Lap of Luxury

Inspired by a Sign in Stockport Hat Works Museum

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

Ladies’ Fleecy Knickers
11 1/2 pence

For warm tickles all day
That’s money well spent




A Big Me Up

No poem today, just gratuitous self-promotion: if you are in the Stockport area next Thursday evening (the 13th), come see/hear my one-woman poetry reading. It’s only an hour long but it will be packed with opinions, silliness, embarrassing subject matter, and some clues as to what makes me tick.

The event is part of Stockport Arts and Health Week, with the focus on how personal experience feeds into art. Tickets are free but booking is essential.

Here’s the official blurb:

Arc’s first ever writer in residence Linda Cosgriff will be taking us back through her career and travels through a retrospective selection of her work. There’ll be time for questions, chatting, and Linda he will have copies of her book “Hormoanal” available to buy. Arc’s Creative Writing and stop motion animation exhibitions and The Gallery Cafe will also be open.

I have worked with Arc (Arts for Recovery in the Community) for about six years; it is a fabulous mental health charity, doing great things.


Okay, if you read this far, you deserve a poem:


Promoting family and friends –
that’s fine.
But myself?
That’s where I draw the line.*

*That’s clearly not true;
but what could I do?
It’s a blushing face;
or talking to space.

A Letter to the Weather

Photo by Lina Kivaka on – not Stockport, but similar

Dear Rain,

You know I hate to complain
but you ruined June again.
Now you’re trying to kill July.
Must we yank out our passports
and fly away to fairer lands,
impairing the planet along the way?
The solution is in your hands:
move over for the sun
so we can have some homespun fun.
Be a sport!

Love, the Damp Populace of Stockport.


Fact: it rains a lot here. I’m scheduling this poem so I can’t guarantee it’ll appear on a rainy day; but chances are it will, because it rains a lot here. Did I mention that it rains a lot here?

Listen Up

I have two poems in this month’s Stockport Talking Newspaper Magazine. You can listen in here (and to the rest of it), or/and read the poems below:

Weir Mill (AKA Wear Mill)

Weir Mill is – allegedly – haunted,
but we will walk by it undaunted
for John Collier’s ghost pledged safe conduct
under the Stockport Viaduct
(that Victorian bridge which straddles
that place past which we all – in truth –


Rage on the River Bank

Angry walk.
Birds and blossom colour the mood –
black loathing to red cheer.

The crunch of dried faeces.
The fracture of old gravel.
Sunshine laughs on green delight.

Water traffic: a shopping trolley;
a plastic bag; a family of ducks.
Yellow day.

This poem was previously published.

Stockport Talking Newspaper

From time to time I record poems for Stockport Talking Newspaper’s magazine. The March issue is now out and you can hear two of my poems about places in Stockport.

The challenge for these particular poems is that they are concrete poems; that is, poems in the shape of something. As the magazine is aimed at the blind and those with vision issues, I had to describe their shapes for the audience.

You can find my segment at Track 6 but the whole magazine is usually worth a listen.

Listening to my own voice is enough to put me off recording in future, but I taped a whole bunch of poems so it should be another year before they ask me back. Silver linings 🙂

By the way, if you live anywhere near Stockport, they are always looking for volunteers to record articles…just sayin’.

Reading Poems for the Mayor

Photo courtesy of Nicola Hulme

On Saturday I was at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery for a fun event. Artist Lucy Burgess has created a board game based on Stockport sights. Long story short, the launch was on Saturday afternoon; the Mayor of Stockport and his wife came along; and Stockport Write Out Loud (a successful poetry group of which I am a member) were invited to write poems based on some of the sights. The Mayor and others played the game and when they landed on a sight, a poet read the poem based on it. It was lighthearted stuff and a good giggle.

Photo courtesy of Nicola Hulme

I’m going to share two of the poems this week. Here’s today’s (which, as it happens, I didn’t read out, as another poet had an excellent poem on the same subject) (also, the missing apostrophe was not my choice):

Robinsons Brewery

There is no ambiguity
At Robinsons Brewery:
The beer is choice.
Let’s all rejoice
They’ve been in Lower Hillgate
Since 1838.
Give a resounding cheer
For premium quality beer.
Bottle or draught,
Across the board
Robinsons beers
Win many awards.
Old Tom’s is the
World’s Best Designed
Stopfordians smack their lips
And call it Mine!
There’s Unicorn and Dizzy Blonde
Hopnik Citra IPA
Trooper, Helles, Wizard, Stout
Cascade and Cumbria Way
Trooper Nitro
Robinsons Smooth
Each one guaranteed
To soothe
Your temper but,
To avoid the flounce,
Drink the one
I can’t pronounce*,

[*Cwrw’r Ddraig Aur]

Photo courtesy of Nicola Hulme

An aside: the Mayor and Mayoress chatted with WOL afterwards about the poems and Stockport in general; he noticed some of our accents. ‘Out of interest,’ he smiled, ‘put up your hand if you were born in Stockport.’ The only person to put up her hand was his wife. 🙂

And one more thing: the Mayor is always accompanied by a bodyguard. Not to protect his/her person, but to protect the Mayoral Chain, which is very old and very valuable #FascinatingFact