I have two new poems coming out in The North magazine, should be very soon. In the same issue, I’ve reviewed poetry collections by Maria Taylor, Katherine Stansfield and Jackie Wills. I’ve also had an acceptance for a poem in 14 magazine which will be published later this year.
Many rejections which I won’t list here! I’ve revived and completed a radio play that’s been lurking in my folders for some time, and I’m working on a new stage play, as well as new poems. I’ve set myself a deadline of the end of July for the stage play – the poems sort of squeeze themselves in between.
I’m still posting images, visual poems, collages – not sure what to call them – on my Instagram page @andothermakings. I was thrilled and honoured when teacher and poet Catherine Ayres took some of my pieces into her brilliant-sounding school poetry workshops and students and staff wrote their own visual poems, inspired by my work. What a fantastic project Catherine is involved with, at her school.
I’ve been in the garden a lot, dabbling as a gardener for the first time in my life and finding it very enjoyable, not to say relaxing and satisfying. I’ve combined my image-making and gardening interests by using flowers and foliage from the garden in my pieces, and adding text.
Andrew and I have been to London a few times, mainly moving our student son out of his accommodation for the summer and visiting our daughter, who’s lived in London for nearly a year now. How fast time has flown. I read somewhere that time moves fast when nothing much happens. Perhaps I read that sentence in Autumn by Ali Smith, a novel I’m reading at the moment. Ali Smith seems to have accurately captured the modern state of life in the UK – a scene in which one of the characters tries to renew her passport, for example, is astute on the muddled bureaucracy we’ve become entangled in. Autumn unfolds against the backdrop of the 2016 EU referendum, and it also makes reference to the 1960s British artist Pauline Boty, who I’ve become interested in since taking an online course on Pop Art (the course was provided by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, via FutureLearn). I’m not quite sure how everything fits together in the story yet but I’m interested in the personal connections I’m establishing as a reader.
For some reason, my concentration span is poor just now, so I’ve set myself a reminder to read some of the book every day, to actually schedule reading into my diary.
I’ve been watching the Euros 2020 football tournament on telly! I’m not a football fan, although I usually watch England internationals when they’re on terrestrial television. I think the absence of much happening in my life in the past 18 months has made this tournament all the more exciting. Unexpectedly, the football has brought back all sorts of memories and feelings about several life experiences which all happened in and around June, the usual month for these kind of football events. My Dad died in June (1992), I graduated from university in June (1996), I got married in June (1997), experienced miscarriage in June (1998), and our wonderful daughter was born prematurely in June 1999. So June has often been a tender and intense month in my life, and, strangely, there have often been (or so it seems) football tournaments happening in the background. So I experience all sorts of sometimes tearful emotions when watching football, that have nothing to do with the game.
Anyway, I’m slightly amazed I’ve managed a blog but I just about have. I do hope all is well with you and thank you, as always, for reading.