May I draw your attention to my sidebar? It’s blossoming like – well – like it’s spring or something. Books have been bursting into bloom all over Baroque Mansions for a couple of weeks now, and the best thing about it is you don’t even need a vase.
I’m hoping that with so many nice books lying all over the shop, I don’t need much of a blog post, either. The proprietress is trying to catch up on well over a month’s missed activity, and the sad truth is that planting once missed is missed. The blossoms are in full throat. The birds have sprouted. Time has flown, and you can’t throw salt on it and catch it by the tail. So things are still a little truncated as I try to flap a bit extra here. And this week is busy.
Tomorrow is the final class for this term in my Poetry Techniques course at the Poetry School. And in the morning I’m taking part in a panel discussion on using social media etc to build social and brand equity, at the London Book Fair, under the aegis of Salt Publishing. (You can see how my brand equity has suffered in very concrete terms from the fact that this was all being set up while I was ill and out of it. I never sent my photo and bio in. I’m not happy but what can you do, and what cold I have done? Real life trumps all.) Bit of whizzing round the fair doing some networking etc, and then off down to Lambeth to catch my breath and talk about Anglo-Saxon Alliterative Form.
Wednesday the Virgin Media guy had *better* be coming to pick up my set-top box, second time round, or else there will be a set-to. It’s a long story and there is a highly satirical blog post in it if they don’t come. But I’m hoping to be back at the Book Fair if I can.
Except that there’s other stuff I need to be doing too. Deadlines. Oh to be Mary Poppins. Oh to be in Narnia, now that spring is here, and just pop into the wardrobe, do a lot of stuff, and come back out at the same moment you went in, with plenty of time to do the rest of it.
On Thursday, before the first session of the new term of my fortnightly workshop group (yes, the terms are overlapping a little strangely!), I have what I hope is my final post-operative eye clinic at Moorfields. So, in the foreseeable future, then, I will be able to go get my eyes tested for new glasses. Meanwhile, though, there is the workshop! Blessed life beginning again.
On Friday, I’m reading at Hackney’s Tudor mansion, Sutton House, for the Word Factory. It’s Oscar & Henry. I had had dreams of even writing a new O&H poem for the occasion, but ha ha ha ha ha pardon me. While I die laughing. But I will love to read what I’ve got, and other wonderful people are on the line-up too – singer Sam Lee, writer Tom Lee, and Vanessa Gebbie.
Also: the last number of Richard Price’s excellent little one-man mag, Painted, spoken, is now available as a free pdf to download. This is great news as it has my long poem ‘Analogue’ in it. It is from a year ago now, but it’s my only proper work to speak of in all that time, so I hope you like it.
Also: since the departure of fellow N16-based poet Clare Pollard for Peckham, I have stepped into her place as poet in residence at our local N16 magazine. But I’ve not heard when it will be out, so I’ll have to tell you more about that at the time. Nice to connect up the bits of one’s life, though.
Um, and, er, there’s more to say – about the news, and the Big Fat Falklands-Themed Funeral, and how I recently watched ‘Annie Hall’ for the first time in about 20 years, and my aunt in the nursing home, and the bureaucratic nightmare of trying to arrange her affairs, including the sale of her flat – to say nothing of the cooker man, the plumber, my living room chairs that both need re-webbing and the kitchen chairs that are breaking one by one – but I need to get back to work! Life has to resume and go on while we still have the roof over our heads. And while there’s still something to sit on. By this time next week I will with luck be caught up and on deadline and on target and might be able to blog about something of general interest. There are things to show you, galore, that we’ve found in Chiswick.
In the meantime I leave you with a pile of splendid books.