The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Shall I compare thee to a Jerusalem artichoke?

A brief bout of sunshine between fog banks. The birdies are shouting about sex again, and we had our annual display of local firemen in full spring plumage. They come at this time of year to practice stealing water from our canal. They gurned cheekily at anything with X chromosomes and proudly showed us how far they can spurt. Sadly, the anglers who usually sit on the other bank were missing.

Or are they just pleased to see us?

Or are they just pleased to see us?

As the days got longer, the working days ran well into the night. Tuesday evening’s workshop at Wilmslow was followed by a meeting of would-be festival planners in Macclesfield – a lively and inspiring bunch. Then it was up early, home late and a day in London in between, meeting amongst others Graham Henderson who runs the brilliant Poet in the City programme. Thursday was a day of driving – west to Ellesmere Port for Fourpenny Circus rehearsals, a long run east to Burton for a workshop with Runaway Writers, and on to Derbyshire.

Friday was more leisurely – dentistry, workshop planning and dinner (eaten very carefully) with friend John Wood. We stayed off the subject of politics, except for a little bout of ‘when I am Prime Minister.’ My latest policy decision is that when I am Prime Minister I will not ban smoking or make fags more expensive. Instead, I will insist that in every pack of twenty, one cigarette is packed with high-powered  explosives. This will immediately ensure that a lot of people give up, and drastically reduce the numbers of those who persist, freeing up NHS resources. I can’t see a flaw in the plan.

Research at Chatsworth farm shop

Research at Chatsworth farm shop

Two new commissions arrived, both from the National Trust – one to write  vegetable-related poems, and another to write about Coleridge and Somerset; so a lot of time in the next couple of months is suddenly spoken for. But the weekend was unwontedly leisurely – a Mother’s Day meal with mum and brothers, a stopover with brother Kristian and a visit to poorly poet Ann Atkinson, who has snotty-sneezy disease but is still a source of fantastic conversation and great refreshments. Bless you!

Coffee and poeting chez Atkinson

Coffee and poeting chez Atkinson

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This entry was posted on March 22, 2009 by in Uncategorized.
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