"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
So. Some weeks you get called up for the Brit Awards at O2….
…..and some weeks you spend in and out of Macclesfield Hospital, having toxic substances painted onto your back (right). Patch tests are called patch tests because they give only the patchiest idea of what might be wrong with you. What they do is draw a Battleships-style grid on your skin, paint you with hieroglyphs and then Sellotape blobs of unpleasantness to you – washing powder, hydrochloric acid, etc. On the second visit they go, ‘Oooooh. That looks itchy.’ On the third visit they say (in my case) ‘Oh. Well, it’s more of a genetic thing really. Try to avoid money, artificial joints and washing machines. Here’s some of the cream you usually have.’ Only then can you have a shower. Your hands still itch but you don’t care, so I suppose it works.
Clean and fragrant, I was in Birmingham on Saturday with David Calcutt (above) for our final Writing Squad with young writers. They did a little showcase, reading their work to proud parents, and we were pretty chuffed too. David has the extra rosy glow of the soon-to-be-published about him as his latest children’s novel, The Map of Marvels, comes out next week.
Sunday brought another brilliant scheme cooked up by Curly Jane to the streets of Macclesfield. The Treacle Market – take one under-used market place, add people who actually give a shit and watch it grow – was a splendid array of food, good craft and vintage stuff, things for kids to do and general merriment. It’s hoped it will be monthly from now on and I think it might bring a lot of people into the town on a Sunday. Viva Curly Jane and her happy minions!
Work has not allowed me to go boating at all this year – but there will be a boating adventure in August. Meanwhile, I had better write something for Bugged as the standard of work coming in is really warming the cockles of my heart: and next weekend brings the Kendal Calling festival. I’m very much looking forward to seeing John Cooper Clarke, Mike Garry, Tony Walsh, Marvin Cheeseman and others (see a little video of Mike here). I may be allergic to nickel but no-one said anything about Brothers’ Festival Cider…