Tom Hirons' Five Things.

Written by Lazy Gramophone on Wednesday the 3rd of April 2013

Five Things is a series of short journal posts introducing each of the writers and artists involved in our up-coming Time project.

Since the project's inception, the idea has been to create an environment where independent writers and artists could come together in order to share their work. The result of this endeavour is a collection of stories, images and poems based around the theme of time, its pages placing particular focus upon the relationship between words and pictures. By sharing in this way we hope to inspire each other as well as those around us, to draw a diverse audience and so help to illuminate the work of alternative artists and writers everywhere. 


Tom Hirons is a storyteller and acupuncturist living on the edge of Dartmoor. He also makes masks, as Smickelgrim, and leads occasional wilderness rites of passage groups. Sometimes, he writes it down. His written work also appears in issues of Earthlines and Dark Mountain. 

Five Inspirations.

The Barsham Fairs (Suffolk fairs, 1970s & 80s)
These chaotic, bright-coloured, mud-soaked, sun-drenched fairs in East Anglia in the late '70s and early '80s took place just a few miles from where I was busy growing up. Words cannot give the flavour of what they were, and what they were was more than 'fairs' - they arose out of and were part of a rural subculture that has its own place in the colourful history of alternative, DIY Britain. They were nodes in a multidimensional web of resistance to normalcy, blandness and sensibleness that stretches from the Diggers to the Dark Mountain and beyond both ways. By including these fairs, I'm sneaking in things like Footsbarn Theatre (still going) and the countless storytellers, craftsfolk and batshit-crazy artists gathered there who planted bright, curious seeds in my young imagination. Apparently, I hated them at the time.

The Captain's Verses (poetry by Pablo Neruda)
I didn't know what poetry could do until I read Pablo Neruda. It must've been about '94 and I'd sit in the Pear Tree pub in central Edinburgh, nursing my dole-subsidised Guinness and my copy of The Captain's Verses, praying that one day I'd write something that had anything near the power of his words. A few poems from that collection kept me going through hard times and crazy years in the '90s. Edinburgh was more Irvine Welsh than Pablo Neruda, but ah, it sustained my dreaming and gave me a star to navigate by. Beautiful, rooted in the soul and soil of his land, those poems still give me goosebumps.

Wild Horses of Newbury (film by Mark Carroll)
I'm sure I'm not alone in still not being able to watch this without crying, no matter how many times I've seen it. A few minutes of incredible hand-held footage, a poem and a bit of music from a Mike Oldfield album. The power's in the story unfolding all around the scene, its encapsulation of a struggle that's millenia-old already. For a long time before I started writing about the land, I'd watch this and let it remind me of older, stronger forces and the mysteries of this incredible world. If Neruda is a star, this is both an anchor and a whisper.

Vasilisa the Beautiful (traditional Russian folktale)
My mother read to my sister and me from a book of Russian folktales she'd brought back from Moscow when she worked there in the '60s (probably not as a spy, but you never know.) The illustrations were terrifying, but not as terrifying as Baba Yaga. That old iron-toothed crone of the woods has been with me ever since; her chicken-footed hut and her leg-bone fence have a special place in my heart that's as dark and fertile as a dream. Vasilisa I can take or leave, to be honest, but Baba Yaga's the patron saint of everything I've ever learned about the underworld. She stands behind me when I write poetry and jabs me mercilessly with her finger when I'm pretending.

Kin (open-mic night 2000-2010)
Loosely modelled on the Catweazle Club in Oxford, Kin was the standard bearer for community open-mic nights in Edinburgh between 2000 and 2010. It was everything between wonderful, chaotic and truly mad. I saw and heard amazing things there, but most of all, Kin opened me up. Before Kin, I was a shy thing. I wrote copiously, furtively, in an illegible hand in hardback books, waiting for fame and fortune to find me. At Kin, I learned to tell tales, and to write for an audience that was there, real, around me, part of the same world. My kin. I stopped writing for some imaginary prize panel and became more real in the process. Without Kin, I'd be at least twice as false and still waiting for that awards ceremony in the indeterminate Beyond...

The Time Project.

1. Time Book Launch Lazy Gramophone Events Page 

2. Time Book Launch Facebook Page

3. View our Clock page (counting down to the release of Time)

4. An introduction to Time

5. Contributors' Five Things Journal Posts:
Adam Green
Bryn Hall
Inua Ellams
Zoe Catherine Kendall
Andrew Walter
Laura Dockrill
Mat Lloyd
Sorana Santos
Will Conway
Hannah Stephenson
Matt Black
Claire Fletcher
Carl Laurence
- Zophiel Webb
Jude Melling
Stacie Withers
Tom Hirons
Megan Leonie Hall
Vincent J Prince
Kaitlin Beckett
Guy J Jackson
Eliza Gregory
Jeannie Paske
Jo Tedds
Maria Drummey
Tom Harris
Liz Adams
Lola Dupre
Kirsty Allison
Alexander Aspinall
Paul Bloom

6. Buy Time from the Lazy Gramophone Shop 

7. Press/Reviews
(Click the links below to read each article in full)

Huffington Post:
'An intriguing book project from one of the most innovative groups of creative people in the city.' ~ Huffington Post

Fabric Magazine:
'...we'll bet you've never seen time as it's portrayed in this stunning new publication.' ~ Fabric Magazine

Rooms Magazine:
'Time is a treasure box brimming with creativity and fresh talent.' ~ Rooms Magazine

Annexe Magazine:
'Lazy Gramophone's anthology, Time, lives up to the high bar it sets for itself.' ~ Annexe Magazine


For more on The Time Project tweet us @lazygramophone or #TheTimeProjectLGP or visit our Time Facebook page.
Tags for this post: Tom Hirons, Time, Lazy Gramophone, Five Things, Copya.

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Title: The Time Project - Lazy Gramophone Press
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