Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford: A Talk for Sobell House

It feels a little as if I have stepped out of time. This year has been such a round of being at home, being away. And sometimes if I feel I have to pinch myself to see if I am dreaming it’s hardly a surprise.

I grew up in Evesham and Broadway, not so far from Oxford, but never went there until I was much older. Last October I found myself beneath a T-rex, signing books with Robert Macfarlane. We had just finished a talk at the Natural History Museum in Oxford.

Just over a year on and we are back, but this time we are in the Sheldonian Theatre. Oxford always seems a little surreal to me.

What an amazing venue. Like walking into the very best parts of a Philip Pullman book.

The event is a fund raising event for Sobell House hospice, and Robert and I will be talking to Dr Rachel Clarke, woman of genius, with a big heart, the biggest, about hope, love, the power of the connection to all that is natural in the world, about life, death and words. Spells will be spoken and otters painted and there will be songs inspired by The Lost Words. Kerry Andrew’s beautiful Bluebell song will be played, so haunting, and we hope that the evening will be a place of peace.

Tickets are still available, priced at £8, with a hope that people might donate towards the movement to bring artwork from The Lost Words into the new annex at Sobell House. Already the money has been raised to provide copies of the book to every hospice in Britain. ( The money is to pay for design and printing and installation only.)

After the event there will be an auction of artwork and book signing in Blackwell’s Bookshop.

It’s hard to know what to say about this event. I met Rachel in Hay on Wye during the festival in May. She is an amazing woman. She is a passionate advocate for the NHS. She has so many stories bound up inside her.


I don’t think I can describe the event, and I don’t think there will ever be another like it, so please come, if you can, and please tell people who live near by, or those who might wish to travel to be there. Oxford is such a wonderful place to visit. There’s also the Spellbound exhibition on in the Ashmoleum Museum.

Hope and wonder. Joy. Ink, otters, words. We will do our best.




About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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1 Response to Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford: A Talk for Sobell House

  1. Terra says:

    I love hearing about this event, it is a noble effort.

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