To the T.S. Eliot readings

Lorraine still very upset about the news about Helen's son Freddie. As a consequence we tried to keep busy. Shopping for curtains and going to Sainsburys and so on. Lorraine fixed up a curtain over the front door, where something of a draft passes through. We were also able to go into the dungeon today, after all the spraying, and I opened the one dungeon window to air it out.

Off this afternoon to go up to London to see the TS Eliot award readings, as Robin had a spare ticket. Met Robin and Clare Best in the bar as I arrived. A big of a nightmare journey there and back due to bus replacement services. But fascinating to be at this reading which showcased the work of ten poets -- a useful snapshot of what is considered to be good in British Poetry at the moment. Robin had secured a seat in the middle of row D so we had a brilliant seat. I liked all the poets, some more than others obviously. Particularly liked Pascale Petit's work but think the poised Arundhathi Subramaniam will win it. Also saw Melvyn Bragg, not a poet but something of  broadcasting hero to me. Heartening to be in a huge auditorium so crammed with people of all ages, heavily into poetry. Suffering a bit with my back during the reading, and felt unusually tired all night. Had also to sprint away if I were able to make it back to Brighton, so missed seeing Rhona and her pals again.

A long journey home, enlivened by a couple of young guys 'spitting rhymes' to each other, rather aggressively on the train going home, having clearly been to some kind of slam. They weren't particularly good, but it formed an interesting contrast to the high culture pleasures of the evening, as I sat near them in my best coat and shoes, trying to listen to a podcast of an interview with Clive James about poetry.

The upshot of the day was that I was a) shattered, and b) even more hungry to read poetry than ever.

Home a little before 12 and Lorraine was still hard at work finishing a visit report. Hot chocolate, then bed.