions quickly filed into next year. We continued to dance in the kitchen with my brother, sister and family in Cornwall on New Year’s Eve watching fireworks from Tolcarne Beach and of course swimming in Newquay Harbour on New Year’s day with my nephew and 500 other crazy enthusiasts to start the year invigorated, feeling well and truly alive x