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Poetry Day with Hoops a Dayzee

For Poetry Day my friend the poet, hula hooper, and secret mermaid Hoops a Dayzee has written this exclusively for us – enjoy! 

I don't think there really ever was a particular point,

That I realised I was a poet, 

I have always loved to play with words, 

And never been afraid to show it. 

Maybe I learned from my teachers at school, 

Or my Uncle Dave who is really cool. 

He writes a lot and I love his work, 

Never fails to make me giggle with all his quirk. 

But as long as I can remember i have loved to rhyme, 

Sorry I cannot pinpoint a particular time. 


I hate to say it but I don't read that much, 

I like my poems to have a personal touch. 

My inspiration comes from within myself, 

And rarely from a book on a dusty shelf.


I think I must be rather self-centred

As some humour and darkness comes when my soul I have entered. 

I love to make people smile and laugh, 

But sometimes my mood gets a little bit dark. 

Current events also inspire us, 

And it doesn't get much darker than this killer virus. 

So the mood of my poetry really depends, 

On the mood I am in and on current events. 


I know when a poem is complete, my friend, 

By a feeling I get when it comes to the end. 

Its like putting together pieces of a jigsaw, 

There is an empty space where I know it needs more. 

But when all the words are in the right place, 

I get a warm feeling and a smile on my face. 


Sometimes I get words going round in my head, 

Or I'll think about a subject that needs to be read. 

Funny events will occur that can't go unheard,

Things happen to me that are rather absurd, 

So I write down my thoughts and take it from there, 

And some of them I cannot help but share. 


Just do it. Put a pen to paper and write with your mind, 

The results will surprise you, I think you will find. 

Think of a subject and take it from there, 

Anything from a spider to what happened at the fair.

You will no doubt write and then scribble bits out, 

But that's what the process is all about. 

The best advice I can give is 'just play around' , 

The words you are looking for are there to be found. 

Throw in a rhyme, a palindrome or a pun. 

Enjoy the process and have some fun. 

Cover Reveal

So much tantalising, and teasing, and finally I can reveal that the act going through tonight is...... oh hold on know that's not right. Ahem, here is the all new and improved Laughing at Myself, a collection of stories about the times life makes you look like an idiot, and how to survive the embarrassment cover reveal.


Naturally I want to know exactly what you think! what do you like, what don't you like?

TTFN, Eden :-)

Library donation

Eden Gruger local author has donated 50 copies of her first book ‘Down With Frogs’ to Essex library services

Eden Gruger said "the library service has been a vital part of my life, since learning to read aged four, the library has been a land of wonder, peace and connection for me. Libraries offer a vital community service; central government talks about breaking down loneliness barriers, building communities and supporting good mental health, then local government shuts libraries”.

Copies will be in the following libraries from November, and you can of course reserve a copy by going online or asking in your local branch.

• Basildon Library • Billericay Library • Braintree Library • Brentwood Library • Brightlingsea Library • Broomfield Library • Burnham-on-Crouch Library

• Chelmsford Library • Chigwell Library • Chipping Ongar Library • Clacton Library
• Colchester Library

• Dunmow Library • Earls Colne Library • Epping Library • Frinton Library • Fryerns Library • Galleywood Library • Great Tarpots Library

• Hadleigh Library • Halstead Library • Harlow Library • Harwich Library
• Hockley Library • Holland Library • Hullbridge Library

• Laindon Library • Loughton Library • Maldon Library • Manningtree Library

• Old Harlow Library • Pitsea Library • Prettygate Library • Rayleigh Library • Rochford Library

• Saffron Walden Library • Shenfield Library • South Benfleet Library
• South Woodham Ferrers Library • Springfield Library • Stansted Library
• Stock Library • Thaxted Library • Tye Green Library • Vange Library

• West Clacton Library • West Mersea Library • Wickford Library
• Witham Library • Writtle Library

TFFN Eden :-)

Day In The Life Of A Writer

If you are going to have a photoshoot it may just as well be as much fun as you can make it. And I decided that the theme for this one was The Glamourous Life Of The Writer.

After finding a suitable dress in my local charity shop (no, there was no point buying new I don't wear ball gowns in normal life), I was made into a much more gorgeous version of myself by Sophie Matthews. Who managed to install confidence in me, as well as new lashes!

Amanda Hall created some incredibly fin images for me to share, and I think you will agree - on this day at least being a writer really was glamourous.

Amanda Hall Photography

Sophie Matthews of Essex Makeup

First aid, Frisbees & Festivals

Picture it, a hot summers day at a festival, dancing, flirty, laughing in a clearing in the crowd, when I got hit in the head by a frisbee travelling at full speed. Everything stopped, it took a full minute for me to realise that my head hurt, a lot.

Being overly conscious of not wanting to look like a total idiot, I decided to style it out by appearing not to notice what had happened. This involved standing straight up staring blankly into the crowd (I may need to work more on being casual cool), whilst people close enough to see what had happened gathered around me to check that I was ok. Until the crowd dispersed, I kept saying with a laugh, wasn’t that hilarious?

After they have gone, I admit to my friends that my head really does hurt a lot, and not in a fun way, and that I am pretty sure that I have concussion. In a strange twist we were all sober enough to know that we wouldn’t be able to go to the hospital as we were all over the drink drive limit, but were all too inebriated to consider the first aid tent.

Let me know what you think -

TTFN Eden :-)

The Taxi Driver

As I shoved my bags into the back seat the taxi driver grumbles that he was just about to pull away, apparently, I had taken so long that he had thought I was a no-show. ‘Sorry I was just putting my shoes on’ I say, which I hope conveys that I couldn’t have left the house any quicker unless I was sitting on the doorstep; looking disdainfully at me he turns the car around; and we head off to the station where I am being dropped this morning. Now bear with me, at the top of the road an extensive programme of works have been carried out, with a roundabout being swapped for traffic lights with pedestrian crossings; some of the lights have plastic hats covering them, and some do not – but none of the lights are connected and so don’t actually work yet.
As we approach the lights to turn right we find that there is quite a bit of traffic also turning right, so far, so expected, and when he can the Taxi driver crawls forward and stops midway across the road. At this point, a man in a White Jeep pulls forward to our left effectively blocking our path. Somehow managing to honk his horn and slap the steering wheel cabbie raises his hands in a gesture of bewilderment and says ‘No’ irate but at normal volume, when White Jeep looks nonplussed he tries again ‘it’s a roundabout’ this he demonstrates by pointing down then twirling his finger around, the bloke looks amused and shrugs.

As this does not convince White Jeep to reverse out of our way, the cabbie undoes his window and tries again louder ‘Move back, THIS IS A ROUNDABOUT’. However, the provocation of White Jeep’s laughter pushes him suddenly much closer to the edge; and he moves his taxi forward until there can only be a hair’s breadth between him and us. Purple-faced he screams ‘this is a f**king roundabout, the f**king traffic lights are not f**king operational yet, you f**king tosser, get out of the f**king way’ complete with hand signals. This escalation encourages White Jeep to concede, and he moves back leaving the way clear, obviously having decided that the next stage was probably having his tyres slashed before his very eyes, or being dragged from his car and beaten unconsciousness with a rolled up copy of The Sun. I chose to say nothing, having decided it is far too dangerous to be risk comment, and thankfully, the rest of the journey goes without incident.

When I arrive at the office, I retell the story to the gang as everyone is getting settled in for the day; and add that the most shocking bit of the whole experience was that the angriest taxi driver in the world had a Buddhist emblem hanging from his rear-view mirror. Cassie shook her head sadly and said ‘imagine what he would be like if he wasn’t a Buddhist’ while Mags our resident expert says ‘Well, yes, Buddhists are some of the worst, what did you expect?’

As always, let me know what you think

TTFN Eden :-)

The Curry Question

white dinnerware set

This is the first draft of The Curry Question, which became one of the stories in Down With Frogs.

Neil offered to cook me a romantic dinner, given that the last time someone cooked me a ‘romantic dinner’ they ended up in A & E I wasn’t as keen as you might think; anyway, he wanted to cook, so I said yes and hoped this time dinner wouldn’t involve a burns unit. On the chosen evening I was greeted by an indefinable smell, it was spicy, it was sort of something, it wasn’t instantly recognisable, and I was mildly concerned. Neil wouldn’t let me near the kitchen, which is quite tricky in an open plan house, so I sat on the other side of the living room listening to his day with 15% of my mind still trying to work out what that smell reminded me of. The moment arrived, the plates were coming to the table, and I saw… something blobby orange in the style of, a fresh cowpat. Now, this is not a story about ha, ha, men cannot cook, they are domestic idiots; many men can create culinary masterpieces, which have their partners rubbing their hands together and smacking their lips with glee when it is their turn to cook. All I am saying is that Neil was not one of those men.

I wondered whether he had forgotten that he was cooking and so had grabbed something from the ready meal aisle and was passing it off as his own; sadly I was not that lucky. Moving the orange around I thought I saw pink, prawns? But no, there was nothing of that shape, no point trying to guess, so I ask ‘what have you called your masterpiece?’ ‘Crabstick curry’ says he proudly. I try not to look visibly horrified and feel instantly annoyed with myself that I hadn’t thought to practise my poker face lately. He had planned this meal, thinking crabsticks are very low in calories, so by definition must be much healthier than the traditional lamb, prawn or even chicken. He had bought the supermarket’s cheapest own brand of curry sauce as ‘they are all basically the same aren’t they?’ Hence the colour, and hadn’t remembered any veg but stated confidently ‘I don’t think it needs them’. Holy crap, a jar of curry sauce with crab sticks, which I wouldn’t eat by themselves, let alone covered in cheap sauce. That explained why I couldn’t identify the smell, crabsticks are actually made from fish, but I had heard an internet rumour once that they were made of cow’s intestines, and have never eaten one from that day to this; also I wasn’t sure that they were supposed to be cooked. The texture achieved was both stringy and slimy, which is definitely not something that every foodstuff could accomplish, so well done crab sticks, or should I say crabstick manufacturers.

I did pick at it, and really did try to eat some of it, but after the first forkful I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it, and didn’t think throwing up on the table would be proper guest etiquette. In the end, I had no option but to admit defeat and pleaded a large lunch, and having eaten as much as I could, he really had given me a massive portion, far more than I could manage. Neil was suspicious, having seen me barge children out of the way in McDonald's to get my post-gym Big Mac, and he knew I wasn’t a ‘one lettuce leaf and I am full’ kind of girl. I had to give a full five minutes praise about how inventive he was, and how much I appreciated all his efforts. Maybe I was coming down with something, and yes I did usually eat like a plague of locust (I wasn’t too happy at having to agree to this, but I needed a smoke screen to blot out my plate). And in a move, which both revolted me and excited my admiration, Neil managed to eat his own plate of food and then mine - what a trooper. The next morning I had a text from him saying he hoped I was alright as he had been up most of the night with my stomach bug. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to have passed it on to me.

TTFN Eden :-)