Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Women who Swim with the Huskies

How I found blogging material in Hyde Park this morning.

My friend John Williams has inspired me to start blogging again, as a way to move towards writing another book, so at 6.45am I set out to re-inspire myself with my i phone 4 and my swim suit.

I’d always thought that wild water swimming was for misguided people who enjoy bracing experiences, such as cold showers, for the beneficial effects to the psyche and the circulation of the blood. Not me. By 7.30am I had reached the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park and was looking at the grey sky and thinking, “Surely, surely not”.

By the time I’d put two feet into the clear but brown, yes, brown water, I was onto “Definitely home time”.
By the time I’d dived forward, (shamed by the girl in the polka dot swimsuit who was being Englishly Nonchalant about the freezing-ness of the whole affair), I was counting out the strokes with 1, 2 never again 3, 4 really no 5, 6 what am I thinking of 8, 9 this is ridiculous and it wasn’t until 29, 30 that something caught my eye.

Husky! Look at that!

Grey, wild and wolf-like, there he was at the edge of the lake on his morning walk and I wasn’t cold at all.

I was in.

I was Woman who Swims with the Huskies and suddenly I realise - it's now warmer in the water than out of it!

No more counting. Just wild things.

A swan glides by on the other side of the buoys and wonder of wonders, a moorhen with the fierce white streak and alarmingly pointed beak (from 25cms away) is guarding the nest she’s built around a neon orange buoy.

Nature triumphs over plastic.

I swim past and see how sharp that beak is.

Perfect. I’m never coming out now.

The sky is still grey, but I’m one with the wild. What’s not to love?

I’ve only done this 3 times before but always on a hot day. I’m glad my housemate Alice decided to join me on the 2nd day and to sign up for the legendary Serpentine Swimming Club with me, because, wonderful as this now feels, it’s not something I think I'd persevere with alone.

When I wake at 6.15am, somewhat earlier that my usual time, it’s only the thought of not disappointing my housemate that gets me up and out.

Writing can be the same. When you embark on a project that’s really new and a little bit scary, the first strokes of the keys or pen can make you feel exposed and ridiculous. But 30 strokes in and you're on your way and wonderful unexpected animals come down to the water’s edge.

And then there’s the glory of the sky and the things you see on your way back to the normal world, which you hadn’t ever noticed before.

On the way back this morning, for instance, we looked at the Statue of Physical Energy set against the clouded sky from a new angle and I thought I’d take a shot of it.

What a statue it is! Without a trace of contemporary ironies – just the joy of scanning the far horizon – riding bare back.

Sometimes the call of the visceral is what you need for an intellectual endeavor.

And epic is essential for the energy of activation.

The thrill of the chill

As the steel sky yields to platinum.

There is a horizon and it’s yours to pursue.

The light dawns!

It's true.

The world

is shining!

And that, as it turns out, just happens to be the working title of my new book. Thanks John, you always were an inspiration.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Beyond Your Wireless Dreams! on Saturday 28th November 2015

'Once upon a time and light-years away, there were 2 aliens in a travel shop..'

Stand up poetry, song and sci-fi with
Sarah de Nordwall
Bard and storyteller

Via Transylvania and Saskatchewan,
the BBC and the
House of Lords..

‘As relaxing as a head massage and as stimulating as a trip to a new planet!’
JP Theatre Director

Come and enjoy the poetry and stories and meet great people on Saturday 28th November
Mulled Wine at 7pm with the show starting at 7.30pm

You can buy your tickets here on Eventbrite

£15 only for a table seat.
£10 concessions available for students

for one night only at
Mount Street Jesuit Centre

‘Thank you for bringing us so much joy’ audience member

‘Chock full of treasures to feast my mind on!’
Journalist at the Times

‘I never cease to be affected by her mysterious ability
to release my creativity by sharing hers.’
Coach to Women in the Music Industry

To Book go to Eventbrite.com £15 for a table seat, booked in advance, £10 for concessions.
search under
Beyond Your Wireless Dreams! or just click here!
for more information call Sarah 07849 641 899

Mount Street Jesuit Centre
114 Mount St,
London W1K 3AY
Nearest tube Green Park

Looking forward to seeing you there and taking the journey home to the beginning and the end of time!




Friday, 13 November 2015

50 Poems for my 50th - A Beginner's Guide to Opening the World With Words!

It was a very exciting day when the book first arrived in June.. and then the 2nd edition in November!

It's great that people have been really enjoying it - from those who would not normally choose to read poetry to world class poets with amazing reputations such as Mimi Khalvati.

'It’s brilliant! I read the whole thing from cover to cover in a sitting… I just loved the way you put them together.. with the chatty bits in between. I could tell I was smiling as I read it! I loved it.'
Bernadette Barratt, Parish Secretary

One reader bought 20 to give as presents to all her friends for their birthdays in the coming year, saying that she couldn't think of anyone she knew that wouldn't be amused and inspired, so why not, since birthday cards cost about a third of a book!?

So, if you do want to buy one (or a few) you can find them on amazon, but if you prefer to support my publishers who are lovely people and have a great corporate culture (unlike some online giants one could mention) and who also pay the authors TWICE what amazon pays, then you can buy it here

Thanks so much to my delightful publishers, who helped me set up the Bardschool Press, (an imprint of Fast publishing). Without Pauline Tebbut and the wonderful Mr Potter (no less!) what would I have done? Check them out here.

Here are a few of the reviews and responses received so far. Thank you so much! I'm very glad it's bringing you joy.

'Sarah’s poetry is very original, full of surprises and beautiful images.

Reading it is like being perched on ‘Jacob’s ladder, pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross’ to quote from Francis Thompson.
Her poetry can be mysterious, sad, funny or joyful – sometimes all in one poem. The book is a moving journey into inner space.'
Daphne Kilner – author

'Sarah's poetry opens up opportunities within me. Every time I read something that she has written, I feel inspired to grab a pen and a piece of paper and just see what happens.

I especially love the way her poetry invites us into a dialogue. It's impossible for me to simply read her poems in a passive manner... every single one of her poems is an invitation to join in the adventure.
Helen Munt - singer song-writer

'This book is a glittering treasure chest.
I can't imagine it would be possible to read it through and not have your heart profoundly touched by something, or have your mind opened to something new.'

Claire Barrie, graphic designer

“50 poems for My 50th by Sarah de Nordwall (Bardschool Press £9.99)

Spirited, provocative, tender and personal, these poems by the founder of the Bard School are a delight, reminding those with jaded appetites that the world is full of wonder and the task of poetry is to open our eyes to the mysterious beauty surrounding us.

Composed after visiting places as far apart as Nova Scotia, a Croatian island an ultra-orthodox Jerusalem, these zany yet insightful lysrics are a constant invitation to leave one’s treadmill and celebrate the imaginative and spiritual life within.”
the Catholic Herald July 31st 2015 – Francis Phillips, journalist and book reviewer

Thanks for reading, and do let me know which poems take you on a journey.. many people love the retelling of the Hermit Story.. but favourites seem to be 'I,Caterpillar', 'the Universe was not at Home', 'A Black Sheep ate my Business Notes' and the poems about Shabbat. It's been great to see the guests in the Day Centre for the homeless in Bracknall, enjoying reading them and producing their own poetic responses and later emailing them to me. That is what it's all about!