Michelle Payette-Daoust – “How I discovered Leslie’s rich and marvelous blog is a mystery he and I may never solve. We certainly owe it to the opaque workings of Facebook’s algorithms. We’ve tried to figure out which connection we had in common there, but we’re still only guessing. Perhaps the better question is, “Why?”. I know that Leslie much prefers that question to, “How?” in his interviews with guest artists, whose generous responses are often penetrating and always rewarding. Whatever that first thread of convergence between my life and Leslie’s was, it moved me to tug at it once, twice, enough that I was soon reading his blog.”

I invited Canadian blogger, bi-linguist and teacher Michelle Payette-Daoust  to write about creativity. Michelle responded with a three-part lyrical essay,  exploring several of the  creative pieces published on this site since it began. Michelle also ‘looked between the lines’, examining my orchestrating role as interviewer, blogmaster and MC.

Michelle writes:

I was born and still live in a suburb of Montréal (Québec) and have only travelled to England twice for short stays. Unlike Leslie Tate, the author of this blog, I’m not connected to a broader artistic community, and I’ve never been published, except in local newspapers. My vision of the world has been profoundly shaped by my simultaneous bilingualism which—in a Canadian province where debates about language, identity and politics are ongoing and always fraught—has allowed me to move effortlessly between the English and French speaking worlds here and to understand and feel invested in the view from both sides. Because my bicultural identity is more fluid and flexible than most Québécois, my province’s intermittent lapses into nationalist identity politics cause me sharp pain and anxiety. Continue reading MICHELLE PAYETTE-DAOUST ON CREATIVITY – Part 1: WHERE THE WORLD EXPANDS


Martin and Kim Olyett

I interviewed grassroots musicians Kim and Martin Olyett about their passion for traditional folk – a type of music Kim defined as: “About people and what they did.” After naming Julian Mount as the source of her definition, Kim Olyett added, “I believe it is possible to write new folk songs about people nowadays and these songs will become a testament to our lives in the future. I don’t see this music as historical but rather organic, something that grows with each generation.”

I began the interview by asking joint questions to both Kim and Martin.

Leslie: How did your interest in folk music and words begin, grow and develop? Continue reading PLAYING THE PEOPLE’S MUSIC


Leslie Tate in Heaven’s Rage

The newly-released film Heaven’s Rage is a story of self-discovery: of soul lost and found, and the truth behind everyday appearances.  Based on my memoir of the same name, the film explores ‘Burning questions, hidden feelings and pressures to conform’.

It was made by:


Five Live Authors, shot and edited by Photographer and Film-maker Phil Richardson, captures the highlights of a book event in Berkhamsted. Phil’s film brings to life the live flow of ideas between the following authors: Continue reading FIVE LIVE AUTHORS


Rose Press is: a) A Christian b) A Usui Holy Fire11 & Karuna Reiki Master with 5 attunements including 2 at Stonehenge. c) The holder of a Reflexology Practitioner Diploma with the Association of Reflexologists. d) A CIBTAC Body Massage and Anatomy and Physiology Diploma graduate. e) The holder of a IIHHT Practitioner Diploma in Holistic Therapy, Involving Aromatherapy, Reflexology, First Aid, Nutrition and the legalities of running a business. f) Rosie has also has been trained in a type of massage using practitioner body weight rather than the hands, in order to avoid injury to the practitioner.

I wrestled for quite a while with how Reiki and Christian faith might go together and always, eventually, came out with answers which showed me that they were one and the same. – Rosie Press

I asked Rosie Press who is a school teacher, a Christian, a Reiki Master, a Reflexologist and a Holistic Therapist about learning and healing matters. Rosie has had a lifelong commitment to an unusual combination of physical and spiritual disciplines.

Leslie: You run ‘Folkestone Healing’ and other activities at Spire Lodge. Can you describe the full range of what you do and the creative intention/thinking behind it, please? Continue reading ROSIE’S SPIRITUAL JOURNEY


Pete Greening and Jean Langdon

I interviewed Jean Langdon and Pete Greening, two very different artists who often exhibit together. Jean is a potter whose artistic work draws on Ancient Greek forms. She is an expert at creating a range of perfectly-proportioned and classically-inspired pots. Pete is an abstract artist, specialising in ‘Op Art‘. Pete says about himself: “When I went to St Albans FE College in 1970/71, I visited the library just up the road and pulled a book at random off a shelf – it was about Op Art, which was then still a relatively new movement. Looking through the book, and seeing work by Vasarely and Riley (among others) I had a real epiphany, and realised that this was something I would enjoy doing. On the way home I bought some paints and when I got home raided my dad’s store cupboard for a bit of wood, using these materials in the first painting I ever did for my own pleasure. I still have this painting. I never finished my A levels at college – I left at the end of that academic year.” Continue reading OP ART MEETS CLASSICAL POTS – TWO ARTISTS TALK


A short documentary by Jemma Driver ‘exploring the lives of the cross-dressing community. A series of interviews with cross-dressers from around England, this video’s aim is to educate people on what cross-dressing is and means to those who do it.’ Continue reading DRESSED TO THE NINES


Kate Vane

I asked novelist Kate Vane about how she discovered her voice as an author. Kate’s latest novel is The Former Chief Executive. She has written for the BBC drama Doctors and has had short stories and articles in various publications and anthologies, including Mslexia and Scotland on Sunday. You can read her blog here.

Kate writes: Continue reading KATE VANE – HOW I FOUND MY VOICE AS AN AUTHOR

Author and Poet