"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
The weedy gods of boating do not miss a trick. They were, of course, watching me last week as I whizzed happily across huge aqueducts in the sunshine.
A couple of days later my electrics blew up, and the weather followed suit.
Work was mostly far from home, or rather my home was far from it. For my second ‘poetry in the pub’ event near Macclesfield, writer Nik Perring brought a bus-load of creative types: it was a great success, descending only slowly into a drunken limerick competition. Amongst our pub poets was local vicar/ cartoonist Taffy, who assures us he is neither a Welshman nor a thief. I don’t normally consort with vicars as it is bad for my reputation, but he gave me a beautiful nautical clock and vicars have gone right up in my estimation.
Thursday, and to Cheltenham for the Science Festival slam. Poetry slams are a sort of literary jousting. Drawn against comic genius Steve Rooney, I relaxed in the happy knowledge that I was outclassed and would soon be able to have a drink. It was a dream line-up, missing only Elvis McGonagall and A F Harrold to make it perfect – lots of familiar faces including the brilliant Robin Cairns from Glasgow, Adam Horovitz, Peter Wyton, Sally Clarke, Spoz and Brenda Read-Brown who won the contest to rapturous applause. I laughed till I cried.
At the weekend, a rare pleasure – friends Hannah, Heather and newlywed Mrs Pilkington, all on the boat at once.
To say that it rained doesn’t really do it justice. It threw it down, saving its worst for the half-hour when ⅔ of the crew were working locks.
We still enjoyed the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct as we crossed it for the last time. Tinker and I are now heading back to England, the Four Counties Ring and hopefully a capable boat electrician.
Electricity is much over-rated anyway. However it has its benefits, as this sign proves. Anglers will be electrocuted…. oh dear….