The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Bondage and biscuits

‘People say Essex is flat and boring,’ said host Derek after my appearance at the Essex Poetry Festival. ‘But it’s

Demonstrating karate in Essex

Demonstrating karate in Essex

actually undulating and boring.’ I saw a bit of Essex as Derek drove me in the wrong direction for a few picturesque miles, but we got to the train station eventually and I headed north. The next morning I headed back south for meetings – after all National Poetry Day 2008 is dead, long live NPD 09 (and beyond) for which the planning starts now. Me, the PR team, our beloved fundraiser and the Onlie True Begetter, William Sieghart, furrowed our brows for a while and shared brilliant ideas.

 

I’ve signed up to a writing course. Vona Groarke of MMU will hopefully apply electrodes to the testicles of my muse, so that he wakes up and gives me some poems at last. So I gathered with other poetic types to eat biscuits and twirl pencils, and the following night went to Liverpool’s Poetry Café at the Bluecoat to hear the marvellous Paul Durcan and Rebecca Goss, in hopes of inspiration/ plagiarism. On Thursday I was at Birmingham Book Festival to be the quiz mistress for The Write Offs, a sort of literary I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Minute (or Just a Clue). Ian McMillan, Clare Brown, Paul McDonald and Mil Millington did battle and said witty things, and we all fell about giggling at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

 

Meanwhile friend John – a 72-year old gentleman of conservative aspect, and one half of a happy marriage for 47 years until widowed – had borrowed my Erotic Bondage Handbook. It’s a cross between the Joy of Sex and the Boy Scouts’ Handbook. Lots of useful information on how to tie a bowline, startling illustrations and the odd phrase like ‘I love it when your face turns purple.’ He returned it bashfully one morning with a note which said ‘There is a whole world out there I don’t know about. I’ll bring the ropes if you bring a sense of the ridiculous!’ Apologies to those of you who have arrived at this blog by Googling ‘erotic bondage’. You must go back to your own people now….

 

Why, it’s kind of you to notice. Yes, the blog is early this week. I’m off for a weekend of salty air and sodden conversation with chums-in-chief Hannah and Heather, leaving the Patient Husbands to deal with the offspring (theirs) and patient neighbour John to look after the boat (mine). After that I immerse myself in a post-NPD writing break with the Arvon Foundation, so it will be late October before you hear a peep from me again. Try not to worry.

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One comment on “Bondage and biscuits

  1. Derek Adams
    October 23, 2008

    A natural for Emma Peel in the next remake of the Avengers, you’ll probably know how to escape from being tied up as well (always have those scissors within reach).

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This entry was posted on October 16, 2008 by in Writing exercises.
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