Headstone Manor & Museum host regular talks and lectures every other Tuesday in The Granary. I was invited to perform some poetry - and the audience joined in the chorus to my songs with gusto and a good time was had by all!

There was a cold wind outside, but inside Headstone Manor was a warm reception from the audience when I read some of my poetry. I think the ones that went down best were the poems musing that while we have family members who don’t speak to each other, how we can ever hope for world peace, my moans about parking fines thanks to the yellow line painted outside my house (sung to On the Street Where You Live) and my woeful attempts to wear a thong. As you see, Keats and Wordsworth can rest easy!

Some of the audience remembered a previous talk I’d given there, Gadgets, Gingham & Corsets, in which I told them about the people who gave their names to everyday words. Ever think why we stand with our arms akimbo? You’ve Crown Prince Mwawalele Akimbo of Segu to thank. And if you ever get the chance to hear my talk, you’ll discover why acrobats perform somersaults and why that lucky rabbit’s foot (although not so lucky, perhaps, for the rabbit) is called a mascot.

The regular Tuesday talks in the coming weeks will be featuring lectures on Yeats and Maud Gonne, Victorian Food and Drink and Noel Coward and Ivor Novello.

I’m due back later in the year talking about where our Christmas traditions originate. Come along on December 8 and you’ll discover why we have robins on our Christmas cards and what porridge has to do with our Christmas lunch.

If you go to your nearest Harrow library, you’ll be able to pick up Headstone Manor & Museum’s latest brochure which includes information about Harrow Arts Centre.