Dear readers, I know how it looks. But really, there is no connection between The Case of the Missing Blog and my happy reunion with alcohol after a month of teetotalitarianism (foolishly pledged in the middle of the mulled wine season). Nor have I been lying in a dark room weeping helplessly at the loss of my Cheshire Poet Laureate crown, which has now passed on to another lucky person… I just forgot.
The New Year starts with resolutions (write 30 new poems, put a new show together, conquer the world with poetry, remember to write blog) ; and also with lots of activity. The boat engineer came and confirmed that my vast engine was not harmed by my stubborn polar expedition (see Shackleton of the Macc, below), though my propellor is probably the size of a lollipop after hacking through all that ice. My Cheshire Poet Laureate ‘minder’ came over to discuss the handover to the new chap; and we continue to take orders for Lifemarks, which is almost sold out now. I am also plotting and planning for a year of new events including a St George’s Day feast of poetry and English food, and a possible successor to our sell-out show Bunch of Fives.
This week, though, I have mostly been looking over the loose heap of efforts that will soon be my book Navigation, in the light of comments by the three critical friends who bravely read it over Christmas. No-one loves to be critiqued – it’s like taking all your clothes off and asking strangers to point out your wobbly bits. But half of British television now consists of exactly that… Critiquing is vital to improving your writing. Anyone who shies away from it, saying ‘my friends and family love it,’ and taking umbrage at more serious comment, deserves to be hoist by their own pentameter. So I girded my loins, sent out my MS to three poetic people, and two have returned comments already. Either they’ve been very gentle with me, or I have less work to do than I had feared. And of course, all my friends and family love it.
Recorded my new podcast this afternoon with Rob, the splendid sound technician who happily for me, moors on a nearby boat. It may sound a bit rough as I’m struggling with my magnificent annual cough, which is of epic proportions better suited to Dolly Parton’s chest than to mine. Tune in soon for more… if I’m spared…