In the Poetry Cafe

Train cancelled, and a slower journey in. Standing outside the tube entrance at Victoria station, looking about me at everyone standing patiently looking at their phones. I looked at the sky, because you could see a bit of it. Eventually allowed to shuffle sheep-like down to the platform.

Reading We have always lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, which I didn't manage to quite finish. I had read the first chapter to Lorraine a few times, but it was one of those that made her fall asleep. Quite like its American Gothic ways.

From work, which is disorganised and it seems I am going to have to do loads of long hours soon, which I feel wouldn't be necessary if they were a little more organised. Then a slightly trying journey to Betterton Street, and the haven of the Poetry Cafe.

Mum was already there, and all the poets, and Sarah Barnsley. Sat with Mum till it was time to get organised. Sarah Barnsley was hosting the evening, and in good spirits. She and Abigail Parry are pals, and had much to say to one another. Abigail is really up and coming, and deservedly so. Her first book is out with Bloodaxe next year.

There was a good audience, quite a few young women. Robin read first and in a more relaxed way than I can remember, then Catherine, who was playful and excellent as ever.  I felt underprepared and tired, and I didn't enjoy my own performance as much as I had last week. Abigail is excellent, and has a sunny and positive personality which reminded me of Jade. Mum enjoyed the readings, and also enjoyed the woman next to her being amazed at the fact that she was old enough to be my mother. Which Mum was pleased about. It might be more about how ancient I was feeling.

Fond farewells to Mum, then Robin, Catherine and I grabbed a cab to Victoria, driven by a deaf cabby. A bit of a wait, and in Victoria I had a quick drink with the ladies, before catching the Brighton train. Train full of joyous Spurs fans who had won a European football match.

A long queue at Brighton for a cab, and then home at midnight. Straight to bed.

Below a photo of me looking like an Irish farmer, Abigail Parry, Robin, and Catherine Smith.