Three in a bed

It’s always nice to be woken up by two young men getting into bed with you. Admittedly Iggi (aged 6) and Leo (aged 2) are a little younger than I might wish, and were motivated only by the promise that they could have pancakes for breakfast ‘as soon as Jo gets up’, but it was still a pleasure. The boys (and bed) belong to friends Heather and Angus. I got up as instructed, and made myself a cup of tea with one spoonful of salt (unfamiliar kitchen…)

It’s been a typical Bell Jar working week: lots of projects in the air at once, and each one making a bit of progress. Our successful live poetry show Bunch of Fives is about to start up again after a gap of six weeks, so I’ve been promoting it via email, press releases and an interview on Radio Nottingham. We had an exhausting day-long rehearsal with our serene Zen-like director Kevin Dyer. I also met with the National Trust, for whom I am poet in residence at a conference next month, and even remembered to send in some invoices. Also confirmed a booking for Friday 18th January, to read at Neston with the new improved Cheshire Poet Laureate.

National Poetry Day remains a mainstay and a source of full-on challenges. We are trying very hard to find kindly donors and reliable long-term funding. Sustainability is a word which the Arts Council is trying to drum into artistic brains all over the cultural sector, and NPD is no exception. I’ve been arranging meetings in London and in Liverpool.

In the midst of all this, I had to find time for everyone’s worst working nightmare – the one where your hard disk turns to jelly and ALL your data – photographs, personal and professional material, iTunes folder with 2000 tunes and poems on it – is seemingly lost forever. I had, dear reader, backed up the most important stuff – and as I write it seems that a friendly hacker may be able to get the data back. But it did put the willies up me, as Kenneth Williams might have said. Let this be a lesson to you all…. stop reading this, go forth and back up!

Published by Jo Bell

Poet, boater, archaeologist and former director of the UK's National Poetry Day. One third of @OnThisDayShe. Erstwhile UK Canal Laureate.

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