Sunday, January 15, 2017

Excellent poetry, evil trains

Both Lorraine and I feeling sluggish still. However up and a kipper based breakfast and off to see Janet and Ken for morning coffee. Also collected some bags of fabric that Janet is kindly giving to Lorraine's school. We also discussed the new house Janet and Ken are moving into, in Hove. It looks good, a roomy ground floor apartment. Felt quite excited for Janet, and she'll have some garden too.

Then back home, dropping a book off with Rosie, who is in the next street to where Janet lives, and driving past Janet and Ken's soon to be new home.

A Sunday lunch, then Lorraine drove me off to Brighton station, and I trained up to Blackfriars, without incident and attended the T.S.Eliot readings at the RFH. Southbank looking rather nice as I walked along, a stretch of river that is very familiar to me having worked at IBM's building there for a few years.

Met Robin, Charlotte and Jess. The first phase of these readings is always the same, gathering in the long bar before and having conversations with people who are looking over your shoulder to see if there is anyone they need to schmooze more than you, which in my case is most people. For some reason Jess introduced me as a playwright to one woman, who proceeded to talk to me as if I'd never read a poem in my life. Still, nice to see Charlotte and Robin, and get to know Jess a little better.

Then the readings themselves, which were interesting and enjoyable. There wasn't one of them that I didn't enjoy in one way or another, and there are at least four of the books I shall buy. The result is due tomorrow, and I have no idea who might win. I particularly enjoyed J.O. Morgan, Denise Riley (excellent poems, though I found her performance rather mannered) Rachael Boast, and Alice Oswald, the latter I suspect might win it.

Getting home was a nightmare. Walked to Blackfriars and found that all the trains to Brighton were cancelled, and nobody to talk to in the station. This all stressed me disproportionately. I was feeling tired, my phone low on juice, without money to get a cab and my heart threw in a few ectopic beats to add hypochondria into the mix.  Eventually I followed a disgruntled gaggle of people to London Bridge where, luckily, a Brighton train was ready and left in five minutes. However once on this train all was well, and I found an old Kermode and Mayo podcast to listen to on low power mode, was I home before midnight.

Below from the South Bank towards St Pauls, and my seat view. This is Ruth Padel, who read T.S. Eliot's Journey of the Magi as a prelude to the evening.

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