The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Of tadpoles and trombones

I’ve been getting a teensy bit stressed, dear readers – working long days and actively avoiding exercise. Last weekend, when I nearly bludgeoned to death the lad who hadn’t delivered my coal (again), I realised that I need to chill out a bit. So I took action – oh yes. I went for a trudge-and-bounce on the hilly streets of Macclesfield, then settled on the sofa with Herodotus – ‘Polichne, with the help of his Lesbians, got the better of the rest of the Chians, weakened as they were by the sea battle’ etc.

Not that sort, obviously

Not that sort, obviously

Not as gripping as the Beano, but pretty spicy after the Qu’ran. Not only have I learned much about the Lesbians, but after I innocently used the phrase ‘tromboning’ in a poem, a friend led me to this definition of it which made me feel quite prim.

It's the new felching, apparently

It's the new felching, apparently

It wasn’t all play – there was National Poetry Day work, a brief for Derby Hospital and a funding bid. Fourpenny Circus moves on: our website is up and running, our script is stronger and we are even remembering some of the words. We had a great collective adventure, Mr Benn-stylee, at the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster. The wardrobe mistress took us to a vast space full of hats that looked like pigs, wigs that looked like trees, and objects that made us all stare a bit. We spent a happy afternoon dressing up, and are now about two-thirds kitted out – Jane is working on the other third. Meanwhile, Mike at Action Transport Theatre is helping us with props and backdrops. 

Starting as we mean to go on....

Starting as we mean to go on....

In theatre world we are treated as the ‘remedial stagecraft’ class. We aren’t actors by any means, but not the usual sort of poet either; we are becoming a sort of poetic tadpole.

Being but a skip and a fart away from friends Jamie, Kate and new girl Maddy, I went to say hello. Unfortunately Maddy, a charming little pink-faced person of the sort that appears in picture books, HATED me and screamed like a burglar alarm every time I went near her…. Maybe she’ll get used to me before she goes to university.

 

The calm before the storm

The calm before the storm

Saturday night brought Steve Rooney to the Big Blue open mike in Derby, and I went with splendid chums Hannah and Heather to cheer him on.

 

 

Accessorize loves us

Accessorize loves us

I have accidentally given up drinking for Lent, so I will raise a virtual glass in memory of Laurie, a friend and boater who died this week. Laurie was one of the first heart transplant patients, and lived far longer than he had any right to, by sheer bloody-mindedness. He had a wicked laugh and got his money’s worth out of that heart in every sense. The marina flag is flying at half mast.

 

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4 comments on “Of tadpoles and trombones

  1. Melvin
    March 3, 2009

    First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    —————————-
    Mind Blowing!

    • jobellonline
      March 3, 2009

      Hope it didn’t put you off your breakfast….

  2. angi
    March 19, 2009

    Love the Fourpenny Circus poster. Did your mum & dad name you with great foresight, just so you’d get the biggest letters?

    And how did the others persuade you to stand on your hands like that?

    Looking forward to the shows!

    • jobellonline
      March 22, 2009

      Actually they gave me a very long name but it did turn out to be a very fortunate shortening! It took me ages to learn the standing-on-forelegs trick. And I had to lose some weight….

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This entry was posted on March 1, 2009 by in Writing exercises.
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