"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
Spring is here and I’ve got Boater’s Itch. The living is easy, fish are actually jumping, and I am chomping at the bit to be on the move. I can’t go anywhere for a few weeks, but late May will see me heading off to distant Leek (twenty of your Earth minutes, but three days by boat).
In boating as in life, it never does to rest on your laurels – or even on your new, blood-free mattress. It was getting difficult to prise myself out of my glorious new bed every day, when early one morning the slow build-up of water in my bilges became a gush, and I became a gibbering wreck. Was Tinker about to sink, and my new mattress become duck-food? Lovely neighbour Rob identified the problem at last. My rusty bottom is now dry, my bedroom complete and my five years of tinkering with Tinker are almost done. Rejoice!
After a sticky day in London for NPD meetings, it was a pleasure to be back in Macclesfield for St George’s Day. At Allseasons deli, Adam Evanson and his team delivered a fantastic menu of all-English food, whilst I read lots of snippets about England and the English. The bill included Elgar and bhangra, Auden and Nagra – a celebration of 21st-century England. National identity and nationalism are not the same thing: a brilliant evening, and not a neo-Nazi in sight.
After a meeting for our ‘09 show Fourpenny Circus, poet Joy Winkler and I headed off to a reading. It was a bluebell evening, with birds singing their little songs (‘Shag me! Shag me!’) and green showing at last in the hedgerows of rural Cheshire. Church bells were ringing as we read to the Friends of Chester Literature Festival, who welcomed us with open armchairs. Oh, to be in England, now that April’s there….