Yes, it’s official: spring is here, the muse has ris: I wonder where the poet is? The poet, let me tell you, is at Embrace arts – along with all the other poets and participants in the excellent series of workshops put on by Bobba et al. I know whereof I speak, for I was one of those poets: along with Mike, I led a workshop on rhythm in poetry which was supported by a tabla player with a dozen hands (or so it seemed when he was playing). We had seven people and after some warm-ups we did different rhythms in poetry, rapping them, clapping them, slapping them and flapping them. Then they divided into groups and worked on a piece which was going to form the basis of a performance. They did really well in the end, setting a poem to dance and moving around the stage with scarves and saris while I strummed my guitar, Rishi played the tabla and his amazing sitar-playing friend played the sitar amazingly. The whole day wound up with Mellow Baku and everyone coming together to sing and dance. Terrific!
And so to bed…
Today I’ve been working on an application to Embrace Arts to run a series of workshops in the autumn on the theme of rhythm and rhyme. Should be fun… I have also hit upon a novel kind of business card – a poem card! I’m sick of those boring rectangular business cards that everyone has a million of in their wallet. There they sit like men and women in business suits, all the same and all BORING! So I have come up with the poem card. These are great: they not only have a short poem on them, but each one is also uniquely shaped. So now not only do you have my details, you have a poem to read and to ponder.
What’s not to like?
I’m also writing a review of a book of short stories which has to go off soon, and various bits and bobs with which I shall not bother your pretty little heads.
Pinggk tomorrow. See you there I hope.
Now, I’m not what you might call a fitness freak. Every time I pass the gym on Upperton Rd and look at the row of people all cycling towards me without getting anywhere, I feel like laughing. Joggers are more liberally-sprinkled on our pavements than lamp-posts, but I think jogging is a form of torture and marathons an extreme form. On the news, both national and local, there are daily reports of outlandish feats of endurance raising money for this or that; but I don’t begin to comprehend why anyone would want to put themselves through something like a triathlon. My leisure time is taken up with reading, watching TV, drinking beer with buddies and listening to music. And when I go on holiday I enjoy a gentle walk; a stroll along the beach, a little light climbing perhaps, a bit of a swim. Nothing too demanding. Yet the last two church holidays I’ve been on have involved rather over-enthusiastic types who think nothing of shooting up a steep mountain the moment they’ve pitched their tent. Such as this one:
which I declined to ascend at that point as I’d spent all night in a freezing tent and had to get up twice to pee.
The beach holiday, years ago, was much nicer. Still on the first morning I wanted nothing more than to laze in the sun and hope my children didn’t drown themselves. But it became clear that a group of these said hardy individuals were planning to latch themselves onto a rope for the purposes of pulling a bus along the promenade! Why they would wish to do such a thing when they could be soaking up the sun, was a mystery to me, and when they had all charged up the shingle yelling ‘huzzah!’ I expressed my view to someone sitting near me. ‘They’re bonkers, aren’t they?’ I said. ‘Why don’t they just sit and enjoy the sun?’
She gave me a look, part-sorrow and part-anger. Turned out she was just putting her trainers on so she, too could dash up the shingle and go pull a bus!! I ask you!
But recently all this determined non-climbing and non-bus-pulling has started to catch up with me. Living where we now do, I need to cycle a fair bit to get around; and so I’m having to supplement my usual diet of fairly gentle yoga and sporadic walking with some good hard chugging up slopes and down again. I’m getting better at it; and the other night when it was cold and wet I actually broke into a spontaneous jog! Whatever next?
Better save me a bus, I guess…
Spring! workshop tomorrow, folks at the Embrace Arts centre. Our workshop starts at 12 so see you there!
Not a bad day’s work today, considering. A bit of head-gnashing in the morning, then I fell into a website with some competitions coming up and it gave me new heart. I’m always a bit so-so about competitions: on the one hand the prizes can be really good – not only in terms of money but in terms of publication, contact with agents etc; on the other hand you have to pay to enter them. They don’t necessarily cost a lot – Cinammon’s are usually about £12 for a novel extract or poetry collection, less for a single poem or story – but it’s all money and I don’t even want to think about how much I’ve spent in that way over the last few years. However I found what I think I really need at the moment, which was a poetry pamphlet competition, only £10, closing date end of the month – and compiling poems for that kept me going most of the day. I then thought I’d better pick up my guitar and practise a little so that I can remember how to play on 23rd when I do the Spring workshop with Mike.
Do come along to this – it’s free, it’ll be great fun and there’s a performance in the evening (you don’t have to do this if you don’t want though)
And you can find info about all Cinammon Press’s competitions here:
Now: I need to speak to you very seriously and I require your full attention. OK? It has come to my attention recently that people are eating chorizo. Now, there is nothing wrong with eating chorizo. I myself, quite apart from being vegetarian, do not happen to like chorizo but that is no problem. The problem is this: chorizo is a Spanish sausage. It is NOT!!! Italian. Therefore it cannot under any circumstances be pronounced ‘chorit-so’. And EVEN IF IT WERE Italian, it would have to have TWO z’s – like ‘pizza’ before one could pronounce it in that way. So don’t let me ever, EVER catch you saying ‘chorit-so’. It’s ‘chori-tho’. With a ‘th’. All right? Or ‘choriso’ if you must. But not ever, NEVER, ‘chorit-so’. OK?