"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
….but it felt like it, as narrowboat Swallow was craned into the water on Tuesday. It concentrates the mind wonderfully when you look out of the window and see a 70ft boat being gently lowered, apparently onto the roof of your own.
I was, however, calm – for I have taken up meditation and discovered my inner Buddha with the help of the wonderful Headspace. I was serene by the time of my Knutsford reading with twinkle-eyed Sam Youd, and practically levitating when I heard that I am one of five finalists in the Buxton Poetry Competition. I came back down to earth after building a website, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages and writing contracts for my new project with David Calcutt.
On Saturday I was in Brum, for a Writing Squad with young people. They are a terribly astute lot and as capable as any adult group of reading subtexts and analysing language. The older of our two groups, in particular, had a really good bash at writing dialogue.
I know it’s nearly summer because well dressings are appearing, in their reassuringly pagan way, all over the Peak. They look like this (left) when they’re finished – but driving through a Staffordshire village, it was magical to see the oak frames being soaked ready for the event.
It was a moment of belonging, not just in England but in this watery bit of it. So this week’s exercise is to write about a watery place. Avoid all those cliches like ‘babbling brooks’. Show me what it really felt like to be in that place, at that time. Write in situ. Don’t try and imagine a watery place whilst sitting in your living room – get out there to smell and hear it. I did so, purely in the name of research, as we took a trip boat to the pub on a sunny evening…for it is that time of year when we stop envying you house-dwellers in your cosy abodes, and you start envying us with our delicious watery freedoms.