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By Alan Barrett, Oct 10 2013 12:46PM

Well, we've all had to tighten our belts lately, and, (leaving the politics aside), it's been a tough year for most artists, no matter what their genre.


However, whilst I can't retire just yet, it's not been as bad as I'd feared. It's definitely a trickle rather than a flood, but it's a steady trickle and I shall be grateful for that.


Here's a special thought going out to all teachers and other professionals in the public sector - not all of us under-appreciate you. Indeed, as a former Chair of Governors, I can say with deep gratitude that my school had an incredible staff, led by first one, then another, very different, but equally superb, head teachers.


I feel blessed to have met so many dedicated and gifted educators on my journey through life; and feel very strongly that if those imposing rules, statistical demands, tick boxes and other anchors to creative thought upon teachers, were subject to the same monitoring and standards they demand, I daresay we'd have a very small government!


Oops! I said I would leave politics out of it, Hope you don't mind.


Moving swiftly on, even though it's been better than I'd dared hope, I don't mind if the trickle turns into a stream, or (dare I hope) a river. Thanks for reading!


Take care and God bless


Alan

By Alan Barrett, Feb 6 2013 01:37PM

As well as being in Chester and a few other places since I last posted, I've had the pleasure of working in several libraries lately.


I think perhaps we take some of our institutions for granted at times, and libraries certainly come into this category. The staff are well informed, friendly, customer aware and incredibly diligent.


The modern library also boasts IT facilities, technically competent staff and even occasionally a café! Here in North Staffs, despite the cuts all round, we still have several excellent public libraries, including 2 in schools, sharing facilities and 2 that share the local government office for help with council taxes and so on.


All in all, we should be grateful for what we have, and libraries are one of those institutions we should all use more often. Try to get to yours today.


Take care and God bless


Alan

By Alan Barrett, Jul 30 2012 10:45AM

AT LAST!


Although the forecast for the next few days could make me look foolish for being so bold. Never mind, it won't be the first time.


Once again, it's been pretty busy lately, with work at the Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy and their very enthusiastic year 8s. This led to my being asked back for their Summer School this week. Lovely people and I'm delighted to be returning.


Had a very pleasant surprise the same evening at Stoke College and their adult literacy class who gave me a "thank you" card for entertaining them. Most unexpected and quite humbling.


The following weekend saw me at two festivals, then I had a week of meetings! All were very productive and the fruits of the day spent with Ash Morris can be seen on the VIDEOS page.


The Picadilly Summer event continued to flourish every weekend in July, and whilst it's not a great earner, it's a fantastic networking tool for potential future work. You never know who you'll meet and the city of Stoke-on-Trent showed off its amazing artistic talents with an eclectic dynamism.


I'm very privileged to meet some incredible people, and those at the PETER PAN SPECIAL NEEDS NURSEY are amongst the most dedicated. They kindly invited me to attend their open day where I did some storytelling and children's art.


As well as helping to plan for the town Christmas Lights Event in Stoke, I've been busy with a new group "Status Grow - cropping all over the world", a community garden/allotment project. We've had some fantastic help from the Prince's Trust Volunteers and the garden will soon be producing food for the local area in Silverdale.


After being at STARZ in Haughton, near Stafford, on Wednesday, attending yet another meeting about Autumn work and researching for this coming week, I was at a charity cricket match yesterday, storytelling, face painting and general kids art.


I'm having a day off today, well .... that's the theory!


Enjoy the Summer and the Olympics ... take care and God bless


Alan

By Alan Barrett, Jul 2 2012 11:58AM

Once again it's been a somewhat higgledy piggledy period for work, but at least I'm working!


In the past week alone I've done storytelling, poetry, drama and face painting, as well as writing other work for future events!


I've been in schools, at Biddulph Festival and the wonderful Ford Green Hall, a jewel of tudor beauty in the Norton area of Stoke-on-Trent - well worth a visit.


I'm looking forward to Piccadilly Summer, again in Stoke-on-Trent, as well as the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and Teddy Bear's Picnic (both at the Dorothy Clive Garden, near Woore) and several other events during the Summer. It's also our anniversary in August - I'd better not forget that!


All in all, positive and fruitful.


Take care and God bless


Alan

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