Gary Studley is currently poet-in-residence at Canterbury Roman Museum.

Hello all.  Welcome to Blog One. It seems a very quick few months since I first discussed this project with the amazingly energetic, Mitch Robertson, but I have no started my role as Poet in Residence at The Roman Museum, so I thought I’d try to get my eye in by attempting this blog. This is the first I’ve ever written and if it seems un-polished that’s the reason why! As a way of partial explanation, here goes…

Recently I had reason to go to a bank. I’m not a great supporter of big bankers, but in a bid for complete transparency I should say that my local branch is predominantly manned by friendly and helpful staff. However, no matter what I go in for, there is one particular employee whom over the last eighteen months has made it her mission to persuade me to change my mortgage lender . At first it was a bit like a game and I fobbed her off by saying that I had a lot to do that day, or intimating that the next time it might be possible to chat. But two weeks ago she cornered me as I was filling in some forms. Without really thinking things through – and solely in a bid to put her off track – I told her that I’m not a big fan of money or being plagued by email offers, or in fact of constant communication of any kind. As she pushed on regardless, I felt the need to expand on this by saying that in all reality, I was probably only two months away from retreating to live in my shed in the middle of a wood to avoid getting nagged by people. The look on her face was priceless. I even told her there was no phone reception or internet, but that I had made a few basic repairs to the building and was just waiting on results from the authorities to tell me whether the  well-water was drinkable. Suffice to say the look she gave me was more pity than awe, but I’m hoping it did the trick and I will now be hassle-free!

In truth, therefore, although I don’t quite live in a cave, I do happily exist in the metaphorical hinterlands; have yet to build my own website; have never before used social media; created a Facebook profile; or tweeted a single word – so blogging and making myself and my fleeting thoughts accessible forever is all new to me and – if I’m honest – a little daunting. What to say when so many things could be misconstrued or when I could change my mind the minute it gets posted! However, having been a frequent visitor to The Beaney in person and via its website, I have greatly enjoyed the work presented by some of its Armchair Residents and read with interest and admiration their accompanying blogs. So to follow on in their worthy footprints, I shall beg your indulgence and feel my way tentatively onward.  See you on the other side for Blog Two.


Once upon a time, in a land just far enough away so’s not to have to visit, there was a stuttering wood and right at its centre was a lapsing shed, with sullen porch and sleepy-bye windows…


Gary is a writer and visual artist with long-term connections to Canterbury. Having a keen interest in the city’s present and historic past, he is looking forward to investigating the museum and as a vivid commentator on place and people, plans to use the museum’s atmosphere, artefacts and human interactions as inspiration for his writing and artwork. 

Gary will be at Canterbury Roman Museum on selected dates between Friday 01 May and Monday 31 August 2015
Dates include 17 July 12–4pm and 7 August 12–4pm

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