Category Archives: Blog

Joel O’Keeffe & Airbourne Fans

Take two bottles into the shower?  Nah mate, just take the fans!


I took this photo at the Concorde, Brighton, UK, 2014 and can’t help thinking he looks like he’s just getting out of the shower!

Long Live The Fans!

Anna x


If you have a mo…

Just have a gander at these blogs by the people who shared links to their sites in my last NaPoWriMo post.

They are all very different from one another and I have really enjoyed exploring their material so please check them out.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you:

Kruti Joshi’s Life and My Musings  

Colleen Knight

Sean Tully

Luke Otley

If you would also like to share links to your poetry, please feel free to leave a link in the comments boxes below

I am off to finish a new poem that the kids have prevented me from doing for the last week – wish me luck, a clear head and peace for the next 2 hours….. ahhhhh…

Anna x

Share links to your NaPoWriMo poems


Yesterday’s post was about the rather awful and glammed up photo of me that I was prepared to share as a guest on Carol Forrester’s blog Writing and Works for NaPoWriMo.  Far too glam for me , but hey, a little bit of powder, a little bit of paint…..

I really enjoy reading the blogs of other poets to checkout their styles and subject matter and thought it might be good fun to invite you all to share links to your blogs or the poems you have written for National Poetry Writing Month this April by popping them into the comments box below.

I will Tweet and Facebook the link to this page once comments and links have been entered.  You can always check back to this post to see who has offered to share!

Have a great day and I look forward to meeting some new blogs soon.

Anna x



If you fancy seeing a picture of me looking something like one of The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills then head over to the fabulous blog Writing and Works run by Carol Forrester.

I don’t ever look like this in normal everyday life but when Carol was looking for guests to write a post in celebration of NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month), she asked for a photo of me to go with the post I’d written.

Now, I never take selfies, I just can’t get that photogenic angle and I rarely get a photo of me without the kids managing to ambush the shot with a “photo bomb” so I recently agreed to a studio session on a girls day out.  The look I wanted to achieve?  Rock and roll of course!  Messy!  Grungy!  My eyes lined with black flicks!  But the artist decided glam was the way forward and I came out looking like Alexis Carrington.  Grrr!

Anyway – please checkout Writing and Works and my post too which discusses inspiration and “what is the point of poetry?”

Enjoy the sunshine!

Anna xx



Rock n’ Roll Things To Do With The Kids

I’ve been racking my brain recently to discover ways in which we rock and roll mamas and dadas can devise a really cool day out with our kids; how we can do this AND retain/increase our credibility as well as enjoying the experience ourselves.

Hell!  you say, That’s not possible!

From tots to teens, I reckon there’s something in this post for those of us seeking a way to keep our rock and roll streak alive as well as making an acceptable impression on our “little” or “large” ones.

So, here goes – and if you think you can add to the suggestions below, please comment, I’d be really grateful for any further recommendations.


 Arts & Culture

Saatchi Gallery, London – The Rolling Stones – Exhibitionism
Currently making the headlines is this eclectic and colourful collection.
Open NOW until 4th September 2016
You could always appropriately combine this with a meal out at Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers restaurant in Kensington.

anna stones

Snap Galleries, London
This gallery and shop situated in Piccadilly Arcade, hosts regular pop and rock art exhibitions.  Keep up to date with their calendar for forthcoming collections .
They currently have photographs of The Rolling Stones by Gered Mankowitz  to coincide with Exhibitionism until 28th May 2016.

SRO Audiences
BBC Shows and Tours
Your teen would love the opportunity to be in the audience for a TV show like MTV’s Live Lockdown or Later With Jools Holland or any other favourite show for that matter.
Get onto the mailing lists (those above are the best I have found so far) for news on how to apply for (free) tickets and make sure you act fast as places get snapped up.  Shows are filmed at various studios around the country, so check you can actually get there easily.

London Rock Music Tour – Central London
From Abbey Road to Jimmy Page’s house, this tour explores London’s prime rock and roll sites and there’s loads.  It can take a whole day to see everything, but you can choose to do a morning, afternoon or 8 hour day.  Tour groups are small (16 people only) so that you get the very best out of your knowledgeable tour guide.  I’ve only looked this one up online but it sounds really interesting.


Music Cool Stuff

Rock By Baby – various locations in the UK
This could be your little ‘uns first ever gig!  A musical experience that seems to be a hit sensation.
Pop and rock tunes are tailored to suit little ears by real musicians playing an acoustic set.
The next gig is in Shoreditch,London on 18th April 2016.  Tickets can be bought in advance.

Heavy Con, London
30th September – 2nd October 2016
The UK’s first fan driven rock and metal convention, with meet and greets, stalls, exhibitors and talks.  Cool!

Marshall Amps Factory Tour, Bletchley, Milton Keynes

Marshall is the home of the amplification system used by rock musicians worldwide.  You can TOUR the factory, privately, for FREE!  How’s that!
Booking by telephone is essential.  Tours are available from Monday – Thursday (school holidays – what a treat!) at either 9am or 1.15pm.  Tours are open to a maximum of 7 people and include viewing production, the theatre (subject to availability) and the Marshall Museum.


Music Festivals

Here are a handful of festivals happening this year suitable for families with young children and willing teenagers:

Bestival – Dorset
Curious Arts – Hampshire
Down to the Woods – Durham
Glastonbury – Somerset
Green Man – Wales
Isle of Wight Festival
Livestock – Gloucestershire
Looemusic – Cornwall

Having done Camden Rocks, Download and Reading myself, these next festivals are probably better suited to families with older children:

Camden Rocks – London
Download – Donnington
Boardmasters Festival – Cornwall
Reading and Leeds Festivals
SW4 Festival Clapham Common – London

For further excellent advice and recommendations checkout the comprehensive calendar.


Eating Out and Sleeping Out

Hard Rock Cafés – Glasgow, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Dublin
They are a bit of a cliché but my kids love the chance to go along to these restaurants and have started to collect the t-shirts from all the HRC’s around the world! (so touristy!)  They are full of rock and roll memorabilia for you to marvel at while you munch on your burgers and fries (and probably lots of healthy rock and roll salads too)

Sticky Fingers (Bill Wyman) – London
Well, apparently, you do end up with the obvious – sticky fingers that is!

Rockers Steak House – Cambridge
I’ve never been, but it looks good – can anyone recommend?

Hotel Pelirocco –  Brighton, Sussex
A boutique hotel with themed bedrooms, the occasional acoustic gig and a lively bar open to 3am at weekends!  That said, despite some risqué decor and rock n’roll goings on, the hotel told me that they do welcome families.  The Pretty Vacant Room (which does have some artwork containing fruity language) and the Dollywould Room both have a double bed and a daybed which can sleep a third person/child. Alternatively  the Ophelia Fancy Room and Cloud Cuckoo Land are adjoining rooms, both with double beds.  These rooms are on the 3rd and 4th floors so well away from the bar. I have not been here, but I’d go, with an open mind!

Sanctum Soho – London
If you are feeling flush and a little excitable, this hotel sometimes hosts acoustic sets from bands, it has an in-house bijou cinema and often puts up a few celebs for the night, so perfect for star spotting. Nikki Sixx was there a few weeks ago, Lemmy was often a guest…you never know who you might bump into as the hotel is used for music, fashion and film pr events/launches.


Well that’s that!  Hope you have discovered something new!  Please keep in touch and let me know if you tried any of these ideas and obviously, how your kids responded to them!  Whatever you do, make sure you go together, have a great day out, show your kids how to live and rock n roll forever!

Long Live The Fans!

Anna xx

Brit Mums Poetry & Prose Round Up – April


Just leading you to visit the April issue of Brit Mums Poetry Round Up to take a look at all the wonderful poetry that mums somehow, have the time, to squeeze into their days.  I was surprised to see one of mine in there again – my poem for Mother’s Day – We Are The Mums, has made an appearance in the Round Up too!  Cool!

So, grab a cuppa and take a gander into the hearts of mothers and talented ladies.  There’s more to them than apron strings.



Heavens Basement, Electric Ballroom

aaron upside down

Photo by Anna Ghislena

Share links for World Poetry Day

It’s been lovely to discover more blogs dedicated to music and/or poetry recently.  When ever a blogger likes a post I have written I do try to checkout their blog too.  We all do that, right?

What I would really like to do to celebrate World Poetry Day is to keep the introductions going a bit more and would like to invite you all to share this post and include a link to your own blog in the comments box below.  Keep sharing and we will all discover a whole new gathering of writers!  Exciting!

I will Tweet and Facebook the link to this page once comments and links have been entered.

Have a great day and I look forward to meeting some new blogs soon.

Long live the Fans!

Anna x

Janis: Little Girl Blue


Last night I went to see the new documentary film directed by Amy J. Berg about the life of rock and roll blues artist, Janis Joplin.  I am sitting here this morning, the kids have gone to school and I’m humming Cry Baby and Me & Bobby McGee.

Janis died before I was born.  She was found by a friend in a hotel room.  When the friend entered the room, the light was on but he described it as feeling “unoccupied”.  The morning after her death, a telegram was discovered at the hotel desk, from the man with whom she had enjoyed a brief but fulfilling and genuine relationship.  They had separated so that he could continue travelling.  The telegram he had written told her that he was missing her and that he loved her very much.

This is how the film ends and it left me wishing that the telegram had not been found so late.  What would have happened to Janis if she had read it?

With some beautifully, grainy, retro footage of concerts, backstage, studio, hotels and earlier gigs, goosebumps formed on my arms watching the performances and hearing Janis’ passionate, husky, delivery of each song that came deep from the heart and a lifetime of confused relationships and let downs.

Pieced together by the movie’s narrator, Cat Power, who reads letters that Janis frequently wrote home to her family, Janis apologises for her actions, behaviour and her lifestyle.  At the same time she also gives them all the news that she was “brimming with”.  Janis’ words always suggest that she doubted herself, despite the outrageous confidence she would display.

The movie paints the picture of someone who we feel extremely sorry for.  There is even a mention, during the height of her success, that all the guys in the band would get to go back to the hotel with somebody, and she, would go back with no-one.  Did this fall back to the days when she was teased for her looks; she was an outcast and didn’t ‘fit in’?

Despite success, and I mean, she was a babe, a rock goddess, people realised how sexy she was and they fed off her energy, poor Janis came off stage empty and again, we feel sorry for her when success begins to crush her and she spirals into dependence on drugs and alcohol.

This morning, on reflection, I feel that the film did it’s best to make us not only sorry for Janis and her short life, but disgusted at society for having the power to push people to the bottom of the pile.  Yes, Janis rose, like a phoenix from the bottom of that pile, but she rose scarred from the way she had been treated in her younger years by her peers.

Acceptance is what society in Janis’ time lacked.  Acceptance is what society needs to keeping learning to do NOW.  I try to teach my kids every day that everyone is different and that everyone has something beautiful to give.  Sounds a bit sweet and a bit gushy doesn’t it?  But, hey, if Janis had read that telegram from the man who loved her for what she really was, who had accepted her as a person and who had been touched by and recognised all her beauty, might she still have been here today?

God bless you Janis.


Do you still love the book you wrote?


Would you publish a book and then unpublish it?

Would you write, publish and then re-write the same title to satisfy your own personal demon?

Would you publish your project as a work in progress?

Can you ever love what you wrote?

I wrote my first novel three years ago, self published it and never did anything with it, I barely promoted it or even had it reviewed.

I worked on this book for three years.  Three years? you cry!

Three years sounds long, but it took a while to get into my stride, I painstakingly drafted every chapter and let each character grow and surprised myself along the way when the chapters took unexpected twists and turns, almost, by themselves.  I also had the upheaval of moving house (unhappily) twice within eighteen months during that time, so, the book took a backseat for a while when all that happened.

However, in March 2013, the book was finished and I self-published it and ever since then, it has sat quietly in the clouds, bobbing about, subject to the odd (free) download and thankfully the odd amount of praise.  I did a little interview with an arts zine; I gave the book away to a famous rock band for a little tour bus amusement, and, oh yes, *gulp*, my mum read it.

I have, since then, dipped in and out of the book myself several times, each time smiling and saying to myself:  I love my book!  

BUT!  I don’t feel the same now.  What has happened?  I have subsequently removed the book’s availability whilst I tackle the urge to take the sharpest of editing razors to the manuscript and remove large chunks of word count.

I would really like to know if anyone has experienced the same feeling?  If so, what did you do about it?

This may be considered as a massive author faux pas, but my plan is to create a revised version of the book.  Would it interest anyone if I considered posting revised chapters onto this blog for your amusement?

What would you do?

If you fancy sharing similar experiences, please do comment, I would love to hear from you.

Anna x