The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
May 2015 In my AA Editorial Services capacity I’ve recently been working with another client of Outset Swindon on web copy, press releases and marketing letters. My client’s business is called High Street Hero, the thrust of which is to give a superpower, or same-day delivery service, to independent retailers allowing them to offer a service that sets them apart on the high street. When the client and I were working on the web copy we talked a lot about the whole shop local initiative and how it fits in with what he is trying to achieve.
Everyone wants a vibrant high street that is a place for socialising as well as shopping. But that doesn’t happen by magic. We all have the choice between using independent retailers and food outlets or the national and global ‘big -boys’. Sometimes one has to go to the ‘big-boys’ – but if we always do that then we’ve only ourselves to blame for high streets full of pound stores and charity shops.
And of course, in shopping locally you are supporting British entrepreneurs in all manner of ways. As this article in The Guardian says: ‘Artisan markets help foster the talents of the next generation of British designers and retailers. “[They] are hotbeds of innovation,” says Mike Cooksedge, founder of SeeMyLocalMarket. “There is a constant turnover of new products, and sellers listen to customers’ demands. If a certain pie filling is popular, for example, a pie company will respond to that and quickly supply more of them – and you can suggest things too, so you can even have a bit of influence over the products on sale.”
So of late I’ve been trying to shop locally myself where ever possible and use Swindon’s many independent coffee shops every chance I get. In recent months I’ve bought gifts from Catherine Jay and Pink & Green – two start-up artisan businesses that I’ve met via Outset Swindon – and even, to get to the main focus of this blog post – Da Paolo’s Eatalian delicatessen on Commercial Road in Swindon.
As well as being a lovely deli from where I purchase luscious olives and tasty cheeses among other things, they also serve the most delicious coffee and at a fantastic price – I visit quite a lot for that alone! I have mentioned the place before in an overview post of Swindon’s coffee scene but doing the research on shopping locally prompted me to put this post together as Da Paolo’s is an embodiment of many of the espoused benefits of supporting independents. You get specialist knowledge of their goods and you get personal service and a relaxed shopping experience. And you can even have a coffee while you do it. This past Christmas I decided to purchase a hamper of Italian goodies as a gift for a friend. So, with delicious coffee in hand, together with Debbie (partner of Paolo) I selected an assortment of goodies to fit my budget. Then, shortly before Christmas, I collected my hamper all beautifully arranged and packaged with red ribbon. Now THAT’S what I call shopping.
“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.” ― Erma Bombeck
One of the many benefits of shopping locally is that our custom enables the businesses that we patronise to support the community in which they are based in various ways. Darkroom Espresso, one of Swindon’s fabulous independent coffee shops for example, supports local artists by holding exhibitions of their work. Da Paolo’s does what it can for charity. Its current charity of choice is Brighter Futures: http://www.gwh.nhs.uk/support-us/about-brighter-futures/ which which supports the staff, patients and families of Great Western Hospital and community health services across Wiltshire. So if the fab coffee and the delicious Italian groceries are not good enough reasons in themselves to hot foot it to Da Paolo’s then this surely is?
Food and drink are two things very close to my heart. Indeed I’ve written about my favourite coffee shops, restaurants etc on this blog. See more of that here: http://swindonian.me/category/eating-drinking-coffee-etc/
Thus I’m more than happy to give a shout-out to a new blog that is concerned with both those things: Bites & Bottles. The owner of the blog is @ on Twitter and he is looking for appropriate contributions to it. TWITTER HANDLE FOR THE BLOG: @
The content of the blog is not necessarily Swindon-focused but of course it can be – and when I send some contributions to it – then it will be! 🙂
But as the blog is ‘owned’ in Swindon and can be about Swindon eateries and drinkeries I reckon it merits a slot on Born again Swindonian. So below is some information from Thomas about his new blog. He’s absolutely right that great food and drink doesn’t necessarily have to be fine dining. That very sentiment is the ethos behind Eggelicious and E2. Indeed, painted on the wall in E2 is a quote that sums up this very notion: “You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.” (Paul Prudhomme) And, in the case of E2 and Eggelicious, never was a truer word spoken.
‘Bites & Bottles is a brand new blog dedicated to everything food and drink. Great food and drink might come from fine dining or out the side of a van, it doesn’t need to have a label or price tag, what it does need to do is to pass the lips and deliver amazing flavours that you won’t forget in a hurry.
TWITTER HANDLE FOR THE BLOG: @
Whether it’s world food, craft beer, fine wine or just a combination of food and drink that you would never have thought of, Bites & Bottles aims to cover it all. Glossy magazine and TV chefs are great at making people feel like they can’t cook or that certain ingredients only belong in pricey restaurants or are reserved for high days and holidays, Bites & Bottles is here to help dispel those assumptions. We’re actively looking for people to contribute to the blog on anything from restaurant reviews, recipes, articles on producers, photos and more! Just drop a line to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have something to submit please get in touch, if you love food and drink and want to know more or share what you’ve learned then Bites & Bottles is the place for you.’
Most if not all of the posts in this Swindon in business section have so come via other Outset Swindon clients. But this one is by way of a change. Julie Nicholls is someone who I’ve met via the women’s networking group Women Mean Biz that I attend in my AA Editorial Services capacity – and I figured there was no reason why I couldn’t open up this section of Born again Swindonian to other members of the group.
So before we get to the nitty-gritty of Julie’s post here’s some information about her:
Julie trained as a nurse in Belgium and then came to England to do here training in remedial massage. Julie moved to Swindon in 1993 and set up her practice she has helped hundreds of people with all manner of problems from headaches to back pain, RSI and even ME. Julie is passionate about treating people then teaching them how to look after themselves rather than have to rely on drugs having seen first hand the devastating side effects of allopathic medicine. For this reason she continued training in other therapies such as Trager and EMDR so that she could deal with the root causes of a problem rather than just the symptoms.
Should you have any questions Julie is more than happy for you telephone her. She’ll even offer a free thirty-minute taster session so you can be sure her treatment is right for you before you embark on a course of sessions. Because, in her own words: ‘what I do is unlike anything else you might have experienced.’
Julie Nicholls Body~Mind Coach RGN, LCSP(Phys), CNHC
Treat the body, ease the mind, free the person, for health and happiness naturally!
Tel: 01793 495551
Address: Natural Therapy Centre, 5 Bibury Road, Swindon, Wilts SN3 1DD
Visit my health coaching website
Read my well being blog
Watch my YouTube channel
Natural Therapy Centre’s website
‘According to Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Yes it’s crazy, yet it’s much more common than you think. So many people would like to feel better but continue to do the things that are causing the problem. Why? Often because they’ve just accepted that it’s age or that nothing can be done simply because the doctor has told them so. Even if one side hurts and the other doesn’t and both sides are obviously the same age.
In some ways, it’s easier to accept that nothing can be done rather than face the fact that we could be doing something that is creating the problem and therefore can do something to help it. Also, when people do feel something could be done then they have no idea how to go about changing it or think that it would take too much time and energy.
In my experience this not the case – subtle and simple changes can make a huge difference especially when I teach clients how to walk differently. Putting their heel down first rather than their toes, allowing them to bend their knees or push off with their toes are small changes which can ease lower back, knee, ankle and foot pain and tension.
Walking – treatment for painful hips:
These are simple but knowing how to ease discomfort without the side effects of medication can change someone’s life. Why such a big effect? Well, walking is not simply the act of getting from A to B: it also mirrors our state of mind. You never see someone who is depressed walking with head held high or someone happy who is dragging their feet with round shoulders and their head low.
As I walk around town I notice so many people whose way of walking could easily be having a detrimental effect upon their health – this saddens when I know it could be different for them.
For this reason I have set up a talk and demonstration on the 8th June and a workshop on the 20th June about feet, balance and walking so that more people can make some changes to their walking and improve their health and wellbeing without the time and cost of having private sessions.
So next time you walk to your car or go and make a drink, notice how free and comfortable it feels and, as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it but if you are not getting a feeling you really like then it’s time to change or carry on being insane!
If you are ready to change and you want to find out more about these events, all the details are listed on my events page: http://body-mind-coaching.co.uk/events/‘
The Wish Hounds
“And then he sought the dark-green lane,
Whose willows mourn’d the faded year,
Sighing (I heard the love-lorn swain),
‘Wishness! oh, wishness! walketh here.'”
— The Wishful Swain of Devon. By POLWHELE.
THE tradition of the Midnight Hunter and his headless hounds–always, in Cornwall, associated with Tregeagle–prevails everywhere. Whether this slice of mythology and folklore is the inspiration for Swindon’s fantastical Wish Hounds sculpture I’ve no idea but I’ve certainly always been intrigued by them.
The hounds, created in 1994 by Lou Hamilton, have a menacing air about them even on a pleasant May Bank Holiday. It doesn’t take much of a leap of imagination to hear them howling Baskerville-like in the dusk and making mere mortals quake. Perhaps dusk is a better time to see them, to feel their hot breath, see their jowls heavy with saliva…
I found this information – and you can get the location of them here too on Geograph.org: ‘Wish-hounds also have other many other names, such as Yeth. It seems the word wish is from a Sussex word meaning marsh. Ghostly black dogs, usually with glowing red eyes, have been reported for hundreds of years, and probably date back to the mists of time. It is generally reckoned not to be a good thing to meet one. When this sculpture was first mooted, there were protests from some local Christians who objected to what they felt was pagan imagery and therefore, in their view, undesirable.’
The sculptor wrote a poem about them: the last two lines of which read: ‘They are the Guardians of the Earth’s secret; Wish-hounds of the Old Land.’ See the whole thing on this photo in the Swindon Flickr collection: https://www.flickr.com/photos/swindonlocal/6103658812/
The Wish Hounds is a sculpture in three parts – concrete cast lettering, powder coated scrap metal and earthworks in a circle of trees. As you can see from the pictures the lettering is becoming a bit grown over in places and the floodlighting that was illuminated the hounds is now broken.
Swindon’s erstwhile Thamesdown council was the first in the country to adopt a percent for art policy which encouraged developers, once their scheme was completed, to fund a piece of public art. This forward thinking and innovative scheme resulted in Swindon acquiring an unusual, if not unique, cultural landscape with public art being scattered the length and breadth of the town – amongst my personal favourites are The Great Blondinis, the West Swindon Sculpture Trail, and the lonely cow chewing the cud up at the hospital. Though really I love them all.
Though some of the original ones have disappeared new ones have sprung up and even though some of them are now somewhat unloved they are no less interesting for all that. Before I started blogging about it all I’d never heard of the term ‘public art’ and really the closest I got to it was an old village pump, the Cenotaph and a redundant pit winding wheel..
May 26th – comment left by a listener:
“If I remember correctly, the Wish Hounds are on their long legs because they were designed to appear above the tree line for drivers on the M4 – and they used to look magnificent, leaping over the trees.
However, I’m not sure whether it was because of budgetary constraints or simply forgetting that trees grow but, they were gradually hidden by the ever growing trees – which is a shame.
They used to provide a great introduction to Swindon art to drivers between J15 and J16″
They must have been a magnificent sight before becoming obscured by all the trees – as lovely as they are.
24th May 2015
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts,…’ William Shakespeare, As You Like it
As regular listeners will know, I’ve mentioned on this blog more than once how struck I was by the wealth of facilities I found when I first pitched up here in Swindon. For all the faults of the town we are still very lucky to have many splendid assets at our finger tips – just one of which is the splendid Wyvern Theatre – a building I’ve spent a fair amount of time in since coming to Swindon. The theatre has been mentioned on this blog before but somewhat briefly so it’s nice to have a reason to write about it again.
I’ve recently had cause to ponder on the above having been fortunate enough to be invited, earlier this week, to the opening night of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – and I LOVE that show. I’ve seen it umpteen times over the years. Representing Pharaoh as Elvis – the King. Genius.
“Acting is in everything but the words.” Stella Adler, The Art of Acting
Some interesting facts about the Wyvern:
1) The theatre takes its name from a wyvern, a mythical dragon-like beast once thought to be the emblem of the kings of Wessex.
2) The theatre was opened in September 1971 by Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Prince Philip. According to Aunty Wikiepedia the first performance in the theatre was by a Ukranian dance company.
3) The auditorium has 635 seats with each one designed to be no further than 70 feet from the stage – and I have to say one of the things I’ve always loved about the place is that there is no such thing as a bad seat. Where ever you sit there’s a good view – no pillars in front of you and what-not. And the acoustics in there are amazing. It really is a superb little theatre.
4) The theatre has a function room on the upper level called The Place – perfect for weddings, christenings and Bar Mitzvahs! It’s used a lot for murder mystery dinner events which are very popular.
5) The architects responsible for the building were the Casson-Condor partnership. Sir Hugh Casson has been behind major chunks of the 20th century and was Director of Architecture for the 1951 Festival of Britain – I’d love to have seen that. After which he worked on the Elephant house at London Zoo and the Cambridge University Arts Faculty buildings. So our little theatre is in illustrious company.
6) Both the Wyvern and and Swindon Arts centre offer a Great British cafe menu available ‘from an hour and a half at the Wyvern and from an hour at the Arts Centre, before every show.’ As much as the ethos of this blog is to be positive, and overall I LOVE this theatre and the Arts Centre, I will nevertheless take this opportunity to complain about the cost of a glass of wine in both establishments. £6.05 for a glass of Shiraz is TOO MUCH. If the management are listening you are are surely shooting yourselves in the foot? Were the wine sensibly priced I would have two: one pre-show and one at the interval. As it is I now buy a beer or a coffee if in the Wyvern and if I’m at the Arts Centre I go to a pub next door. This is Swindon not Dulwich. Here endeth the lesson.
Anyway, moving on from countering about the price of drinks – I mentioned above that I’d had the great good fortune to be invited to the opening night of ‘Joesph’. Before the show started myself and the other guests were treated to a mini-tour of the theatre by Nyree Kingsbury, the community and education officer and Benjamin Dunn the marketing and promotions assistant. Ben blogs about the fabulous cultural and artistic landscape we have in Swindon in his Swindon arts blog – check it out here.
My thanks go to the two of them for the tour because it was a lovely and fascinating thing to see some of what goes on behind the scenes – though of course we couldn’t go backstage – and to learn some titbits of ‘theatre-lore’. Some of which I knew and some of which was new to me. So while I did know that in theatre-land one never says ‘good luck’ but ‘break a leg’ I didn’t know how the phrase ‘upstaged’ came into being. While the Wyvern theatre stage is level many are not but rather are on a slight incline with the highest point being at the back of the stage. So your more competitive performer would/will try and position themselves at a higher point thereby ‘upstaging’ their fellow actors. The Green Room, the haven of pre and post-show drinks for the performers, is called the green room no matter what hue it actually is. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive reason for why it is so called but you can read some of them here. Wikepedia also has some suggestions about the origin of the term.
“What is that unforgettable line?” – Samuel Beckett
When we go to the theatre we probably don’t give anything more than a passing thought to what goes on beyond the stage, to the myriad of rooms and staircases and the hive of activity that goes into getting all of those shows on the stage laid out before us. It really is a whole world of its own and one which we really are very blessed to have on our doorstep. The cost of a glass of wine notwithstanding. So, to the top of the bill players, the theatre director and Ben and Nyree, and to their incredibly talented and hard-working supporting acts: Break a leg! Oh and don’t mention the Scottish play…Now – I’m off to the green room!
Contact: Nyree Kingsbury: Nyree@wyverntheatre.org.uk
Benjamin Dunn: email@example.com
21st May 2015
As a change from a post about an actual business this post is about a business networking group. I attend various business networking groups myself in my AA Editorial Services hat and am a member of Women mean Biz. This group though is aimed at the younger entrepreneur and business owner: JCI Swindon.
A new network for Young professionals and entrepreneurs was launched earlier this year and is now in its fifth month. Swindon Junior Chamber, which is part of a broader network Junior Chamber International (JCI), was launched with the support of Business West Swindon. The chamber also has the support of local organisations such as Thamesdown Speakers.
Swindon Junior Chamber, or JCI Swindon, is a group for professionals and entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s who want to:
1) Build their leadership, business and presentation skills;
2) Raise their profile in Swindon and Internationally;
3) Create positive change in their community
4) Network professionally with like-minded individuals.
As a group they champion Swindon and its Businesses and Communities. They aim to create a special partnership with local organisations in order to create a more positive Swindon. Since beginning they’ve had workshops in leadership skills, an interactive negotiation skills workshop, project meetings, and a presence at the local Business Show.
Opportunities are present nationally and internationally too. JCI UK has a number of flagship workshops in Leadership, Marketing and Public Speaking. With JCI’s strong links with the major organisations such as the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce, members can attend high-profile events at the United Nations in New York or the European Union in Brussels.
So, what are the forthcoming opportunities to potential members in Swindon? On top of gaining knowledge through workshops, JCI offers the opportunities for its members to develop essential leadership and business skills. Through organising events, members develop their project management, team building, leadership and negotiation skills. Members also build relationships with other individuals from other organisations, and hence develop long-lasting professional relationships with other professionals and entrepreneurs. We are currently planning some high profile projects, which will be around cultural and business partnership. If you or your business or community want to get involved, then we want to hear from you.
If you are a professional or entrepreneur in your 20s or 30s, or you represent your business or communities, or even a coach, we want to hear from you. We meet at Jury’s Inn at 7pm on the 1st Thursday of each month. Feel free to come to our events and meetings. Otherwise, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more on our events and projects.
Find JCI on the web: http://www.jciuk.org.uk/swindon/
Find JCI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JCISwindon/info?tab=page_info
Find JCI on Twitter: @
Or: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
“I dressed and went for a walk – determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.” – Raymond Carver, This Morning.
Suffering for my art – yet stoic in the execution of my Festival Chronicle duties I arrived at Swindon Arts Centre in a sodden and sorry state after the third drenching of the day and it was still only midday.
Bruce Fogle is a former zoo worker, practicing vet and best-selling writer. Not on the face of it the kind of ‘thing’ that would be high on my list of things with which to engage – I’m not exactly at one with the natural world at the best of times. And especially not after mice in the conservatory, rats infesting the loft and more than the occasional frog startling me in the garden. Or maybe that’s more a case of me startling the frogs. Anyway. This all goes to prove the old adage about not judging a book by its cover – literally in this case because, despite my trepidation, Mr Fogle’s talk turned out to be an enchanting prequel – his words – to his book Barefoot at the Lake: A boyhood summer in Cottage Country.
Speaking in an accent he immediately clarified as being Canadian, Mr Fogle kicked off by apologising for not being his famous son Ben Fogle. He then went on to deliver a slide show that, together with his talk, was a charming transportation back to 1954 and the 10 yr old Bruce holidaying, as he did every year, at the family’s lakeside cottage in Canada: a period that defined his latent interest in, and affinity with, the natural world.
As we looked at the slides of lovely family snaps taken in a time and a place that were, by his own admission, idyllic, I was transported back for a short time to my own childhood. Not that I was lucky enough to spend it fishing and generally having jolly japes by a Canadian lake. Very Famous Five! No, far from it. But I grew up in a similar era – that of the late 1950s and early 1960s in a corner of rural Derbyshire which, if you ignored the slag heap and the pit winding wheel on the edge of the village was really very lovely. As Mr Fogle’s childhood was spent in the woods and lakes of his corner of Canada mine was spent wandering across the fields and the country lanes. I used to know the names of many flowers and trees – all long forgotten now that I’m a well-established softy southern urbanite. So it was lovely to be reminded of a softer, gentler, somewhat more innocent time, a time when I wasn’t quite so at odds with nature as I am now – especially on a cold and blustery day in May.
Perhaps unsurprisingly on such a wet, windy weekday lunchtime the audience was small and mostly senior. Maybe it’s only the unemployed, the self-employed and the retired that have the time and opportunity to attend lunchtime talks. Which is a pity because this was a delightful, thoughtful and engaging hour with a charming gentleman who, in festival director Matt Holland’s words, delivered a well-told story. A tale of the beauty and bounty of nature and also its awfulness – in the older meaning of that word as being something that inspires awe. Which he did. And were it not for Festival Chronicle I wouldn’t have given it a second look.
Festival Chronicle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FestivalChronicle?fref=ts
Festival Chronicle on Twitter: @festchronicler
Swindon Festival of Literature on Twitter: @swinlitfest
Here we have yet another start-up business who has started out via the services of Outset Swindon. After many years caught in the yo-yo dieting trap Bonny sought help from her Doctor who helped her to understand how to eat and exercise properly. This epiphany led Bonny to study nutrition and life coaching which has equipped her with the skills and knowledge she needs for her work as a health and well-being coach.
Phone: 07725 811774
‘My journey to become a health and wellbeing coach started officially back in 2013, but, if I’m honest, I think most things that have happened in my life have led me to this point, so let me give you a bit of background.
When I was at college, at the tender age of 16, I tried a well-known diet shake in my bid to lose a few pounds. After about three days I couldn’t stomach it for breakfast anymore and promptly gave up with that idea! So now let’s fast forward a few years. I’m twenty-four and planning for my wedding. I try a weight loss group this time, but it’s not long before I’m completely lost and fed up with weighing food, counting points and paying to queue for an hour just to stand on the scales in front of someone. But I lost some weight for my wedding and was happy, but soon gave up again.
Then, through the rest of my 20’s and most of my 30’s I tried lots of different diets in my vain attempt to lose a few pounds quickly and easily – some of which worked but only for a while – the weight soon goes back on again. I’m officially a yo-yo dieter!
Now we need to leap to 2011. By now my body had decided enough was enough and I found I could no longer lose weight by following one of these plans and exercising, so I went to my Doctor begging for help. I was at an all-time low – eating to make myself feel better, then feeling fed up because I had put more weight on. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing wrong, so I didn’t have a clue how to put it right. My Doctor was amazing and really supported me to understand how to eat properly (something that previous diets had never done) and do the right type of exercise as well. I’m so lucky to have had his help as I know not all GPs are so understanding.
Soon, the weight started to drop off and I was feeling great; people were asking me how I did it and I started to share the knowledge I had gained through educating myself more about food and exercise. I loved it and loved helping others too. The weight has stayed off ever since and I’ve never looked back.
In late 2013 I underwent planned surgery which unfortunately led to further unplanned surgery. it was these events that made me take stock of my life and what I really wanted to do. I’d already had about twenty years of experience coaching people in various jobs, and had enjoyed helping others by sharing what I’d learnt about food, but wanted to attain some certification to give credibility to what I knew and to demonstrate my expertise in the field.
So, to that end I studied as a nutritionist and life coach. This has enabled me to build on my skills and knowledge and use them to help people like me. People who need to find a way to break out of the cycle of losing weight and then putting more back on, through a poor understanding of food, and the beliefs they’ve developed over time about themselves. I’ve now gained a certificate in Nutrition and am currently working toward becoming a Nutritional Therapist. additionally I’m an accredited life coach with the Association for Coaching.
I love working with my clients – it’s such an uplifting experience to see them achieve their goals and I’m so happy that they have all lost weight and made the lifestyle changes needed. They tell me they don’t feel as though they are depriving themselves of anything and are enjoying their new-found knowledge. I hear their families have benefitted too, so that can’t be a bad thing.
Coaching is offered one-to-one as a three-month package as it can take this long to get clients to work through any potential blocks they may have, and also educate them about their nutritional choices. I take this time to look at current eating habits and make recommendations on how to make better choices. I give my clients recipes, nutritional advice and answer any questions as we go on the journey together. I also get my clients focused on their goal and the actions they need to get there at lightning speed, whilst dealing with the blocks that we will uncover along the way.
I’m also about to launch the ‘Healthy Life Blueprint’ group coaching programme which will take place in Swindon for groups of up to 10 people as an 8 week programme, I’m really excited about this one! Contact me if you think this might be for you!
You can see more about me and what I do on my website and Facebook page, or contact me via phone or email if you want to chat about how we can work together.’
Phone: 07725 811774
This post is just by way of highlighting a lovely blog called ‘Swindon Arts Blog‘: https://swindonartsblog.wordpress.com
I love the strapline on it:
SWINDONARTSBLOG: Living in an unexpected creative hotspot…
because we do – and the author of this blog, Benjamin, Twitter: @swindonartsblog – is not alone in having noticed that Swindon is a steaming cauldron of creativity of all kinds: dance, art, music – you name it really – it’s all here. I’ve written about lots of it here on this blog as does Benjamin on his. And he has some great photographs on it too.
Indeed the unexpected hotspot aspect is something that was highlighted in one of the guest posts on this blog, Out of the Centre, in which the author expresses this:
“Before I left Sydney I was having a conversation with a lecturer of the painting department. Shane and I were talking about the ‘art world’ and what artists do to get ‘out there’. Shane turned the conversation around by saying to me ‘Don’t go to the centre’. What he meant was don’t go to New York or Berlin. I sort of laughed and didn’t think much of it.
But it makes sense now.” I rather think that echoes Benjamin’s tagline. And really rather gives the lie to the all too common perception that the only kind of culture to be found in Swindon is that in a yoghurt pot.