An Artist… in Residence, Me?

It’s sort of one of those things you’ve always heard of in the creative arts. I’ve been to workshops ran by artist in residence or read blogs by them. I knew that Sarah Kane, Sue Townsend and Caryl Churchill have all been artist, writers in residency. So it’s defiantly a thing yeah, sure! Just a thing that I never thought would happen to me!

I come across and apply for so many creative opportunities that I see scatted around the tinterweb on a weekly basic. I apply for jobs, send my scripts off, share my spotlight link to casting agents like I’m armoured in iron, yet all too often get the thanks but no thanks reply and even more often, don’t get a reply at all! It’s a real confidence builder this industry eh? So when I saw the Hull Truck Grow Programme call out for artist in residence I added it to my “Shizz to have a stab at, LoL” bookmark in a flash. Though unlike my normal haste to smash through my list and be the proactive machine I like to pride myself on, I put this job off for a few days. I realised that this one meant more to me than all the others. Although I’m used to rejection by now, It’s a total hoot! I wondered how I’d feel being rejected by a place that had been apart of me for so long and pretty much since the start or my creative journey.

Hull Truck was one of the first places I saw people like me, ‘normal’, working class, a bit odd but very real, represented on stage. During my student years we worked with Hull Truck many times, in the Spring Street days. We performed our final showcases their and it was also the place I got my first freelance job as a stage manager working with the youth theatre. My own comedy group Scarlet Lights have performed there a number of times and my writing has been showcased at Truck twice with one of those time being part of the ‘Grow’ season. So when I found out I had been successful, I’d been picked… as an artist, in a residency, as an official thingy with a title and means something and everything… I freaked out a little. That ‘Imposters Syndrome’ sneaks in and I wonder, should I call them back and say, “You Sure?”

I’ve always struggled to call myself the things I’d like to be. I was always worried about the questions you’d get back… “Oh yeah, what have you done then?”

I am also very aware of the talent in Hull, so to be 1 of the 3 chosen ones out of many worthy applicants was surprising and overwhelming but extremely exciting and I am so looking forward to the year ahead.

Our first meeting has happened and the plans for the next couple of months are in place. My head is full of ideas, hopes and ambition. The motivation to focus on developing myself further, networking and learning more about working professionally in the industry excites me and I’m a tad giddy about it all, canny lie. Couldn’t be more appreciative of being part of a great establishment, with awesome staff and surrounded by such talented people.

If you’d like to read more about the residency and the Grow programme, you can find more info here: https://www.hulltruck.co.uk/news/hull-truck-theatre-announces-new-grow-artists-in-residence/

 

 

Molly (Is Happy) #NationalWritingDay

Molly is late 30’s, happy-go-lucky woman who undoubtedly is very content in her life.

Molly: What do I want to be when I grow up? (Sighs)

Molly: (Mocking Voice)

“What exams are you going to take in school?

What will you study at college?

Where will you go to University?

What’s you’re perfect Job-for-Life?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Where do you want to be by the time you’re 20, 25…35?

What are your ambitions, your targets, your goals…?

You don’t have any goals?

You’re over 35 and you still don’t know what you want to do with your life?

No idea what you want to be?”

Molly: I’ll tell you what I want. I just want to live my life for today, be in the moment and just enjoy! Oh, but I can’t. I mean, that’s not ambitious enough for you is it? Ya set of self-righteous twats!

You know, some days I want to do loads, and adventure and explore. Others I just want to sit on the grass, in the park and be thankful that I’m here another day. Or lay in bed, enjoying a rest, deserved or not! Or get hyper and clean my little house, with no bra on, singing along to Cher. She’s my Dad’s favourite.

It seems everything has to be one way, conformed. You’re not allowed to enjoy a real book but also be a Kindle reader, you have to be one or the other. Preferably a real book reader, if you want to be accepted as an O.H …

[Pause]

 … an Original hipster!

[Deep breathe in] You’re some sort of cretin if you appreciate the digital world. You’re only cool if you collect Vinyl and a brainless millennial if you have a Spotify account. And yet somehow you have no worth as a fully-fledged ‘Adult’ unless you’re a career driven junkie who can’t switch off their emails even when their first child is being born.

…Apparently, a meeting can take place anywhere with Skype!

It’s just so contradictory.

So even when you are content, with everything you want or need for your best life, there are these demon voices all around you… they go by the name of ‘society’… telling you otherwise. Oh, ark at me, I’m getting political now!

See if I want to get political I can do, but on some days, I just can’t be arsed.

Why can’t people just accept that I’m Happy, as I polish my little wooden Ikea kitchen table that I saved up for and bought myself? And that truth be told, I actually like my life! What’s so wrong, or uninspiring about that? You want me to feel bad for being content?

The worlds crazy!

So yes, me… Molly, 37 years old and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, other than this. What I am right now.

Happy!

 

 

(c) Kerrie L Marsh 2019

I’m in a Girl Gang!

I’ve done the initiation and I’m in!

What you ask? Did I get dragged from a dorm room in the middle of the night and have my head flushed down the loo? Go face to face with the leader on black sambuca shots? Or, spend the night in a haunted house with burnt sage as my only luxury item?

Surprisingly not, no! I reached out to the SheFest group when I first arrived in Sheffield in the summer, I was invited along to a couple of meetings. And at an AGM I put my hand up to say I wouldn’t mind helping out with some Event Management type stuff that will be happening over the coming months. Turns out, it was a pleasant experience all round.

It was exciting moving to a new city and an adventure I jumped into with both feet and eye’s wide shut! I’m a bit of a thinker but more of a doer really. I think about something, and then I like to, well… just get on with it and do it! So I quickly found myself in Sheffield and researching all the creative things that go on here. I already knew it was the biggest Theatre district outside of London! So, that’s good isn’t it. Then I travelled along all nooks and cranny’s that the internet could provide, wondering around websites and social media profiles, stumbling across some amazing companies, events, people, venues and projects. I was quick to compile a list of over fifty different types of contacts I wanted to reach out towards. I sent out emails with covering letters and attached CV’s. My Spotlight link, Youtube links, podcast links and this blogs link, were fired out to every creative soul I could seek out in this new city of mine.

I can count on one hand those that got back to me.

Which is a shame, and disheartening when you’re reaching out, trying to network with a new circle and just looking for a new creative family. But… expected all the same. I’ve been in this freelance and creative sector for long enough now to know the ropes, yet we all still hope for a little less ‘rope-burn’ don’t we!

I was stoked receiving the email from Beckie to say, “Join in, come get involved”

SheFest Sheffield was looking for new members, to grow their team and to create new roles, well, more like share the roles out rather than five people doing the jobs of twenty plus.

So here I am. Part of the SheFest Sheffield gang. One of their Events Managers and a welcomed member to the new slightly bigger group.

The meetings are chilled and fun. With a social element towards them too. It’s great to be connecting with this group every other Tuesday and being around passionate like minded people. I’m doing what I love creatively too, this past week has seen me supporting a great project for women who want to write with Sheffield Theatres and with an event for International Women’s Day coming up, I’m getting busy with thing’s that I am passionate about.

It’s rad to be apart of this awesome bunch and to be making great new connections in my new home city of Sheffield and most importantly, some new pal’s don’t go a miss either!

Want to know more about it;

https://www.shefest.org.uk/

National Videogame Museum

What better way to spend a dreary January Sunday afternoon then playing retro video games with the famalam?

Sheffield is now home to the National Videogame Museum in the hart of the city, just a few steps from the Castle Square tram stop. It’s a play all day policy once you’ve purchased your ticket. The back of your hand is stamped, you’re in the gang and you can come and go as you please and if you book your tickets the day before you are planning to visit the museum, you get 50p off. We all know that at this time of the year, every little helps right!

The museums entrance is lit up with lights and as you reach the front desk you are greeted by the welcoming staff working there. Straight away you are face to face with a real life size Sonic The Hedgehog model and the buzzing sound of video games galore.

The adults of our party were instantly excited by the old retro arcade games around the edge of the room, immediately spotting old favs such as ‘Space Invaders’, ‘PacMan’ and ‘Track and Field’. The pounding those buttons have taken over the years must be incredible. The popularity to this day, saw us waiting a good while before we could jump on it ourselves and get button tapping happy.

The young-uns where straight off on to titles they were also more familiar with, Mario and Pokemon as there are all types of consoles scattered around the room but it was awesome to see them exploring the floor and having ago on some of ‘Our’ generations games too. ‘Duck Hunt’ on the original Nintendo is set up ready to bring back memories of what was most likely to be your first shooting game, with a real gun! I had a proud moment as I watched the children battle with one another on ‘Street Fighter’, using their fighters special moves to reach that KO. The only acceptable way to allow your children to knock each other out of course, as Ryu and Ken.

There is ‘Guitar Hero’ section where you can get your jam on. An interactive area where people where playing tig with Playstation Move controllers and no arcade wouldn’t be complete without the dance machine. Jump on, pick your tune and show that room you can stomp in time to moving arrows!

Personally the element of the visit that lacked for me was the ‘museum’ factor. I was hoping for more exhibits, things to look at with some information about gaming and how far it’s come. There were a few glass cabinets scattered around the room with items in them, which were great to look at and brought back nostalgic memories but they aren’t accompanied with any factual details or information plaques? I know it’s only new to opening just two months ago and it does state on the National Videogame Museum web site that there is much more to come and on the way soon. So hopefully that element can be fulfilled during later developments as the museum expands its offer.

You can’t ask for much more in an afternoon out though if gaming is your thing. There is a nice little coffee shop and cafe on site, but you can also pop back out into the city centre, grab some food and head back in later, because don’t forget! You’re stamped! You exit through the gift shop of course, who doesn’t love a good gift shop? Even if it’s to talk about how expensive they are and that you can find the items cheaper online. Looking and touching is still fun.

The National Videogame Museum is a great new asset to Sheffield and it’s one to keep an eye on for sure. They offer hire out options and catering for parties and there is also going to be a Pixelheads club starting soon. This is for young people who love games and want a social place to talk about them, play them and make games themselves.

You can find out more about what’s on, book tickets and keep up to date across their social media platforms and their website here;

http://www.thenvm.org

Shadow Girl – The Isle of Kelham

‘Shadow Girl’ is one story from an LGBT Short Story collection – The Isle of Kelham

Pulled up just in time, three minutes to spare and lucky to have a space available just outside the barbers. Lou is still sporting sunglasses despite it being the back end of October and there been a definite crisp autumn feel in the air, the sun is bright and, well, absolutely blinding when driving. Plus, her sensitive green eyes mean’s that she wears shades all year round unless it’s dark, gloomy and overcast. Which surprisingly this year, hasn’t been that often. Lou likes to make the joke, ‘Global warming, good for something eh’ then instantly feels bad that she’s said it. As she does carry a reusable water bottle around with her and is conscious about reducing waste and recycles where she can. There isn’t a Netflix documentary about sustainability she hasn’t watched, and she’s read enough blogs to keep her awake at night worrying about if the palm oil in her products, really is from an ethical source.

She shuts off her engine which cut’s out her blurring chill-hop music. Lou checks herself out in the review mirror, making sure her hair is presented nicely, ready for her hair cut. Lou steps outside and checks her watch, ‘Perfect’ she says. It’s one minute to her appointment. As she’s crossing the road heading towards the barber shop, she hears ‘You my 6pm?’ Lou looks towards the voice as she auto locks her car. She see’s Amber the barber she has booked with, smoking outside the shop. ‘I thought you weren’t coming’ Amber said.

‘Sorry, traffic’ Lou lies, she only lives in the apartments across the way, she only drove because of how late she was. Lou prefers the barbers to the hairdressers. They cut her hair in a more precise way compared to the hairdressers. ‘What do you want doing then?’ Amber asks as she is running her fingers through Lou’s hair. ‘Just an inch or so off the length and thinning out all over. I like the side’s faded starting from No1 please’. Lou is new to Sheffield and as her and Amber chat, Lou begins to discover all the amazing things Kelham Island has to offer. ‘Yeah, as an artist I am lucky to land a good job here, and in such a creative city too’. Lou crows about her new adventure and how she is loving Sheffield life and especially living on the Island. ‘It’s so my thing, I already feel so comfortable and at home here, it would be hard for me to go back to small town living for sure’. Amber looks at Lou via the mirror, ‘so you mentioned you’re meeting somebody in a bit, is it business or pleasure?’ Lou grin’s, shuffles in her chair a little and clear’s her throat but tries to remain casual. ‘It’s er, well. A drink, meeting somebody for a drink’. She looks back at Amber through the mirror, Amber is smiling. ‘So, a date?’. Lou laughs aloud, ‘Well, er… I guess? No. No actually, not a date as such, more like, just a meet-up really. Casual. You know, I’m new here and just want to meet people’. ‘Absolutely yeah, good on ya. Where you off to?’ Amber asks. ‘Oh, just down the road there, The Old Workshop. Not been in yet but their Instagram looks ace, so been wanting to go check it out. You been in?’ Amber nods ‘It’s awesome, nice and cosy. Good choice.’ Lou smiles pleased with her venue choice. It’s got the approval of Amber, and she oozes chilled vibes, so Lou feels it’s set to be a good night, at least she hopes so.

A few moments pass, Amber is concentrating on finishing Lou’s hair. You can clearly see she is passionate about her job. She uses about three different sets of clippers while she does Lou’s fade and uses a small one to tidy all the edges and add the finishing touch. ‘So, a fresh cut for your date eh, let’s hope they are impressed.’ Amber starts to brush all the loose hair away. ‘You met before or…’ ‘No, Lou interrupts. ‘First time tonight, only been talking a week and a bit. Seen photographs of course.’ Amber smiles as she take’s the apron off of Lou. ‘Tinder, where would we be without it eh.’ They both laugh. ‘I know right, well bumble actually if we’re going to be factual’ Lou laughs it off, ‘what’s a new girl in town meant to do eh?’ Amber makes her way over to the cash desk, Lou follows. ‘Exactly Lou, we’re not here for a long time are we, so we may as well have a good time. An old cliché my NanNan used to say.’ Lou like’s it, ‘Nanna clichés are the best!’   Lou hit’s her bank card across the contactless machine and waits for it to approve. ‘Here’s your receipt. Thanks for the custom and I hope to see you again.’ Lou has one last glance in the mirror before she leaves, she has a quick play with it. ‘Defo, love it! Awesome job, thanks’ chick!’ ‘Aww thanks.’ Amber is chuffed, ‘have a lovely evening with your er, new friend?’ Amber gives Lou a playful wink as she’s leaving the shop, Lou sniggers and nod’s in agreeance. ‘Thanks.’ Lou leaves and the loud Barber shop doorbell sounds as she exits.

Out on the street Lou breaths in the fresh cool air, checks her hair out again via a reflection in a van window parked outside the shop. She ruffles it a little more, she likes the just-out-of-bed look and checks it’s all good from every direction, turning her head left, to right and placing her hair just where she likes it. Ruffled and forward. Happy with her final look, she gives her reflection the nod of approval and chirps ‘not too shabby I guess’ and pulls her jacket on, setting off up the street towards The Old Workshop.

Lou take’s in the area, she loves it. The vintage shop just across the road, the old warehouses and courtyard where the food market is once a month, an array of music and artist studios dotted about and the street art kicking around on many of the street corners of Kelham. The sound of the River Don running close by and one of her favourite things about the apartment where she lives. It has a small balcony overlooking the river and the bustle from a couple of the bar’s and restaurants below on an evening provides her with an atmosphere she thrives in. Lou take’s in another deep breath, closes her eyes for just a moment and feels thankful.

The bar is busy, Lou wasn’t expecting it to be this full. It’s a Tuesday evening and from the outside, it’s very deceiving. Where have all these people come from? Walking towards the bar, she was one of the few people on the street, it was so quiet. You could walk past this venue and not have the slightest idea it was even here, let alone how full it was inside. She instantly loves it. The Old Workshop looks just as the name perceives and it most certainly lives up to its awesome Instagram profile. She makes her way towards the back where the bar is situated. She knew it was ten minutes too early but cruised the room as she went to see if her meet-up was here yet? She couldn’t see her at first glance, but there was quite a sea of brunettes scattered around so Lou thought it best to get herself a drink and then find a perch to spy from, see if any of them are her friend as Amber the barber would put it. Lou asks at the bar for a suggestion of a pale ale, she enjoys her craft beer and likes to try different ones. She’s sold on one that has a hint of passionfruit and heads over to a seat in the corner of the room, facing the door and with quite a good view of the whole space. She checks her watch, almost seven. She scans the room for about the third time. There seems to be no sign of the woman she’s supposed to be meeting. She checks her phone, no txt’s. Lou take’s a sip of her pint and enjoys it. She lets out an appreciative sound and maneuveurs to get comfy in her chair.

Looking around Lou see’s people chatting and enjoying themselves. It’s actually quite loud when you tune in to the chatter, a constant murmur as though on a loop. There is a communal table in the middle of the venue and a group of ladies fresh from work are letting loose with a few glasses of wine, the laughter from their table roars through the bar. It makes Lou smile, she can’t wait for her friends to come visit her in Sheffield. She will definitely bring them here and she can already picture them all sat around that table just like these ladies are doing this evening. She checks her watch, ten past seven. She checks her phone, nothing! ‘Hmmm’ she exhales. A no-show she assumes in her mind. Lou places her pint on the table and begins to text.

“Hi, I’m here! You still up for meeting chick? X”

A group of four hang around near where she is sitting. Lou looks at them and then looks at where she is sitting. An area with a small table and four seats. She rolls her eyes but knows she should do the right thing. ‘You wanna sit here guys?’ The group reply, mumbles of uncertainty and awkward politeness. ‘No worries’ Lou says, ‘I’m going to head outside.’ Her and the group exchange pleasantries and they take over the area and Lou make’s her way through the busy bar towards the exit.

There is a wooden bobbin turned on its head, acting as trendy make shift table and a couple of wooden crates masquerading as seats around it. She puts her pint down and takes her phone back out of her pocket again before taking a seat. She’s the only one out there and still, hardly any action on the street. Lou is starting to think her meet-up has bailed. She txt’s.

“I’ve got a drink, sat outside, I’ll wait till seven thirty X”

She puts her phone away and takes a sip of her refreshing passionfruit pint. ‘Don’t suppose you have a light?’ Lou’s surprised to see somebody appear from near the door area, from the shadows. She could have sworn she was all alone when she came outside? ‘No, sorry. I don’t smoke’ Lou replies, unsure if this is her online connection finally. ‘Nor do I normally, still trying to ditch it when I drink though. I’ll get there.’ The voice moves away from the shadowy doorway and towards Lou and the table. ‘Mind if I join you?’ Lou realises that it’s not her date but kicks open the seat a bit more for the mystery shadow girl to take a seat anyway. ‘Please do’ Lou lets out a cheeky sideways smile. Shadow girl is pretty hot! They get comfortable at the table, Lou has a quick glance at her phone. ‘You waiting for someone?’ Shadow girl asks, casting her eyes over at Lou’s phone. Lou quickly slides it off the table and into her jacket pocket. ‘Er… not now no.’ Shadow girl smiles. ‘They can’t make it, but damned if I’m wasting my pint’ Lou takes a swig. Shadow girl follows suit and takes a sip of her wine. ‘I’m Lou by the way.’ She offers out her hand to greet her officially. ‘I’m Elizabeth, nice to meet you Lou’ They shake hands and hold eye contact for a short while, longer then would normally feel natural. ‘Nice to meet you too Elizabeth. Sorry I couldn’t be more of a help on the smoking front’. They giggle together, Elizabeth shrugs it off. ‘It’s ok, like I say. I only smoke with a drink now. I’ve left my vape at work like a nob.’ Lou nods, ‘they are so in aren’t they, vapes. I keep wondering if I should take it up?’ Elizabeth laughs at her ‘If you don’t smoke, why would you start vaping?’ ‘Because it’s in fashion and those big clouds of smoke look fun. I enjoy a shisha pipe on holiday.’ Lou say’s smugly, as though to show off somewhat. ‘That’s all a vape is, isn’t it!’ Elizabeth is giggling along to her ‘What?’ she asks Lou to explain. ‘A vape pen, it’s just a mobile Shisha pipe isn’t it.’ They both laugh, Lou notices what an amazing smile Elizabeth has, she embraces the moment, taking it in. The two women are locked on each other, gazing into each other’s eyes and smiles so wide even a stranger walking past could see there was a chemistry forming between them both.

Lou has an instant attraction towards Elizabeth, she likes the way she carries herself. Confident and a little cocky. Her eyes are a deep hazel and her laugh always ends with a sexy grin that could have the power to make Lou blush, if Lou was the blushing kind. Which normally, she isn’t. Though on this occasion, she does feel a little bashful around Elizabeth, this is a new feeling for Lou and one she doesn’t mind experiencing. As they talk, chair’s shuffle edging closer to each other, they brush up against one another as they laugh, a touch on the arm, a playful shove with the sound of giggling coming from their little doorway table for two. Elizabeth holds eye contact with Lou, ‘You’ve got the most amazing green eyes’. Lou grins, finishes her drink and looks at Elizabeth. ‘Thank you, and you have the most amazing smile.’ Elizabeth acts shy and playfully shoves Lou with her shoulder. ‘Shut up’ Lou laughs at her, she’s clearly not as cocky as Lou first thought, which is endearing Lou thinks. ‘Can I get you another?’ Lou asks Elizabeth as she indicates her glass is empty. Elizabeth shoots to her feet and down’s the last mouthful of her wine. ‘Allow me!’ Lou waves her wallet in the air, ‘no, no. I asked first, here, let me…’ Lou tries to get up and past Elizabeth, but she pushes Lou back down and into her seat. ‘Seriously, stay put woman. You can get the next ones.’ Lou tries not to show the smugness striking across her face as she registers that the “next ones” indicated Elizabeth could be up for making a night of it. Elizabeth picks up the empties and asks Lou, ‘a pint of?’ Lou shrugs, ‘anything.’

Elizabeth heads towards the door to go inside and order their drinks. ‘Let’s find a table inside, it’s getting chilly out here’ she disappears through the door and back inside The Old Workshop. Lou stands to follow her and heads for the door. As she reaches for the handle. Her phone sounds. She’s forgot all about the meet-up. She has a text, it’s from her.

“Sorry, I got cold feet. You still there? I’ll get a taxi now xx”

Lou looks at her phone, reading the text and she ponders her reply. She wonders, looking towards the door, through the window she can see Elizabeth inside ordering their drinks, and looks back towards her phone. Lou bites her lip, then nods, making up her mind, she texts back. “No, I’ve left. Some other time maybe” Lou turns her phone to silent, put’s it away in her jacket pocket, Grins to herself and heads inside.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian from Pexels

‘Veg Out’ – Peddler Night Market – Big Stamp

This review was originally wrote for https://sheffield.bigstamp.uk/ – Go check their site out and follow them on social media! 

If there is a street food market going on and especially one that provides plant-based options, you are highly likely to find me there!

Peddler Night Market is one of my favourite discoveries since moving to Sheffield. Along with most things Kelham Island actually. This street food market is once a month at the 92 Burton Road site and every three/four months is their ‘Veg Out’ event where all their traders are veggie or vegan friendly.

Selling themselves as a “community of traders, makers, movers and shakers”. I definitely got that feel when I attended their latest ‘Veg Out’ night last weekend. You enter the site via the security check point, this is standard isn’t it to ensure you’re not taking any of your own plonk into the event and of course, for your comfort and safety. The first courtyard in packed with venders and the smell of awesome street food engulfs you all around. The chatter of people over in the seating area enhances the atmosphere and provides an instant community feel.

Walking through into the main hall you are spoilt for choice with more food options, an enormous bar with plentiful craft beer choices and another larger seating area where you can pull up a pew and chill with a nice pint or tipple of your choice. There are some independent trader stalls set up at the back of the hall for your perusal and the local artist are on hand to help share their work with you, the paying public. A DJ is normally set up in the corner helping the buzzing atmosphere spill out to all areas of the market.

A smile strikes across my face as two young children get down to the beat and dance without a care in the world while their families around them are enjoying a catch up with friends and quite rightly stuffing their faces!

The second courtyard out the back has yet more venders, a fire pit and a stage set up for the live performers. What’s cool about back here is that the businesses such as Depot Bakery and Nether Edge Pizza also get involved and open their doors to the market goers too. The Kelham Arcade is open for a browse and who doesn’t love picking up a cute little cactus from The Gravel Pit while partaking in mouth-watering food & drink?

I decided to try the currywurst and rosemary salted fries from ‘Get Wurst’ As I haven’t tried a seitan bratwurst before, and I love curry and I love fries, so I was eager to dive in. It was a delicious and enjoyable meal. I’m not always keen on the texture of faux meats but this curry bratwurst was great. The ketchup and pickle on the side added a lovely fresh tang to the dish and the fries were seasoned just right. The portion size was decent, leaving room for some pudding if you wish. but at £7.50 I was left feeling that it was a little overpriced for what you got. Especially when you think you may also want a few drinks and some desert also, you know, if you are making a night of it! You may expect to spend slightly less at a street food market I suppose than you would in a restaurant. But once drinks, deserts and coffee where had. It totalled to the same as standard night out at a nice restaurant, if not more. This is something to definitely bear in mind if considering a visit. You’re paying for more specialist food and a different dining experience. Possibly more of a treat event than a regular outing in my opinion.

The event itself is cool though and definitely worth checking out. There are no excuses either as it is child and dog friendly. Though it is to be noted to families that as the evening gets later, it becomes more drink focused and fills up with those wishing to paint the town red.

Peddler kicks out the most awesome set up, thriving in atmosphere and provides an ace backdrop to a great gathering, no matter the occasion.

Peddler Night Markets are the first Friday and Saturday of each month. March to December.

Fridays 5pm – 11pm

Saturdays 2pm – 11pm

Entry is free.

https://peddlermarket.co.uk/

 

The Family Gaycation

Ok, so it’s not the first family holiday as such, I mean we went away in a caravan at Easter to Ingoldmells, near Skegness for four days! So that was technically our first holiday together. But four rainy cold nights in Skegvegas, playing cards and hitting the 2p machines is a bit different to the October sun on the volcano island of Tenerife, depending on your resort of course.

During our caravan holiday, we very much kept ourselves to ourselves. Didn’t meet other families or mingle with them. Our night in the clubhouse consisted of 2 half’s each of flat beer, the youngest playing in the adventure centre and the oldest stuck with us sulking because at 12, he’s too old for those sorts of things now. He soon cheered up spending all our spare change in the arcade though, oh and our dance with Pirate Pete lightened up the evening a right treat!

Me and the woman have been together for almost 18 months now and we’ve officially lived together for 4 months. So this was our first holiday all together, from our home, as a family, for a whole week! Yeah, a week! 7 days! That’s the most time I’ve spent with kids, full on, 24/7. No break. Firstly I want to say it was awesome in lots of way, but also in lots of ways, eye opening! Wow, well done full time parents who are doing this for life! This is some serious continuous shift isn’t it?

It was also the first time I realised we were being identified as a ‘family’. Interaction around the apartment pool was instant. Other people, families and kids chatting to us. It was lovely and although I am used to it from previous holidays, this time it was different. It wasn’t long before we were asked, so which one’s the mum and which ones the dad? After a polite chuckle and a shake of my head, I replied. “That’s my partner and her two boys. we’re on holiday together”. Which was met with, “Thought so, but didn’t like to ask”. Erm… but you did just ask though didn’t you love? and you also assumed one of us would be playing the gender assumed role of a male. The father. I wasn’t offended though, I feel there was no reason to be, and I am pleased it’s quite noticeable that we are a little unit when out together. What it did make me realise is… We’re visible!

People don’t assume that I’m just a friend or an aunt on holiday with them. I mean, this could be to do with my very, what some would call ‘obvious’ hair style, but the point still stays the same. It was accepted and noted, we were a gay couple, on holiday, as a family. And everyone was cool! That realisation was pretty epic.

I’ve been away with ex-girlfriends and we would still be approached by guys just thinking we were mates on holiday together. Having children in tow, made it more clear I guess. Though I saw her get checked out a few times, which I followed up with a stern glare at said checker outer’s!

I also know it could have been very different, in a different part of the world, surrounded by different people. But it was awesome to feel relaxed and not worried in anyway. Which I didn’t think there was anything to worry about in the first place, just an observation I made once it was made clear, we’re not a secret. People can see… we’re a family, we’re all together, a little unit! And that felt good.

Though going back to the kids full time thing, a week is more than enough eh. It’d be a whole new (And long) blog if I was to discuss what a different type of holiday it was for me compared to what I’m used to. Chilling and listing to my iPod…. say what? Reading… Er, you wish. The whole holiday revolving around me and what I want to do? In my dreams! There’s these two other beings now that come first. It’s taking some adjusting I can tell you. But on the whole it’s awesome. Though a bit annoying at times for selfish reasons of course.

Ha, jokes! But a little bit serious. Nah, mostly jokes. But really… when does the world start revolving around me again? Haha, just kidding. Jokes!

Not Jokes!

Lol, I better sign off by saying Jokes!

But if you know, you know right!