It’s been a tricky month so far for finding the time and inclination to blog, so I thought I’d write a quick update. I have a lovely guest post waiting in the wings, which I’m planning to post up later in the week.
So … the last three weeks have been strange to say the least, as I’ve been travelling over to Brighton each weekday for radiotherapy. It’s an hour or more each way on the bus, but it has to be one of the most scenic bus routes in the country: climbing up onto the South Downs with views of the sea on three sides, skirting Friston Forest and down into Cuckmere Haven with its gorgeous meandering river. It’s less pretty after that but views of the sea are never far away. I’ve read three novels and had fun observing my travelling companions and taking in all the quirks of bus life. It’s almost taken my mind off the reality of having to go every day to lie naked from the waist up in a freezing room while strangers stare and prod and haul me around. Almost. BUT of course I’m grateful, for the NHS, for the kindness of strangers, that the treatment’s nearly over, that I’m still alive.
Thankfully there’s been some poetry good news during this time – having a poem placed joint second in the Poetry Society Stanza competition, having a poem accepted for Eyewear’s anthology Best New British and Irish Poets 2017, helping to launch Jess Mookherjee’s wonderful debut pamphlet The Swell, being invited by Anne-Marie Fyfe to read my poem from the Live Canon 154 anthology at the Troubadour in November.
But just to balance that out, I’ve had one of my fastest ever rejections, from The London Magazine (admittedly it was a bit of a long shot), and I’m also still struggling with a pamphlet that’s been brewing for two years. Just when I thought I was getting close to a publishable standard I had some excoriating feedback and it’s back to the drawing board. I’ve now set myself a target of six weeks to get it into shape. I also had to miss the awesomeness that is the Poetry Swindon Festival which I’d been looking forward to for months.
Plenty of good stuff this week however. I’m going up to Coffee House Poetry at the Troubadour tomorrow with my great friend Lucy, a stalwart of poetry readings and fellow member of the ‘cancer survivors’ club, plus Telltale Poets and Friends at the Lewes Arms on Wednesday night, the organisation of which, for once, is not my responsibility, so I’m going to sit back and enjoy!
I’m hoping that I can make up for the lost time of the past 3 weeks and get back on track with poetry, work and projects around the flat. However, I’ve finally given up the idea of making curtains for a big bay window. Bring in the experts!
Image: Cuckmere Haven by Eric Ravilious, Towner Gallery Eastbourne