’tis the season to be Baroque: an unadulterated flavour

Well! It’s Sunday night already. Waking up today with a) a headache and b) that Saturday feeling was not auspicious, and nor has your doughty correspondent managed even to get hold of some pine boughs. Apparently you have to get back to the stall at the exact stroke of 6, otherwise they have given them all away to other people, and if you are sitting in the hairdressers with a glass of wine which your hairdresser has brought out, unexpectedly, in hopes of buttering you up to babysit her kid on the 23rd, you are just out of luck. Well, it was a laugh. I might do it, too. He’s 3: the best kind. It was a nice sort of blush Pinot Grigrio.

Got my roots done though. And some free wine. And the holly. And mistletoe. And panettone. And some presents. Shockinly expensive presents. And my cherub necklace back from being repaired, and got the cleaner in, and washed all the bedding on a hot wash, and took out the recycling, and answered emails. Tried to clear space in the living room to put up the thing I am calling a tree this year, but got half-way through and hit some barrier or other, and the thing is now all discombobulated… I need the boughs. And help moving the sideboard.

And just got in from the all-day XMas Poetry Extravaganza at the Betsey Trotwood pub in Farringdon Road – you know, the one I said I wasn’t going to, well I got roped in to the quiz, out of which I duly got knocked on a question I should completely have KNOWN: to wit, who was the king in 1905. Damn it. But on the plus side, I heard readings from the likes of Roddy Lumsden, Tom Chivers, Luke Kennard, Kate Kilalea, and Tim (of course) (aka Santa) Wells, and set up a couple of fab readers for my Lemon Monkey reading series. Luke Kennard himself, and also Annie Brechin, who is about to move to Prague but will come back on purpose at the time. Details to be got out to you all in due course… not that most of you live in London, but one likes to do one’s bit.

In other news, there’s a post on the Turner Prize that has been half-written since Thursday or earlier. Plus I would dearly love to write something about the two consecutive evenings I spent at the Stoke Newington School Christmas concerts, my last ever. At least the last I will ever see my own kid in. All a bit much, frankly, folks. Plus there are various other ideas floating free in the shattered remains of the Baroque brain. There is little food in the house but what there is I must eat some of before I can go to bed, having had nothing but brunch, red wine and some cheese in the pub all day. Paperwork to be readied for the morrow. Clothes. Lists. All that stuff. It’s all very well but errrrghhhhh…

And in other news there is so MUCH! Kirkus reviews has stopped – folded. Eek. HMV rejoices over collapse of Borders, Waterstones trading down, end-of year lists dull, end-of-decade lists even duller aside from revelation that almost everyone thinks Ian McEwen’s latest books were crap, and Blair has said publicly that even without the so-called likelihood of WMDs he would still have invacded Iraq. Apparently he and Bush used to PRAY together – THAT was it.

And did YOU know that Sam Taylor-Wood’s boyfriend is only 19? She’s 42! He, the child, plays the infant John Lennon in the execrably-named upcoming bio-pic, profiled at length in the December Vogue, Nowhere Boy. What kind of a title is THAT. Sorry. (They tried to be discreet on set.) And let us see, well maybe that’s enough. For now. You know I’m alive and Baroque Mansions has not yet burnt to the ground, that’s something. Touch wood.

And it is freezing out. As if you didn’t know that.

And by the way, I really am very sorry to be giving you all these me me me posts, not poetry poetry or some sort of brilliant take on current events. The past few weeks really have felt like being a puppy pulled along on the end of a leash, you simply try to stay upright. I haven’t even read anything. I printed out a poem off the internet and put it in my bag to read later when I had a chance, but that was on the tube and I was too tired, and just looked at the Metro instead, and I forget what the poem was now. Maybe by Harold Munro. It really is like that. I have a yellow exercise book which I’m writing lists in, of presents and tasks and days and things to do and so on, and it even contains items like “make list of emails I have to answer.” Friends say I am very organised for Christmas but it is at a cost. And I’m certainly not organised for writing. Or reading. Oscar who?

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