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By Norman Warwick

She was a member of a creative writing group I facilitated in the UK and was an over the top performance poet, unafraid of dressing up if costume was essential to the show. She was a regular at slam events at The Baum in Rochdale and The Ring O´Bells in Middleton. She socialised with the late Marian Tong and Lorraine Charlesworth, and the trio became known by the affectionate, gentle nick-name of The Golden Girls, which belied a Hellish trinity. All three also joined my Choir of The Voice Unspoken that performed in homes in care homes and hospitals around the Borough and she still performs today with Alfie Fairhurst´s Pulling Threads now doing similar work in the region.

I haven´t seen Carolina De La Cruz (left), as she was then, or The Vixen Of Verse as she now is, nor Caroline Crossley, to give her real name, for nearly ten years but I do know that, under a number of guises, she is now a long-established figure on her local creative writing scene, and performs at major historic re-enactments of events like the march on Peterloo. We remain in touch, occasionally, and she was a great help as I launched this blog last year by sharing likes and sending on announcements about Sidetracks & Detours to people who might, nay probably, otherwise never have heard of it. Now, I can perhaps repay that support by steering you towards the den of The Vixen Of Verse. That is the title of Caroline´s own blog, that has just sprung back to life following a lengthy period of technological-gremlin enforced inactivity.

Caroline is clearly delighted by this and sent out all sorts of positive messages via her facebook recently that led me back to her site at


The site is the home of a good number of expertly chosen public-domain images and photographs as well as of some extremely interesting self owned shots. The Home page may be still undergoing some re-structuring but there is plenty else to hold our interest.

There are pages on some stylised poetry forms such as haiku, a seventeen syllable Japanese script, often serving as an aphorism and there is an article, too, about how to write a nonet. This page also includes some pieces specially selected from the greatest of our poets, that seem to advise us how we should meet the threat of Covid 19.

Caroline even includes a pager dedicated to poems and haiku about Chakra, the seven energy centres of the human body.

There are special poetry selections, some self-penned, for the months of May and June 2020 and even a piece in which Caroline writes about the writing she created for April´s annual Napowrimo writing marathon, an article she rhetorically titles Why Do We Do It? As in a  piece Sidetracks & Detours included by her colleague Katie Haigh recently, ´the vixen´s´ enthusiasm for her craft shines through her words and answers her own rhetorical question contained in her title..

Readers will also be encouraged and uplifted by the page she devotes to daily aphorisms.

Caroline also points out that she will shortly be opening a book review section in which she look at books that matter to her and will also invite reader responses.

I know that Caroline took the advice of Sidetracks & Detours and subscribed to Sun Bird Sings, an occasional newsletter from my American song-writing friend Kimmie Rhodes and now in response to Caroline´s blog I am renewing my love of haiku.

I expect my old friend might also have taken part in the recent virtual poetry reading from The Baum now being produced to (temporarily we hope) substitute the live sessions from the venue. I´ll see if I can track it down on You Tube or some such and bring you a review of that in a later issue, but meanwhile why not check out The Vixen Of Verse at


With any news of live arts entertainments still in short supply, I was neverthless able to write on my pages on-line at Lanzarote Information of at least a couple of optimistic news items. There is new talent still emerging: in the orchestras and in the kitchens of Lanzarote.

The Island Center of Musical Teachings (CIEM) celebrates the end of the academic year with a virtual concert to be broadcast on July 3. Familes and friends and fans will be able to watch celebratory performances by the students. The concert can be viewed for free on the YouTube channel of the Cabildo de Lanzarote.

CIEM of the Cabildo de Lanzarote has prepared this very special concert to celebrate the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. It is a virtual and free concert that will be broadcast next Friday, July 3, from 20.00 hours, through the Youtube channel of the Cabildo de Lanzarote.

The concert will consist of 23 performances and more than 350 people will take part, among which are students of the center and the 21 teachers who make up the educational staff of the center and the concert has been by The Department of Arts And Culture.

A String Trio will perform live String Trio with the rest of the performances having been recorded individually by each person in their home. Footage was then assembled on video to compile and demonstrate the musical pieces.

Insert photo 2 There will be performances of string and wind groups, chamber music ensembles, music and movement students of 5 and 6 years old, students of the Modern Music Classroom, the Beginner Band, the String Orchestra, the Ensemble of Guitars and soloists of all musical specialties taught under the auspices of CIEM. The chosen repertoire is varied in terms of periods and musical styles, with pieces by Bach or Chopin, but also by contemporary sounds from soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer and interpretations of the music of pop-rock group Queen.

The concert will give an grand finale to the academic year and the advisor of the culture area of the Cabildo of Lanzarote, Alberto Aguiar, recognises not only the studies that have taken place throughout the year but also the work undertaken to produce this virtual concert.

´It is laudable,´ he said. ´Everyone will be able to witness the great effort that both students and teachers have made to carry out this concert, preparing these pieces at home for weeks and months. From here I would like to convey, to them all, my appreciation, my admiration and my gratitude. Congratulations and a lot of encouragement for the next year´.

Meanwhile, at The Cabildo, the island´s Director of Economic Promotion, Angel Vazquez has met with Luna Zacharias, (left) first Lanzarote contestant to appear on the TVE programme,  ‘MasterChef. The young woman, born in Famara, on Lanzarote, has excelled on the program with her great empathy as a great diversity of her skills in the kitchen. In fact, Luna has already managed to move on to the semi-final phase of the successful TV contest. The advisor, Angel Vázquez, took the opportunity to congratulate the contestant on her progress in the program and wished her every success when the programme returns for its final stages in  July.

´It is extremely gratifying to see how people so young are interested in the world of cuisine and enhance the reputation of  Lanzarote and its excellent gastronomic attributes, wherever they go,´ said Angel Vázquez.

I´m sure many readers of Sidetracks & Detours who have an affinity for this island would join the readers of our sister pages on Lanzarote Information in echoing those sentiments of Angel Vazquez and will keep their fingers crossed for Luna when the programme returns to our screens.

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