I’m working on my Blackberry (vodka)

Policemen looking younger?

You know those signs that you are getting older? The summer seems to end very quickly, the policemen look younger and the meetings for Ledbury Poetry Festival come round much sooner than you expected… Well, perhaps the latter is

Ledbury meeting - hats compulsory

no surprise, as I’m helping to programme it next year. More of that another time. For now, it was a good reason to make a journey to Herefordshire, past the hop fields and heavy-laden orchards, for a meeting about the festival’s future development. We need more people to come and enjoy poetry with us in July: and like any arts organisation we need to keep one eye on the ever-diminishing arts budget, with the hungry political wolves circling us, waiting to snap up the sick, the halt and the lame….

National Poetry Day is definitely growing closer. Only three weeks to go till our national celebration and the website is fleshing out nicely, with blogs soon to come from (amongst others) Kate Fox and Martin Figura. My other great project of the moment is Bugged: I have been poring over the manuscript to spot bloopers and typos.  There will, of course, be one immensely important one that I don’t spot, hidden in the writing of someone particularly likely to take offence. Hey ho.

Happy, shiny, camp
Trailer tent trash, me!

I had to forego a friend’s wedding for other commitments, dammit – but on the way I did manage a quick stop at the VW Vanfest – a sort of tribal gathering of the Little Camper Folk. The sun shone, it was properly hot and the summer seemed to have stretched a little bit. I’ve decided to invest in one of these (left) – a sort of collapsible garret for writing poetic masterpieces in – and if I can find a few spare thousands, I’m sure I shall have one before I’m sixty.

The week ahead brings lots of NPD work, an afternoon with lovely librarians and a day of work with a splendid mentee, whom I am sure I can teach nothing. I’m also planning  sessions at Manchester Metropolitan University’s non-metropolitan, non-Mancunian campus at Crewe, where I’ll be teaching a creative writing module this autumn.

Before the week got under way, with a friend not unknown to these pages, I did my bit to harvest the summer sunshine – there was no mist, but plenty of mellow fruitfulness, as we collected blackberries (and scratches) for a good cause. If they don’t go mouldy as usual, then three bottles of blackberry vodka will be ready for consumption by Christmas. Ho ho ho….

Mellow fruitfulness. Hic

Jo Bell | Create your badge

Published by Jo Bell

Poet, boater, archaeologist and former director of the UK's National Poetry Day. One third of @OnThisDayShe. Erstwhile UK Canal Laureate.

2 thoughts on “I’m working on my Blackberry (vodka)

  1. Hey Jo! The National Poetry Day webpage is looking absolutely splendid! Well done! 😀

  2. That trailer tent is a ‘Dandy’! That’s been my accommodation at Ledbury the last few years – they last forever and mine was one of the oldest around (early 70s). Only this year, I’ve changed it for a very small caravan but it has gone to a good home with Sonia (Hendy-Isaac) & Dan and they had their first outing in it for this year’s Ledbury.

    You don’t have to spend thousands – there is a ‘Dandy owners group’ on yahoo groups and if you join that, you’ll hear about affordable ones. Dandys are wonderful – I loved mine to bits but a bad back made it hard to put up on my own and – being an independent cuss – I hate asking for help. You can get them with gas lifts and then putting up alone is easy.

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