Sound-Bite of Sound Cafe

Sound Cafe returns today and I hope all our guests have been surviving over Christmas.  It must be really hard if you don’t have a family or a base to return to and everything has shut down: it must feel like being a child with your nose pressed up against the glass of an expensive toy-shop where all the other children are playing.  So I’m glad we’re back.  We’ll have to start rehearsing hard now for the concert on 31st.  I’ve sold nine or ten tickets already, so let me know if you want one.  A snip at £5 each…

I have been aware for some time of the need for an ungendered pronoun.  It’s annoying to have to keep saying ‘he or she’ all the time, but the alternative is to pick one, which means seeming to exclude the other.  This leads to all sorts of problems and ambiguities.  S/he who must not be named says scornfully that better people than I have tried to invent one and that in the Middle Ages they came up with ‘a’ or ‘ha’.  Well, I say ‘Ha!’ to the idea that it can’t be done.  As I believe I’ve mentioned before, the words ‘you can’t’ are to me like a red rag to a bull.

The question of ungendered pronouns is not, as you can appreciate, a purely abstract one for me.  Every day I face conversations where I am referring to hubby as ‘he’ and everyone else is saying ‘she’.  I even had someone correct me the other day: I was furious.  One thing I will not stand for is being told what to call my own husband: it’s between him (argh) and me and it’s no-one else’s business.  Besides, nobody knows what it’s like to live with a trans partner unless they’ve been through it, so they don’t have the right to tell me what to say.  So for all sorts of reasons it would be really good if I could come up with an ungendered pronoun.  But what could it be?  You can’t call a person ‘it’ so that’s out.  You could try the medieval ‘hir’ for ‘his/her’ I suppose but that’s only a partial solution.  So what could it be?  We could combine ‘she’ and ‘he’ to make ‘Se’ but that sounds very like ‘she’.  I don’t know.  But I will do my damnedest to come up with something, because these asymmetrical conversations are driving me mad.

My second blog-post for Mslexia should be up soon.  In it I discuss my reactions to Mark ‘coming out’ and the way in which this has affected my writing.  Yesterday I came across a critical comment on the first post, which upset me as it accused me of trivialising and sensationalising Mark’s problems.  I felt truly terrible for an hour or two – but people on Facebook were lovely; and of course Mark him-argh! – and of course hubby was on hand to soothe and reassure and be a general all-round good egg.

Maybe the ungendered pronoun should be ‘egg’.  ‘I said to egg… you can tell egg…’  ??  What do you think?

There’s a bit more of Sound Cafe on Youtube, including this interview with me.  Whenever I hear my own voice it sounds terribly nasal to me…

Kirk aout

Falling Towards Land

During the past year I’ve had the feeling of doom continually threatening but not actually striking.  Looking back over the last twelve months, we’ve been threatened with having to move out shortly after moving in; we’ve had Daniel on the verge of liver failure and we’ve had the perpetual threat of financial meltdown.  I kept thinking we couldn’t possibly survive another month – and then we did.  On the other hand, an awful lot of good stuff happened in 2014; Holly started at Uni, I have been the support act at Word! and run some poetry workshops including the effervescent ‘Spring!’ at Embrace Arts; I’ve started going to the Quakers where I feel very comfortable, I’ve attended the launch of Left Unity both nationally and locally as well as the launch of the People’s Arts Collective; and of course we had our housewarming.

There were various other jolly social events, such as the Martyrs Barn Dance, cinema trips and dinners with Steve, Drink and Think, the Joe Orton celebration and trips to the pub with Peter and Andy.  I also did gigs at Sing for Water, World Book Night, Everybody’s Reading Week and Embrace Arts.  Some of these were even paid events!  Publication-wise I got another story into Everyday fiction and was accepted as a blogger for Mslexia.  Oh!  And Sound Cafe began.

Yet still the sense of impending doom refuses to lift.  But then I look at it this way: if you keep falling but you miss the ground every time – that’s called flying.

Here are some of the highlights of my year:

Happy New Year!

Kirk out

I’m Mentioned in Dispatches!

Well, following on the Nanowrimo triumph, I had my quarterly copy of Mslexia in the post – and guess what?  My name is in there as one of the upcoming guest bloggers.



So hot on the heels of this, I sat down to write my first blog post for Mslexia.  Then I decided to write a poem about taxes.  Inspired by Billy Bragg’s ‘Talking with the Tax-Man about Poetry’

I began a poem about my feelings when I see those deadly brown envelopes which seep into the house and cause despair wherever they go.  So that helped me to feel better.  Apart from that and a few other bits and bobs, I am having a rest this week and tackling the damp.  Oh, the damp!  I thought that living in a house with central heating would mean there was no damp, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.  We have damp patches in the kitchen and spots on the bathroom ceiling as well as a couple of unnerving splodges which have appeared in the bedroom right above our heads.  Maybe it’s the letters from HMRC which are causing all the damp…

Stand by for my first blog-post on the Mslexia blog, coming up soon:

Kirk out