Building in the city centre.

Hanley town is the city centre of Stoke on Trent. We were there this evening. When we walked back to the car I noticed this building so took a couple of snaps since it reminded me of the Spode site in Stoke.

What bothers me is that such an amazing frontage has been allowed to remain like this. There is a new hotel and a big apartment block being built directly opposite the old building. And yet old buildings like this are left to rot. If it had money spent on it perhaps it could be rescued. Then instead of eventually being knocked down, or falling down, it could be restored.

On the same note an old Manor house at Betley in Staffordshire burnt down today. A lot of effort had gone into repairing and restoring it, now its mostly destroyed by fire. The world is a sadder place for its loss and people who had flats there have lost their homes.

The Glasgow school of art had burnt down a while ago and the restoration started, then another worse fire happened. Great art was lost.

The point I guess is that instead of always building new things we should save some of our history before it has gone, and protect what remains.

Haiku Slam

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We went to  haiku slam this evening. Poets read one of their own works then had to read out haiku’s they had written. Eight poets split into four couples read out three haiku’s each. The best out of the two progressed to a semi final, and then two ended up in the final. It was actually quite dramatic. Some wise and some fun words were spoken.

I did not enter the main competition. I don’t have enough knowledge of the form and I only dabble in poetry. But they had a little poetry competition running along side the haiku. I decided to just join in that, so three of us read a poem out and then had to leave the room while people voted. I came second which was a surprise. Maybe I should try and do more funny poetry, I read a poem called ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ about the frustrations of shopping that I wrote a while ago.

Charity singing day.

I’ve been out all day singing at workshops with various tutors. Then in the evening 16 choirs were involved in a concert to raise money for three charities.

The day started early at a local theatre, groups went off to various changing rooms, bars and the auditorium to learn new songs and vocal techniques. In the same way as artists have different styles so do musicians. The first workshop I attended was called “joy” and it was joyful and bonkers. Fast cheery tunes and ” jazz hands”, it woke us up and some of us even threatened to join the teachers choir. The second workshop I went to was called “raise your voice” and helped us to harmonise and listen to each other while we learnt two folk songs.

In the afternoon around 400 of us.. Yes that many, learned a new song written specially for the day. Based on “let your little light shine” the lyrics were written by a local poet and music by a local musician. The result was filmed this evening when we sang it at the end of the concert.

It should be going on YouTube.

Each choir also sang one or two songs. Some of the singers were in 3 and even 4 of the choirs so they were busy.

We had a satisfying day and I think everyone should be proud of what they did.