25 days in my life. The low down.

25 days in  my life from 14th November to 8th December. Dawn to dusk. 

On 14th I perform Something Dark at the new venue Storyhouse  in Chester.

On 15thI  travel to Manchester for Celebrity Mastermind at BBC. (Broadcast on 28th )

A video of yours truly helps  launch Co-op Member Pioneers via video

Same day as Apples and Snakes launch this interview which I did a year ago .

then at 7pm I co-host a dinner at The Gorton Monastery for The Green Gown Awards.

Still in Manchester the next day on 16th at 9.30am I give keynote speech at The Museums Association conference at Manchester Central.

then at 6pm launch the Manchester Histories festival at Manchester Art Gallery

then 17th I perform at Norwich Arts Centre Something Dark. Sold Out

20th Monday 9am At I’m  interviewed  at The House of St Barnabus in Soho for Hope For Homes and the YouTube conference.

then at 7pm I’m in  Liverpool for an evening  masterclass with 20 Stories High Theatre.

This photograph tells me everything about the masterclass

Every single day I hear astounding news about The Christmas Dinners.

On 21st I Travel  to London  for a Soho meeting with tv writer Sally Abbott then at 6pm I’m in an in-conversation called “Off The Record”  for the Year Here alumni in Hackney.

22nd The day after  I’m in an interview on Hard Talk with Phillip Sackur at BBC Studios

After a coffee with Philip I catch a train to Brighton to The Art of Attachment project in at Brighton Oasis working with children and adults affected by drug use.

23rd  travel to Exeter and on 24th at The Royal Albert Museum for a really enjoyabe talk and then onstage interview with Fiona Graham Mackay the BP Portrait Award artist. 

And then a full reading from Gold From he Stone. It was a full on night.                             on 25th  Itravel from Exeter to Sheffield and perform Something Dark at  Sheffield Crucible.  Sold out. This is what it looks like before the event

And this is what it  was like  at the end in the question and answer session 

My favourite photo of the event is this one

On 27th i travel to London to do  a BBC Radio recording for a show to be broadcast on Boxing Day.  On 28th I  meet The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Midleton at noon in The Foundling Museum                                                                                                         then at 3pm I catch a tube and walk  past parliament to read poems to to five hundred GCSE students in Westminster.

30th November. This is the day I travel to Ethiopia but first to Sheffield to speak at The Festival of Social Work 

And then I hop in to a taxi and onto a traiin to  Manchester Airport.  I have to leave from Manchester  (Thursday 30th) to get to Ethiopia via Dubai for my book launch on Friday 1st.

But the plane is late arriving in Dubai and my connecting flight to Ethiopia has already gone.  To rub it in this popped up on the airport TV  screen

So my book launch in Ethiopia is cancelled and rescheduled for the day after

I find myself stuck in a hotel in Dubai overnight. I arrive  on Saturday 2nd.  The event has skillfully been rescheduled. I step off the plane and onto the stage.

Beautiful  Hilton Hotel. The day after I on 3rd I Perform for Jupiter Book Club at Jupiter hotel

then on 4th I Perform at the hilton hotel for American school in Addis and then catch the plane to Heathrow. Mid flight Hard Talk is broadcast around the world.                              on 5th the plane arrives in London and I travel straight to Canterbury to perform Something Dark at Marlowe Theatre


I do an interview for a Christmas Dinner for care leavers which is taking place in Canterbury  as part of my residency as Canterbury Laureate                                           then on 6th An interview with Sophie Willan on stage at Marlowe Studio then on

The day I after (7th Dec) I travel to Manchester from Canterbury via London  and finally Old Trafford. Shrewsbury Street. Here I launch Limelight with Diane Modhal.

I wake at malmaison in Manchester.  It’s gonna be a long day.  8th  December. Start filming at 9.30am Interview with BBC TV  at The Co-op. It’s  for The Christmas Dinners

then a pop over to a photoshoot at University of Manchester. This is me and Professor Danielle George taking a sneaky pic before the official photo – she’s ace. 

The University collects money for The Lemn Sissay Foundation

Then I travel to London to speak at The Oxo Tower for the  Frontline Fellows, brilliant social workers from around the country.

The BBC TV package which was filmed in Manchester this morning is broadcast while I speak about The Christmsa DInenrs on stage.


Why do I do this, this blog? I guess I do it so I can see what I’ve done, the highs and the lows, the strengths and the weaknesses .  Next year I am going to make a plan and concentrate on getting a home, a place to feel comfortable and at ease. A place to relax: a place I own. Merry Christmas. 

20 thoughts on “25 days in my life. The low down.

  1. I am in awe. You are so busy doing wonderful work and supporting others. A home is important – somewhere to relax and remember to make time for yourself. I hope you find a special place.

  2. Tires me out even skimming through this. Amazing work.

    You’re an inspiration to us all Lemn. Never stop (for too long)


  3. man on the move,filling minds and hearts with thoughts, considerations, love laughter and unforgetable words.Thankyoux

  4. Full of awe and respect for all you are doing to be a voice for the voiceless and make the world a better place. Glad you wrote the last sentence too- as I read I wondered, when do you get time just to be? To relax with friends and be at home? Hoping you find that next year.

  5. Wow what a few weeks, I was lucky to see you perform Something Dark at Chester Storyhouse I’m so glad I got to see you perform and talk. Such a lot to think about afterwards. Here’s to a good New Year and a home to call your own, everyone needs that.

  6. Lemn, how do you manage to do so much with limited time on hand. ( I am starting to think …..may be he has more than 24 hrs day that the rest of us don’t). I better stop saying my days are busy.
    Like you said, it’s high time you get a home( not a house, a home), a place you unwind after a long and tiresome day, a partner, someone who shares your goals and walks the path of life with you, and hopefully kids who you would likely have your unique genes .
    Merry Christmas Lemn.


  7. I am the daft old women from Exeter who said she was in love with you. Sorry about that – but how could I not love you? The poem you read for us about “holding on” took me somewhere beyond words: pain, anger, not understanding, holding on and love. I have written and read poetry all my life – as a means of making sense of and transforming my own childhood (very different to yours) – but this poem did something unique to me. Please – what is the poem called? I need to read it, hear it, again. Thank you (and apologies again).

  8. It’s hard to catch up with you. You are simply amazing. How do you manage this incredible schedule and all the travel….. No wonder you didn’t have time to call me when you were in Addis. I missed the book launch as I was on my way back from the US. Big hugs from Ethiopia.

  9. Hello Lemn, this is Patricia who collected you from Belfast City airport to take you to Armagh City for the John O’ Connor Writing School & Literary weekend 2nd- 5th Nov.It was a priv’ilege to meet you and to be given the opportunity to have our conversation during the journey to my home town of Armagh. How lucky to have Lemn Sissay as my ‘ Navigator’ in the very busy rush- hour traffic out of Belfast…” ‘take left, look out for the M 1 signs” and all in such good spirit and a kind, calm manner.. Thank you. That Seamus Heaney poem which is a favourite of mine was ‘ When all the others had gone to Mass’ in which he describes such a special, quiet and precious shared moment of time and the unspoken words of gentle love. Many from my background and of an earlier time in Ireland can easily remember that ‘quietness’ in the house. I was so pleased to read in your recent blog that you are going to make a plan next year and find a place for ‘you’ to make your home. Somewhere you can just be still and enjoy the quiet of your space when you feel the need. Remember what I said as we approached Armagh and the end of our Words and thoughts exchange Lemn? You must make time for yourself and you need a holiday, some time out for your mind, body and soul. I would say the same to my own son if I saw him doing too much because he is special also. Take care of yourself Lemn because many care for you and value your work and great effort. Patricia Newman

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