"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
This week I have mostly been on holiday. Friends Hannah and Heather, with the Patient Husbands and lively children, found a Cornish farm with two family apartments and a little poeting cottage to lock me away in if I came over all lyrical. The neighbours (below) provided breakfast and it was all rather lovely. I feel like the family Labrador – looked after and cherished by all, without being expected to make a serious contribution to family life. It’s great, but I’m a bit tired of chasing sticks.
In Cornwall I was collected from the station by a Patient Husband (not mine: no man is that patient) and joined the others, all here to support Heather’s exhibition in St Agnes. Our moral support is as thick as clotted cream – and the effort of hanging a few pictures is slight, compared to the rewards of helping small children to build sandcastles afterwards. If you’re in Cornwall in coming weeks, give the Tate at St Ives a miss. Heather’s work knocks spots off anything on display there at the moment, so take the short drive to St Agnes and its Over the Moon gallery to see it. These paintings are magnificent – bold and unfettered expressions of joy or anxiety. It’s a breath of moorland air in a Cornish gallery.
Two workships this week: both rained off, and both rescued by brilliant support. Bank Holiday Monday saw my annual narrowboat workshop in Birmingham. People paid good money to sit cramped in the hold of a working boat, buffeted by strong winds and lashed by rain. Skipper Peter Baldwin and crew were heroic, fuelling all on tea and biscuits. The poor poets did great work, and two brave souls stayed on for a weather-blown cruise. My walking workshop in Whaley Bridge was also rained off – but librarians Sue and Brenda stepped in to find an alternative venue, and the workshop ‘victims’ were game for anything, so the day was saved.
More workshops coming up this month, at Linacre Reservoir in Derbyshire and at Ellesmere Port. I intend to corner the market in watery workshops, and the weather usually ensures that I get my wish….