The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Tonsils, buboes and King Kurt’s Big Cock

This is what it looks like inside my head.

This is what it looks like inside my head.

At this time of year I can start clearing out the spare words in my head. National Poetry Day 2009 is dead – long live NPD 2010; it’s a fresh start. Likewise Ledbury Poetry Festival: so on Tuesday, the festival committee met to throw around ideas for 2010’s programme.

Smily birthday crowd

Smily birthday crowd

It was also Smily Man’s birthday – so I left him with a poster which says KING KURT’S BIG COCK IS OUT (don’t ask, it made him happy) and hurtled off to Herefordshire. The trustees had some great ideas for the festival programme in July, as did festival director Chloe Garner. She now has to sift through them all and decide which will get bums on seats next year.

On Wednesday Fourpenny Circus was back after several weeks’ absence, playing at Stanley Palace, Chester (see website for other dates). Alas, I had left our stunning backdrop in my mother’s garage but the ever-resourceful Joy suggested stealing the curtains from the venue and hanging them behind us. No-one complained, indeed no-one noticed, and the audience seemed delighted.

And that, dear reader, was my last active day of the week – for my tonsils detected the slacking in my workload, and decided that this was their moment. ‘Ah yes, tonsillitis,’ said the doctor yawning. ‘Of course we don’t normally see it in someone as old as you.’ Perhaps I should have been delighted to have such youthful tonsils, but I meekly took the antibiotics and walked home in a pool of my own sweat. Inside my throat it’s all a bit medieval and involves the word ‘pustules’. Several people have kindly told me how dangerous tonsillitis is for an adult, and one person said, ‘oh yes, you can die from that.’

Ah yes, this is why it's worth living

Ah yes, this is why it's worth living

I decided not to. Undeterred by my life-threatening illness, we went off for a between-birthdays weekend in Monsal Dale at the excellent Ruskins B&B. There was walking, reading and a great deal of eating at the fantastic Pack Horse Inn, Little Longstone.

It had to happen....

It had to happen....

Oh rats: weather vane, Eyam

Oh rats: weather vane, Eyam

We went to the famous plague village Eyam (slogan: you can say what you like about the Black Death but we do alright out of it) and strolled through Chatsworth Park where there are lots of modern sculptures (like the word sculpture at the top of this blog). It felt like a week-long holiday. I’m rested, rattling with antibiotics, and ready for a week of backlog-slaying….

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2009 by in Uncategorized.
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