celebrating and creating our own LGBT history in honour of Sheila McWattie

day twenty three

Roll Up! Roll Up!


The harbour arm beckons us with its chorus line of lights.

A rainbow flag unfurls from a creaky crane.

Now let the show begin!


Candy pink limo full of popping prom girls stretches round the sweeping sands.

Teenage clubbers who carry a condom enter for free

while a barman juggles sunrise sling and sheets.


In from the wings fly paragliders through a sky of shimmering light

that Turner may have stroked.

Windsurfers soar cruise and spin glimpsing whites of the wind farms’ sails.


Christians raise their voices in the heat of the sandy afternoon

and their amen harmonises with a horny saxophone

playing to the people sipping chilled wine in the square.


A seashell lady gives you the nod when a fresh batch of fish is frying

or tea is being served at the Walpole Bay Hotel

on the geranium terrace at the top of the hill.


Backstage in the old town, local artists hum.

Staining glass moulding clay

wiring wrapping wreaths bouquets.


Beyond sandcastles she’s preparing to unveil

her house of installations and oils

hoping high speed trains will draw art lovers and the curious.


Curtains now on a flood of gold and streaky pinks

arching the old hugging couple on a bench.

He whispers in Polish of her beautiful eyes “masz piękne oczy” and they let the next bus go by.






Fiona Thomson

31 March 2010




day twenty two




Solid millstone grit outlasting the composite squares,

flattened footfall on faded time.

Mason strength to haul and grind our histories

Your graft and precision aesthetic beauty,

imprinting minds of those who didn’t own the means

but fell in line to live and die in only that moment and

hollowed out harsh brutalities of being human.




Janet Jones (age 54) Halifax,







day twenty one


Home is where ancient aunts do crosswords and tell stories of alien world with polo ponies and flying fish, where Meccano is on the floor, and John Peel is on the radio; the Aunt is gone but the crosswords and the music linger on.

Home is where the hills are round and green, clotted with sheep, where you can see the watertower from the top and from that same old walk over the railway bridge with Grandad; the Grandad is gone but sometimes the driver still toots as the train goes under.

Home is when you pass the sign “West Sussex” and punch the air after 7 hours gnashing your teeth on the motorways, when Angus the Satnav voice says 20 minutes to go and Mum has already boiled the kettle twice. Where you are always welcome and always loved. Where you are always a child.

Home is here, now, where I am grown up. My own house, full of stained glass and found objects, craft experiments and junk. My own shed. A place of steeper hills, decorated with horses, old waggonways, an angel. The sea, endlessly sandy and fringed with not-quite-islands. Where I hope one day to have “my own seat” in the local pub, where my neighbour works. A community. Who don’t care who or what, only if you help with gritting the steep end of the lane.

Home is family. The family we build piece by piece, carefully, like Meccano. Brothers who become neighbours. Lovers who become sisters, acquaintances who become best friends. Friends ­- who know us as we are and who follow us when we explore who we might be, holding the torch. Ladies of a certain age who socialise at lunchtime, go for nice walks then go home and take our bras off – just because we can. Who still debate politics, discuss Shakespeare, giggle over love affairs and the prospect of retirement; who struggle to make art. Who still march, but sometimes with a trekking pole. Who might sometimes go clubbing, but are home in time to watch Vera on catch-up.

Home is a snail shell I carry around, full of fragments; fragrant with memories; light enough to wear everyday. An identity- that survives different towns, villages, careers, fads, friendships, lovers, samba bands and girlie gangs – enriched and expanded by them all. A beautiful patchwork; a steampunk, Faberge caddisfly case. A place of safety. A place of strength. A place to start from.




Fin McMorran

Eighton Banks 2019



day twenty

Chore Wars


Whose chore

Who wants more

Who ate

Who cooked

Who sat and looked

Who will not do it no matter what

Who likes to martyr most

Who can’t ask for help

Who hates saying please

Who cheats

Who breezes

Who snakes and teases

Who wins

Who passenger cruises

Who ultimately loses?




by Jane Campbell who is a 54yrs old dyke and is proud to live off grid in a handmade home in rural West Wales UK.



day nineteen

Early morning at my sea side home


The rooks are awake and alert before first light busy refurbishing their homes from last year and the year before that. There is a sense of urgency now which has superseded last month’s languid cawing, it is the need for a rough and ragged nest in which to hatch their young. Much arguing and squabbling ensues over who’s nest is whose early on, but now the furore has died down and the birds are more settled with eggs cooking and young growing.

Sometimes I can hear the sea from the safety of my bed, when the tide is in, the waves splash and crash against the cliff face, other times the sea is dead calm like today with barely a ripple across the water. Through the apple tree that sits below my balcony not yet in leaf I see boats of different kinds; a yacht with a single white sail tacking against the feeble wind, a smack chasing mackerel painted red and yellow stands out against the deep blue of the dawn sky.

Nothing disturbs the morning except the sound of birdsong, though by nine o clock the tourists will be arriving in cars with suitcases strapped to roofracks and caravans in tow. Others will have booked one of the many holiday homes that stand empty for six months of the year only to rise from their winter death to welcome city dwellers seeking the wilds of West Wales and the micro climate of Cardigan Bay. Here Dylan Thomas found the characters for Under Milkwood living in the multi coloured terraces that rise diagonally from the sea to the land or sitting on the harbour watching the world go by and the fishing boats land their catch before the days of the Dolphin trips.

Two months I’ve lived here and am loving my wooden home perched high above the sea. It was cold at first, bone cold as NNWesterlys buffeted the boards and the wind chimes rang like church bells. Many nights (and days too) were spent in bed with the electric blanket on reading to pass the time and wearing two fleeces and a hoody to fend off hyperthermia. My breath I noted was a stream of fog but outside my window the late winter sun held the promise of warmth given time.

I have been so very privileged to live here where sky, sea, and hills meet in celebration; Wales is not the land of my birth but it is the place my soul can call home…..


Kate Field, 65

West Wales

day eighteen



Hiya how are you doin?

I’m ok..getting a bit colder tho isn’t it?

Yes you’ll need a hat on

Well I’ve got my scarf on!

Where you off to..town?

No I’m going to London..I’m in the Oral history Society

They record people’s stories.

Well I could tell you a few stories, the stuff I’ve seen!

Yeah me an all! We could tell you a few stories..



Janet Jones (age 54) Halifax


day seventeen






Conker trees and lambs’ tails innit


A broken home


A stable home

With solid wooden beams


Stunning sunsets beat Thornton Heath

Pet ponies and large geese

fantastic nest of a bed

snuggy snuggy snug.





A collaboration between friends over Sunday lunch:

Carter Carter, Annie, Cindie, Louise, Fay, Jen and Fiona