"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
I know, you thought I was in America by now – but I’m not in San Francisco till Wednesday, so expect next week’s blog to be full of flower-power and LSD. Here in glorious Macclesfield it is already Christmas. We have had our turkey dinner and pulled our crackers, boy wonder Matt (above) proved that he is man enough to dress as an elf, and we even had a sparkly grotto until it fell over in the wind. My new back cabin comes on apace, ready for boating adventures next spring. In the meantime icy water continues to pour through the portholes whenever it rains.
Hearing about my Christmas trip, all the funding bodies of the UK simultaneously announced that they need more paperwork from me NOW. So I’ve been slaving over a hot keyboard to complete bids on behalf of National Poetry Day and Living Derby. But all this paperwork is sometimes worthwhile. We learned on Friday that the Arts Council WILL grant us funding for our new show Fourpenny Circus. The news came at the perfect moment – we were having a first tentative rehearsal with our director Kevin Dyer. This was the crunch point, where we had to decide whether we could go ahead if the Arts Council said no. But they said yes; and now we have that familiar mixture of deep joy because they think we are worth it – and deep trepidation that we have to live up to their (and our) expectations.
I squeezed in a lunch with one Henderson Mullin of Writing East Midlands in Nottingham, scaring the poor man shitless with my enthusiasm for all things poetic, and also got a booking for a National Trust conference in February which will give me a fine excuse to visit friends in Birmingham. Meanwhile a lovely sequence of visits continues. Dear chum Jonnie came to see me, bearing a new abstract work by my friend Tilly. As any fool can see, this represents Tinker in full steam and i am immensely pleased with it. Now I have the prospect of rediscovering old friend Ian, my host in America, and his wife June Hee. Will we have lots to talk about? Will he suddenly hate me and throw me onto the streets of San Francisco to fend for myself? Tune in next week to find out….