Yesterday, I started off my series of blog posts about the beauties who have played a part special part in my 2018 by writing about Billy and Ken, who I met in Bridport early this year as part of TCFT. I’ve decided to spend a little more time on some of the other people I spent time with in Bridport, as it was a meaningful part of my year.
Tina and Robert have been a special part of every one of my years since meeting them in 2015. They are caring and wonderfully supportive, always there with words of advice and encouragement. It was lovely to conduct video interviews with Robert for a third year – it has become one of my favourite parts of TCFT – and also hear more of his amazing stories. Tina was the usual wonderful Tina, taking time to speak to me about TCFT Croydon (I’ll focus more on that in another post), but was also on hand to speak to me all throughout this year through our email exchanges and meetings in London. She is truly the most amazing woman.
I’d never met Louise before this particular TCFT residency, but I was happy to finally meet her on this one. Louise is kind, supportive and a very good listener – speaking to her was just what I needed when I was struggling slightly. In addition to Louise, there was Louisa, a beautiful poet who I had the pleasure of leading out on workshops with. There was a real yin and yang thing between the two of us, with Louisa being more of a page poet and me being more of a performance poet, which worked well.
Having dinner in the evening with my fellow artists was also one of the highlights of my week, with lovely food made by Alex, Rachael and Francesco, which I was incredibly thankful for. I loved being able to spend some more time with my darling Francesco from Italy, who I felt like I bonded more with during that week. I was able to have him read some of his beautiful poetry to me and we spent quite a bit of time dancing – he truly does bring me joy.
A lot of time was spent dancing when around the beautiful AK as well, who has the most amazing taste in music – his laptop and speaker brought me joy over and over again. He also took a liking to my name, like the lovely Sam, Qan and Awais, who made me laugh a whole lot.
I developed a special bond with the talented Kaitlyn, whose energy would astound me. We would have some really nice conversations and I foundnd myself offering words of advice as one of the older individuals there, but more than anything, I loved watching her grow in confidence and throw herself into the TCFT process. Another young person I developed a bond with was Aimee, which seemed to happen over poetry. What was hilarious to me was Aimee saying that she begun to read poems in my voice after seeing me perform, as I still don’t think that I’m that great of a poet. I do know that I was able to inspire her in that week, which means a lot to me.
Being in a smaller group, I also got to spend some more time speaking to people from previous TCFT residencies that I had spent minimal amounts time with, like Finn, who is very funny, Kierra, who is very sweet, and the force that is Jade, who continues to grow more every year I see her.
However, the two individuals who played the biggest part in making my week special were my beautiful, beautiful hosts, Imanda and Makeda. I had met them back in 2016 during the TCFT residency in Bournemouth, but I didn’t spend much time with them unfortunately, which is a shame because they are such inspiring individuals.
Imanda is one of the fiercest, loving, strongest women you will ever come across – a Mother Lion who will do all she can to protect her cubs. She treated me with the most care and consideration, making me feel at home immediately. I also enjoyed our evening chats, especially when she would share her life stories. I am not exaggerating when I say she is amazing. And then there is her lovely daughter Makeda, who is wise beyond her years and good at holding conversation herself. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of fun and she definitely made me feel at home. I loved staying with them and was actually sad to go.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to mention everyone, but I enjoyed spending time with every individual involved and they all had some sort of effect on me. Every one of them is part of my TCFT family, who I love with all my heart.