"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
… the more hysterical the Southerners get, tiddly pom. On Monday I awoke to the apocalyptic squawkings of Humphrys and Naughtie – A SNOWFLAKE HAS FALLEN ON HEATHROW, RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
Here in Pennineland, even small children can cope with this sort of thing.
And so to Birmingham for a lively poet-in-residence stint with the National Trust and a lovely visit to friend Adrian, now a novelist preparing for a live show in Glasgow soon.
To my distress, my Didsbury workshop for 13th February is subscribed to by several fabulous writers whom I can’t hope to teach anything. I’ve decided to see it as a compliment rather than a threat. My own writing is going well: I don’t say I’m writing well, but the writing muscle is slowly getting back into shape.
On Thursday I was in That London for a strategic meeting to make National Poetry Day the big, all-encompassing beastie that we know it can be. The snow in the capital had turned to slush and everyone was now looking a bit sheepish. The meeting brought great, constructive comment from several very helpful people. NPD has made great strides in the time I’ve been there (coincidence) and it’s getting more exciting still.
Back at the marina the thaw meant that my neighbour’s fag-ends, suspended for days in the ice in front of my kitchen window, could at last sink to the bottom of the canal and poison fish in the usual way. I battled through the slush to a Readers’ Day at Tatton Park where Wendy Cope, Char March and others entertained us. ‘What are you reading at the moment?’ someone asked. Treasure Island and the Koran, actually. Then of course there was more lovely snow, which stranded me in Derby. I was forced to eat toasted sandwiches and drink wine chez Heather Duncan and to admire the snow constructions of small friends…. particularly this magnificent igloo for teddies.
Sunday’s workshop on ceramics at Pickford’s House Museum in Derby was another productive one. The museums service (in the person of Jane Hardstaff) have been fantastically supportive, and have been repaid with good work from those who took part. Meanwhile my artefactually-challenged little brother has spent weeks looking for a prop for his latest film-making project – ‘a sort of glass globe type thingy’.
It’s called a bell jar, Simon.
I can’t take pleasure in this smart-arse response as a big sister should, because my sainted friends have got me booked in for another session of ‘Tax Filing for Innumerate Buffoons’. This one is for the year ending…. we’d better not say, for fear of making accountants weep all over the country. Tune in next week for more dysnumeric fun. Till then, keep building snowmen!