As hard as it is to admit, or even type, there have been silver linings to the horrors of the pandemic and resulting lockdowns. A heightened sense of community prevails in Bearsted with greater empathy, that has been evident both in the village and on the community pages online.
One blessing visitors to the Bearsted Community Hub page have had to distract themselves since the initial lockdown last year has come in the form of poetry. Julia Hooper’s posts of prose accompanied with pretty pictures have delighted the online masses and earned her the title of ‘Bearsted’s Poet Laureate’.
CommunityAd had the pleasure of a chat with the lovely laureate.
So, Julia when did you start these poetry posts? When did you know you were a bit of a wordsmith?
I have always enjoyed writing and playing around with words. I started off originally by writing humorous ones, relating to friends etc. But during lockdown, I put a couple of thoughts into verse and it took off from there.
They are brilliant and so appreciated by the community, have you been surprised by the reaction at all?
I have been surprised by the response from the Bearsted Hub, as I realise that poetry is not everybody’s thing. Hence, I like to keep it simple.
How long have you lived here in Bearsted? What makes it a beautiful community to be a part of? Both in terms of its aesthetic and its community spirit…
I have lived in the area for four years and have been struck by the lovely community spirit demonstrated by many people and although it has close links to town and motorways, it still maintains a rural charm.
You’ve waxed lyrical about autumn of late, would you say it’s your favourite season? If so, why?
I would say that autumn is probably my favourite season, mainly because of the amazing colours, but having said that, I enjoy all of them. I love wildlife and all things nature.
The above is evident in the following poem from Julia:
The time is coming to wrap up warm
Offering some protection from a winter storm
But let’s think of our wildlife, out in the cold
Returning to our garden, back from the wold!
Be sure to leave out, food aplenty
Don’t let them suffer, their tummy empty!
Out in the elements, the wind and rain
While it lashes down against our window pane!
Wildlife is amazing, something we should treasure
Bringing many people, a great deal of pleasure!
Last year, Julia’s festive poem graded in the top 100 of Christmas poems globally, it was humorous and COVID-centric and this year she’s followed it up with another which will soon be being shared on the community Facebook pages.
CommunityAd would like to speak on behalf of the many in saying thank you to Julia for the gift of her poetry and her positive and humorous tone that never fails to raise a smile. Julia leaves us with this potent message that rings as true as she is poetically gifted: “having lost a few loved ones over the years, I have come to realise how precious time is and that there is so much out there to enjoy.”