The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Sunshine and duck rape

Briefly, briefly this morning, the Big Shiny Thing in the Sky showed itself. Chilly boaters woke to the creaking sound of  their cabins stretching in the sun. We crawled out of our little caverns like terrapins and gazed at the sky, basking in temperatures of almost 9°C. We smiled benevolently at the ducks raping each other, and began to feel a little frisky ourselves. Then it started snowing. Spring isn’t quite here yet.

Ladies and gentlemen, I offer you my new role model – Anne Widdecombe. I was alarmed to find myself in complete agreement with her the other day.

I know, I know

I know, I know

She was speaking about being single, and how tedious it is to always be seen as a thwarted lesbian/ thwarted heterosexual/ person with deep psychological issues. The uncharitable might say that Anne Widdecombe falls into the latter category judging by her political and hairstyling choices. But at least we sad, wretched old ladies who live alone are being reinvented. About bloody time too. Perhaps we are the new tromboning.

In fact, it’s been a very female week for me. My workshops at Wilmslow are subscribed entirely by women, who took my exercises in good spirit, even the one where I made them listen to bananas and run their fingers through instant coffee. And my Macclesfield workshops at the coolest knitting shop in the world, Button and Skein are attracting a few tentative bodies so let’s see if I can get a full group by early April.

More female-centric musings at Some Girls’ Mothers, a sell-out reading in Chesterfield from a new collection of that name. Of the six readers, I already knew River Wolton and Anne Caldwell, but was blown away by a reading from Clare Shaw, whose story was told with a rhythm and precision that identified her as a poet. Sure enough her collection Straight Ahead is brilliant stuff. Some Girls’ Mothers would make a brilliant Mother’s Day present…. buy it here.

Fourpenny Circus rehearsals and National Poetry Day organising were the keystones of the week as ever. The latest rehearsal, uncharacteristically, saw us all a bit tired and not really in the mood – lots of giggling and diversion, and not as much work as usual – but this is no bad thing and we got on with it eventually. Now, until the spring really does arrive I’d better go and sort out some more coal….



This entry was posted on March 8, 2009 by in Writing exercises.
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