Yesterday I went for a walk on the forest with my ancient friend. At the age of eighty seven and three quarters, she is not as near ninety as I thought. She has a face that is more carved on than WH Auden’s and is a tiny hobbit of a woman, with a dicky heart and a ridiculous amount of energy. Mr. Signs picked her up from Gatwick airport where she had just arrived from a holiday in Siberia, with a German friend in tow. They were holed up for a couple of nights in Irkutsk en route to St. Petersburg and hadn’t had baths for weeks because there was no hot water in any of the taps. They were high in spirits and in strong body odours, and lovely company as we padded over the beautiful forest terrain with the heather all coming in the meadows and the sun looking down through the trees. She makes eighty seven and three quarters look like a breeze, being almost weightless and of a sunny and tranquil disposition. She is the closest thing I’ve got to a fairy godmother and I reckon she could get me to the ball without a wand, a pumpkin or a coach-and-four. An old refugee, she was with my mother in internment camp in the Isle of Man, those days when the Brits were locking up all the Jewish forriners in case they were spies or in cahoots with Madalf Heatlump. She never married but spent her life looking after special needs children in Camphill communities.
After a lunch of red lentil and vegetable soup, the black Russian bread she brought with her, cream cheese and radishes, I was flat out, literally, on the bed; but agitated by the thought of all I needed and wanted to get done before going away, and immediately on my return. My lilac jacket came back from the dry cleaners clearly untouched (they just hadn’t bothered or forgot to do it) and this threw me into a spin – it just seemed horribly inauspicious that simple thing like that couldn’t be sorted, and I so wanted something for being bright and gay (original meaning) in Edinburgh, where my daughter’s play, Strippers and Gentlemen, has been awarded five stars by the Festival newspaper, Three Weeks and been called “One of the secret gems of this year’s Fringe.” Imminently expecting something to appear in the Guardian, who have been to review it – but one never knows. On account of having to be back for the poetry week, I'll be missing son's gig with his band of jazz singers, as they don't start until the 17th. Will try and catch them in rehearsal.
Well I may be gone some time, folks, but hopefully the blog’s loss will be the notebook’s gain. I gotta write more pomes and, well – I just gotta write more. Sick of competition judges who do not seem to recognise my towering genius, I’ve started to send things out to poetry magazines, beginning with The Rialto. Apparently they take forever to get back, but hey – I got all the time in the world.
This time tomorrow I’ll be on the train reading Nasim Marie Jafry’s novel, The State of Me, which is not just good – it’s M.E. brain-friendly.
Keep rockin, people.