Monday and Tuesday
It’s incredible to think that it is nearly one year since the first UK lockdown, when the whole of the country learned a new way of living. The weather has been gifting us with some spring-like days which I’ve really enjoyed. My son is going back to his student accommodation in London at the weekend, after being at home since the Christmas holidays, as he is studying on a practical course and so is allowed some in person teaching again. At least we think this is what he is allowed to do, according to new government guidelines. The house is going to be very quiet. I’ve started making notes for reviews I’m writing for The North. I promised myself to spend less time on these and to keep within a reasonable word count. I think my reviews are too long. They definitely take me too long to write. I want to do the poets justice but I also want to give justice to my own time on my own writing projects. At the same time, I like the fact that I’m contributing something to the poetry community by writing reviews, and I learn something about poetry by close reading and consideration. I would like to say that it’s also beneficial to me because, as a reviewer, I receive free books but, more often than not, I’ve already bought the books I review. This year, I’m trying to hold back a little with my purchases. Out of the three I’m currently reviewing, I’d already bought two of them.
I’m reading through poems published at And Other Poems and deciding which ones to send as my nominations for Best Single Poem to the Forward Prizes. I wish I could send more than three.
I’ve started taking baths instead of showers. I used to take baths when I was single because most of the places I lived in only had baths, and not showers. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that showers became more commonplace in my life. Then I took showers because I needed to be quick and leave the house in a hurry because I needed to be somewhere, or because I needed to be quick before the children woke up, or I needed to be ready to take them somewhere they needed to be. Nowadays, I have nowhere to go, so why the rush? I make a tea or coffee, run a bath, decide what I’m going to wear (which jogging bottoms today? which jumper? etc) then I wallow in hot water, drink my tea/coffee and spend time thinking, dreaming, planning, imagining. It’s so pleasurable!
I’ve chosen and submitted three poems first published at And Other Poems to the Forward Prizes and I’ve sent out a newsletter for Trowbridge Stanza, the monthly poetry group I organise. The weather has become cold and overcast which is affecting my mood. I also have a headache. I’m a bit grumpy. I need to get on with the reviews. At least I’ve completed two important tasks but there is more to be done.
Thursday and Friday
I wonder if someone might have begun reading these ‘diary snippets’ thinking they were going to be interesting? One review is finished. Hurray! Two more to go. My son has packed up his things ready to return to his student accommodation. My hair is incredibly long. It’s been over a year since it was cut or coloured. There are blond coloured bits on the ends and the rest is mouse with grey sprinkled through. I have a vague memory of feeling very frightened of old ladies with long grey hair when I was a little girl. I haven’t noticed any small children bursting into tears at the sight of me yet. I’ve just been sent a date for my first covid jab. The avocado plant I grew from a stone in the first lockdown is still with me. Onwards.