Five years ago today…

BIRTHDAYS ON THIS DAY
Marilyn Monroe
My nephew Ivan
my maternal grandmother
my paternal grandfather
my ex-husband
Bob Monkhouse
Alanis Morrisette

and

Baroque in Hackney!

Yes, for it was five years ago on this very day – having just been made redundant for what I had no idea then was only the first time, thinking there was great novelty in the experience – that I sat with my then-new laptop outside the Dervish in Stoke Newington Church Street right in the middle of the afternoon and, with a glass of dry white and a little dish of imam bayildi, started this here blog. I must have had some innate sense of shape (or maybe it was that, having thought of one title, I couldn’t muster another), because I called my first post Baroque in Hackney.

My second post was a slightly unpadded, but characteristic, review of two films: Caché, and The Squid and the Whale. (Note how the typographical style has changed, with much-better italics; those double quotations marks for titles now just look typewritery, which is like code for doddery. Why it’s like the – the – the past…)

 I gave up on EastEnders years ago, and you’ll see why. The third post I ever wrote on here was a mad Walford rant.

Fun, eh? Phew! A relief to find it wasn’t so bad after all, even before I had any idea what I was doing here. And I was definitely more relaxed than 2011 will allow anyone to be. it’s all – or it’s partly, because back then I had some money and wasn’t particularly worried about things in the short term – about the commodity of which I then had so conspicuously much more: TIME. Everything’s speeded up now, the days whirl by like – well, dervishes – and, you know,  pflphrw.

What there wasn’t, at least for the first month or more, was any poetry. Not sure why that is, but I seemed to be very busy reading featherweight novels and watching crap television, so maybe that was it.

So let’s have some poetry now. Well, a link to some. Because today is the very publication date of Egg Printing Explained, which launches (like a ship) tomorrow (but preferably not like the Titanic) (though they did have three days of very pleasant sailing), and the endlessly tireless Michelle McGrane has put up a very generous and rather awe-inspiring post on her poetry blog, Peony Moon So, to get you in the mood, without further ado, here (along with some quotes and poems and pictures of the book, and an alarmingly big one of me) are some poems from Egg Printing Explained.

And there’s a BIRTHDAY PRIZE. The first person to spot the hidden Oscar Wilde reference will get an Ernest Dowson badge. Answers in the comments here, please.

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