Everybody’s Reading Wednesday: perfumes, hills and blue fairy lights

Tuesday wasn’t a good Tuesday, so on Wednesday I tried to keep myself out of the house as much as possible and do as many activities as I could to stop staring into the abyss. Fortunately, Everybody’s Reading Festival is happening this week and Leicester is flooded with literature. What a wonderful time to get lost in words and all things related!

ER-guide-image

I attended three wonderful activities all over the city centre and slightly beyond. They were compelling, entertaining, perhaps introspective, and involved full sensorial immersion one way or another.

everybodys-reading-wuthering-heights
Oil pastels.

These drawings were created at The Landscape of Wuthering Heights, a painting/drawing session guided by Ali Groschl from smARTsy. Based on photographs of the alleged inspiration to Emily Brontë’s turbulent novel, we played with different techniques to depict the area while listening to an audiobook version of Heathcliff’s story.

Watercolours, fountain pen and ink wash.
Watercolours, fountain pen and ink wash.

At first I thought it wouldn’t be the wisest choice, as I had nightmares when I read the book, but facing the haunted can be surprisingly rewarding. And cathartic to boot.

everybodys-reading-lush

Later, at the Lush store in Gallowtree Gate, the lovely Sue invited us to immerse in a selection of scents from Gorilla Perfumes sprayed on different fabrics connected to their inspirations: wanderlust, freedom, 1970s Kensington, Darjeeling music, treason, Parisian sensuality, missing connections, family, grief, South African gardens, taken to places all over the world and states of mind all over our lives.

At the end of the day, Upstairs at The Western, we had a final workshop as part of Find the Right Words, the monthly spoken word open mic adventure led by the legendary Jess Green. The workshop was guided by Inua Ellams, who is Kind of Like a Big Deal, so to say I was starstruck is a bit of an understatement. Ellams made us work with similes. In teams, we came up with positive and negative similes we would use for something dark. As dark as the galaxy, as dark as chocolate, as dark as the soul of Satan, as dark as burnt toast. Then, each one of us wrote a poem using one of our favourite similes. Some of us were brave enough to read them in public. From God knows where, I got the energy to share mine (plus the Lush one) at the open mic later. It was good practice for Emergency! at The Y next Sunday. 😉

Also, Jemima Foxtrot is pretty much my soulmate and someone to watch out for. She excellently captures the fears and joys of growing up, the diatribes of capitalism, mourning the inevitable loss of innocence and trying to navigate the adult world in gold shoes, tough skin and “thick fantasies with complicated knits”.

Everybody’s Reading is still happening this weekend all over Leicester, so don’t miss out. If you don’t like writing/smelling/drawing/talking, you might find something of your interest on their extensive list of events.

Lush + FTRW poems coming soon for your reading pleasure.

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