Germander Speedwell 

Distribution

Homo sapiens speedwelli is a rare but distinctive species, and has been identified in a variety of habitats - from broadleaf woodland to estuary foreshore to municipal library, with distribution across London and the UK according to season and possibility. See below for a list of past and expected sightings.

 

Messages may be conveyed via:

Speedwell speed-dial: 07986 776488

Email: g.speedwell@yahoo.co.uk 

 

Please note however that Germander Speedwell can not be found on Facebook or in any other artificially cultivated or externally controlled environments - Germander is a wildflower, after all. Germander can however be tentatively found on Twitter (as GermanderS), as she is rather partial to birdsong; her call pattern can be identified by occasional bursts of original melody rather than constant territorial chirping.  

Expected sightings:

 

May/June: currently flowering profusely in woodland and cemetery verges.

 

 

Significant past appearances:

 

      Surrey Docks Farm      Second Chance charity shop       The Shipping News Room        Wayward Walks        Thames Estuary    

 

 

List of past sightings:

 

Surrey Docks Farm - Piecing Together Our Past, 2016-17

Germander devised and led this Heritage Lottery funded project to explore the history of the Farm's site between 1883-1940, when it was a smallpox and fever receiving station, until destroyed in the Blitz. See the results at  www.surreydocksfarm.org.uk/piecing-together-past

 

Shorelines Literature Festival, part of Estuary 2016 Festival

A reading of Estuary-related pieces at this weekend festival of writing and art related to the Thames Estuary, held at the Tilbury Cruise Terminal.  Organised by Metal - listings here:  www.estuaryfestival.com/event/detail/shorelines.html

 

Museum of Curiosities II, Gatehouse Arts, Harlow, Essex, 2014

An exhibition of curious collections, and responses by artists, which included a couple of works by Germander. Download the catalogue here:  Front page and Back page.

 

Surrey Docks Farm - Heritage Project, 2013-14

Germander devised and led this Heritage Lottery funded project to research, survey and interpret the fascinating history of the farm's site.  See the website for the results: www.surreydocksfarm.org.uk/history-trail.  Germander continues to give tours and presentations on the site's history to various groups, including recently the Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Society and the Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Society.  Contact Germander at heritage@surreydocksfarm.org.uk for enquiries.

 

Tides of Change exhibition as part of Kent Coastal Week, 2013

An exhibition of artworks about the Thames and Medway, from writing to sculpture to film, on board the LV21 Lightship on Gillingham Pier, including excerpts from Germander's Thames Estuary pieces.

 

Second Chance: A Double-take in Couplets, 2012-13

This was a 4-month 'Hostings' residency in Second Chance charity shop in Archway, part of A Million Minutes, organised by Islington Council and supported by Arts Council England.  Germander explored and worked with the staff of this popular and unique charity shop, to write and present a series of verses about her findings.  Full details on the Second Chance page.

 

Thames Estuary Salon, Chalkwell Hall, Chalkwell, Essex, 2012

Part of the series of 'Salon' literary events curated by Rachel Lichtenstein, this evening organised by Metal Culture at Chalkwell Hall  included presentations from a mixture of artists and authors using text to explore the Thames Estuary, including artist/curator Frances Lord,  artist/writer Stephen Turner, photographer Simon Fowler,  Germander Speedwell and members of the Estuary Project.

 

The Shipping News Room, 2012

A project for Art at the Centre, Swale Borough Council,  which involved Germander setting up a ship-spotting and boat-noting project in a converted shipping container in the town of Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey, Kent.  Full details are on the Shipping News Room page.

 

Surrey Docks Farm, 2010-12

Germander was Writer-in-Residence at this city farm in Rotherhithe, producing a booklet of her work, and then in 2012 winning a placement on the Vodafone World of Difference scheme to organise related events and a natural history survey.  See full details on the Surrey Docks Farm  page.

 

Wayward Walks 2009-16

Guided walks devised and led by Germander, featuring curiosities of language and image in the City of London, and street art and curiosities in Kennington.  See the Wayward Walks page.

 

Dockyard Dictionary walks at the Museum in Docklands, 2010

Germander led wordy wanders for the Museum of Docklands for World Poetry Day, linking curiosities found around West India Dock with her spoken word pieces about strange ship names, curious cargoes, strange occupations and odd dockyard language.

 

Soundings from the Estuary, 2007-08

An in-depth project exploring the Thames Estuary and its language.  See the Thames Estuary page.  

 

Atlantic Basin Project, 2007

Germander wrote a piece for the Atlantic Basin Project, based in Newfoundland and launched in December 2007.

 

The Sea Sheppey Maritime Festival, 2005-07

Annual weekend heritage festival on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent - participated in 2005, 2006, 2007  -  see the Depictions page for photos and details.

 

Performance venues

Appearances at various performance venues such as Word Geometry, The Klinker, the Bonnington and the Vortex, London Canal Museum, as well as various Thames-moored waterborne venues.

 

Resonance FM - several guest appearances on London's art radio station, including:

Jubilate Agno - reading on Resonance FM 104.4fm:

A recording of this epic poem by Christopher Smart, read by Frank Key of Hooting Yard with Germander Speedwell.   Originally broadcast on Resonance FM on December 27, 2007 (the first ever complete reading of this work?), it is still available to listen to as a podcast.   Christopher Smart was an 18th C religious poet, who wrote this bizarre, all-encompassing and sometimes unintentionally hilarious epic while in a period of madness.  

            Go to http://podcasts.resonancefm.com/archives/877 to hear it in podcast form.

            Or go to the Internet Archive, for a review and downloads: www.archive.org/details/JubilateAgn

           

SW1 Radio - Passport show

Guest appearances on SW1 Radio's 'habitat for the unexpected' - the Passport world music show,  hosted by Phil Hogg.   

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