Science, Craft and Poetry – A Long Overdue Update

I have been a very poor blogger in the last month. Work has been very busy and I’ve been trying to get my PhD in order. I have been trying to increase my productivity and be more positive. It’s working! I am now much more positive and I can start to see it all coming together and becoming more joyous about my work. I have been working on a raft experiment which is all finished and has been sent to the lovely people at Propath to be sectioned and stained. Looking forward to the results coming back…All fingers crossed.

My Babies in an Incubator on Day One
My Babies in an Incubator on Day One
SiHa cells on a collagen plug being fed with E media
SiHa cells on a collagen plug being fed with E media

I have also been doing lots of craft this month. The highlight so far being a Dr Who skirt made from a pillowcase I bought in a charity shop for £3! I have also bought a Buzz Lightyear duvet and a sheep duvet on Ebay which I am going to make into a skirts too. I am tempted to move on to dresses but going to try and get skirts down to an art first.

Homemade Dr Who skirt
Homemade Dr Who skirt

Finally I thought I should end with some poetry. These two were written at a Relaxation and Reflection workshop run by the lovely Christina Thatcher and Charlotte Nock. The aim of the first poem was to talk positively about your body and the second poem is based on something I do to relax.

Sorry for my selfishness

I am abusive to you both

and for that I am sorry

you did nothing to deserve this

and, I have no excuse for my actions

They were selfish

acts often driven by vanity, haste or lust.

You have both stuck by me

even when I forced you out in the cold

broke your bones when I

was too drunk to care

then made you work for eight hours straight

to fuel my drunken binge.

I have never taken to to be pampered

never a whole night off

never really respected you

for what you do for me.

So, my companions

the the who walk with me through life

Right foot

Left foot

I am sorry for what I did

Those shoes were too small

they didn’t stretch to fit

and those socks weren’t clean

so this year I make a vow

to think of you more often

and be kinder to you

(unless I really like those shoes,

available only in a size too small

but then, at least

you will look fabulous!)

Fear

I hold inside me a mild fear

of being pregnant at 16…

I am 24

I alos have a fear

of being the world tallest woman…

I’m 5ft 6″

So I watch documentary after documentary

so I can make a plan

incase I end up in a South American jail

or become a child genius

or decide to join a cult.

I hold inside me a mild fear

of not being prepared.

16 and Pregnant

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My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose – An Interpretation

Today (25th January) is Burns Night where we celebrate the life and works of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Today is also St Dwynwen’s Day which celebrates the Welsh patron saint of lovers, a Welsh Valentines Day.  To observe both these events I decided to recite a love poem by Burns, My Luve is like a Red Red Rose. When I read it out to my flatmate she saw something else in the poem and we wrote an interpretation of the original.

Robert Burns
Robert Burns

 

My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose

By Robert Burns

 

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,

That’s newly sprung in June:

O my Luve’s like the melodie,

That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

 

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,

So deep in luve am I;

And I will luve thee still, my dear,

Till a’ the seas gang dry.

 

 

Till a’ the seas gang dry , my dear,

And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;

And I will luve thee still, my dear,

While the sands o’ life shall run.

 

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve !

And fare-thee-weel, a while!

And I will come again, my Luve,

Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!

Suzy and I, just as serious  and sensible as Mr Burns.
Suzy and I, just as serious and sensible as Mr Burns.

 

A Luve is Like a Red Red Rose – An Interpretation

By Rachel Houghton and Suzy Youngman

 

My love is like a green, green zombie,

That rises from the dead,

The only way to kill him,

Is shoot him in the head!

 

As grey thou art my crippled corpse,

From underground you lie,

And I love you still my dear,

Until the dead do rise!

 

Until the dead do rise my dear

And the army’s overrun.

Then we shall meet again my love,

Under the fading sun.

 

Join with me, my only love,

Heal my rotten heart.

Thou this world be broken

This is just the start!

Faith and Love

The road ahead may not be easy,

the journey not always fun

and I can’t promise how it will end.

But it’s yours.

It’s always yours and only every

will be yours.

And you have to walk it alone.

But do not be afraid

because others walk on their own roads

on their own paths that will only every

be theirs.

And when in the hum of voices

in the chaos of bodies you

find someone who wants to

walk beside you

In faith and in love

Walk beside each other.

Roads never becoming one but inseparable,

neither leading or following,

but together.

As tides change and paths change

be patient, be kind and be faithful

in her and in Him.

The road ahead may not be easy

the journey not always fun

But I can promise it’s worth it.

 

The Image that inspired this poem.
The image that inspired this poem.

Wonderfully Shit -Poetry

My home is wonderful.

My house is shit.

Black mould paints the walls,

sits on my books before dancing in the air.

I clean with Detol, Flash and Vanish.

It always comes back.

 

Then the cupboard lost its door

exposing beans, peas and Gobin Pie.

This at least is edible.

The milk in the fridge shouldn't be solid

and I'm sure ham should not be green.

My house was shit.

My home was beautiful.

Our vodka family
June 2011...decided not to take our tree down too early
Bye bye flat 😦

 

 

Pretty Petty Pity – Poetry

Winning was never important to me

it’s the taking part that’s key,

but when I met you that all changed

playing scrabble makes you deranged.

You begin to sweat

I begin to fret

and when you lose we fall out,

you huff and puff and sometimes shout!

And even when it’s not a game,

you look at me like I’m to blame

when you are not at your best

even when its not a test.

It’s a good thing you are pretty

and I’m not petty

cause I let you win out of pity.

Hayley and I in hats
Hayley and I in hats

 

Winter Writing Poetry

Last Saturday I spend the day up at The Ciliau in Mid-Wales. I was there at the end of summer and we spent a wonderful day writing about the countryside and read poetry down by the river. This time you could definitely tell winter is on its way, the wind battered down the fields and the river was almost unrecognizable. Christina and Emma were facilitating again and they made it an amazing day with a beautiful range of winter poetry to read and inspire us. I wrote loads on the day and I am looking forward to going back over things and editing. Below are two pieces I am pretty happy with, the first piece was inspired by the prompt ‘winter from inside the house’ and the seconds one I was inspired by the poem ‘The Promise of Snow‘ by Esther Morgan to personify winter.

Beautiful changing colours of the coutryside
Beautiful changing colours of the countryside

Winter Woes

The toilet is always cold

Nothing heats the ceramic bowl

In the dead of night when I can wait no longer

With a heavy heart it’s there I wander

To be woken up with a chill to my ass

Oh, woe is me for being a lass

Winter Kisses

Winter has kissed many lips

Not bothered by sex, colour or creed

all lips are given the same attention

but some are kissed so hard they bleed and crack

The ones without home or fires

are favoured with an embrace

squeezed until their bodies become cold

and as stiff as their loving captor

Winter watches the people left behind

weeping in jealousy of those chosen for special attention

winter thinks if they were to pay them enough thought

he would not have to hold the ones we forgot.

In Reply to an Arse – Poetry

You say that words read from paper

Held in my hands are not worth listening to

If I cannot recall from memory the words.

Does that mean that the words must be memorised;

Stored in my mind to hold any significance?

Did Shakespeare have to hold every sonnet in his head

For it to be worthy of your ears?

Did Mozart need to play from memory his life work

For it to be justified as sacred to you?

 

The man who stumbled and bumbled does not appear humbled

Perhaps you would not have fumbled

If you held the words in your hands

 

Do works of wonder, held captive by paper or screen

Not make your heart light?

And does it make me any the less an artist

Because I cannot hold on the tip of my tongue

The words I think will entrance you?

 

I have papers stacked on my desk

I would struggle to recall a single complete sentence

Does that mean you should ignore what the paper holds

Your arrogant words do not need to tell me-

But show that you are a fool

You are not here with a room of Wordsworths or Byrons:

You are here with a room of wordsmiths who just want to be better

To share small thoughts with this small world

And make people smile, or think,

Or cry.

 

I will memorise this poem not to gain your respect

But so when I share it with the masses

I can look you in the eye and tell you

I am not Shakespeare or Burns but Sir neither are you!

So respect those around you

The ones who cheered when you rose to talk

The ones who applauded even though you

Fell over your own well memorised words.

So do not scold those who you do not know

Because next time you stumble I know I

Will be fucking smug

Remembering your previous words:

 

“If you cannot be bothered to learn your poem,

why should I be bothered to listen?”

Back of the Pub Poetry Club

I performed this recently at the Back of the Pub Poetry Club which was a fantastic spoken word event in Cardiff. I had a fab evening and the performance was recorded so I will hopefully get a chance to see myself perform.

Thank you to the lovely Hayley Cathryn who helped with editing 🙂