The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Tromboning again

In his element

In his element

‘Oh look,’ says the Smily Man excitedly – ‘a trombone!’ We are at a car boot sale and I am beginning to realise what I have got myself into. I am a resolute anti-hoarder – a thrower-away of anything that sits still for more than a week – but he is clearly a Collector of Things that Might Come in Handy. So how is it me that comes home with the china tea set? Well you never know, it might come in handy….

Now where did I put that vicar?

Now where did I put that vicar?

I’m still on the Caldon Canal, exploring its two bucolic branches before my sprint back to Macclesfield at the end of the month.

The Caldon. Prettiest canal ever.

The Caldon. Prettiest canal ever.

At this time of year the hire-boaters are mostly gone, and the liveaboards quietly recolonise the moorings; chimneys are smoking again and we forage like hobbits for firewood.

Sunset on the Caldon

Sunset on the Caldon

The views go on for ever, the days are shorter but bright, and we squeezed some boating in at the weekend, making a round trip of three miles last two days with judicious stops.

Top lock, Hazelhurst

Top lock, Hazelhurst

As we did so I took a picture at Hazelhurst locks, to show the contrast between the pre-restoration canal in the 1950s and the restored waterway we have now. God bless the restoration groups who got dirty hands and slipped discs so that we can enjoy the Caldon and other canals.

Before....

Before....

....and after

....and after

Back in the real world, I spent three days in Derby working at my studio and visiting friend Heather. There were meetings at Derby  Hospital and at Darley Mills: we’re working on an exciting festival and if all goes well, I have more commissions at the hospital to look forward to.

Heather and small roundhead

Heather and small roundhead

I also stayed over with Naomi Wilds of Adverse Camber, and talked at length about the joys and anxieties of producing live literature. Naomi exclusively produces storytelling events and I poetry, so we aren’t really competitors and we exchanged a lot of useful information.

National Poetry Day events are coming in thick and fast – they include a Heroes’ Walk in Birmingham, the Foyle Young Poets announcement in London and all sorts of groovy events across the UK. Have a look at the website and list your own event if you are running one. Meanwhile John Siddique read at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. He was playing second fiddle to Jackie Kay, who chortled her way merrily through a reading. John asks you all to have a look at this website and pass on a poem – why not?

New bloke, life size

New bloke, life size

Welcome to Alfie, a new arrival this week. His astonishingly efficient mother Sophie, never one to mess about, has now proved that eight months is quite enough time to create a baby – only slackers wait the full nine. Tune in next week for more National Poetry Day news – but now I have to go and make a cup of tea….

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2009 by in Uncategorized.
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