Poet in Residence, Old Lookout Gallery

The Old Lookout Gallery, Sunday 1st July.

Half-way through my residence already. So far more than 150 people have climbed the rickety wooden steps up to the gallery. Here in this timbered loft-type room where fishermen once tended their nets I'm one of 15 or so artists exhibiting by the week through the summer. Mine is a mix of drawings, poetry and fabric art. It's a privelege to have this unusual and historic space, which I've been told stems from Tudor times. It feels like a ship in here, with slanted windows set in old wood, where the sea sails past in all her changes of mood. On Saturday the winds were almost gale-force and the sailing boats were being tossed about like toys by the Gods. One completely overturned, and we watched the sailor floundering for ages, trying to right his craft.

The Lookout has a veranda where Old George's chair sits, and I had had fantasies of lazing in sunshine, feet up on the rails, Pimms in hand, looking out over the beach and comings and goings along the jetty. But those were only momentary; strong winds and sudden showers came into play most of the time, although that didn't deter visitors. A bit of buffeting is good for the soul! I spend my time making new things - yesterday a campervan cushion - and chatting to some wonderful people wandering in and out. On Saturday evening the atmosphere heightened - became charged and intimate, soulful and passionate as invited poets and guests including David Woolley, Anne Gray, Mark Holihan, Vicky Wilson, The Write Women and Sue Flory offered up their words in this sea-room above the harbour. Standing room only. Way to go!

My drawings in their frames breathe in salt and spray, eavesdrop on muted conversations. My cushions laze in the Guyanese hammock. My cards tremble to the touch of fingers, will she buy me? Old friends drop in. New ones are made. Alex the film-maker spends the day with me. Poetry sings.