The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Shamans and long shafts

‘I know I’m going to regret this,’ I said to the man in the chandlery, ‘but I need a long shaft.’ I think I made his day. You, dear reader, might know a long shaft as a bargepole. Mine was thrown into the cut by teenage boys in Whitchurch. If we meet again, I will be happy to show them one of its many uses.

So I was thinking of leaving Whitchurch already when a new boat moored behind mine. ‘My name’s Warren’, said the skipper, ‘and I’m a shaman.’ I have heard this before (no, really). It means ‘I have taken far too many drugs and believe myself to have mystical powers.’ Two days later, I was back in Nantwich, at the mooring which I left in May for a detour on the Llangollen Canal – and Warren was there ahead of me. Maybe he is a shaman after all.

So apologies for the delayed blog, a result of my travels from Wales to Cheshire via Shropshire, getting my internet fix where I can. At any rate, last week was a lively one. Tuesday I read at the Loop e-zine social in Macclesfield with fellow trouper Joy Winkler. An audience of forty-odd (some odder than others) gathered at Ronnie’s bar to hear us perform a few poems from Fourpenny Circus. It was a great night, typical of the Loop’s friendly gatherings. They have already done what they set out to do a year ago: create a new audience for cultural events in Macc, and encourage artists to put new events together for them.

Adrian, riverside in Kendal

Adrian, riverside in Kendal

Thursday was the Lit Up conference/ showcase of live literature in Kendal. We saw new work including a piece from Polarbear and a funny set from Kate Fox. It was an opportunity to catch up with friends – like the lovely Adrian.

Friday was a Fourpenny Circus performance at the Brindley Arts Centre, Runcorn where we had a lovely audience who seemed to like us very much. This was one of our nicest gigs so far.

Maddy and daddy

Maddy and daddy

Friends Jamie, Kate and tiny goggle-eyed Maddy were my weekend crew. We had a leisurely time including an exploration of the Prees Branch, and a lot of singing from Maddy. Then friend John arrived to see me through 19 locks, and back to Nantwich. So I’m headed eventually for Macclesfield once again, albeit going the long way round. My ETA late August if I’m lucky and I’ve just been invited to a party in Birmingham which I could reach by boat….

Speaking of arrivals, we welcome to the world a brand new person – Isobel Gretchen (no really) – daughter of friends Jonnie and Victoria, and sister to a slightly pissed-off Tilly. Hello Isobel. Come on in, the water’s lovely.

Welcome wee one!

Welcome wee one!

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This entry was posted on June 17, 2009 by in Uncategorized.
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