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Look to the future now, it’s only just begun

Ah, Christmas. Busy busy. I still haven’t made a nice door wreath but when it stops raining I’ll be up the garden gathering foliage and berries. Next week I’m Christmas-crafting with the granddaughters (cutout snowflakes? stars for the tree? I think the only no-no is glitter… not sure anyone uses that anymore anyway!)

A meet-up with old school friends tomorrow, and a big concert in Lewes Town Hall on Saturday Jostling for place on the programme we have Vivaldi Gloria and later on ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’, so something for everyone. As the years go by I do think Slade’s shopping-mall classic has weathered well. Can anyone argue with those lyrics? Nice one, Noddy and Jimmy.

Meanwhile Peter Kenny and I have been trying to get the latest Planet Poetry episode in the bag, but struggling with tech issues. I’m hoping it will be up by 4pm Thursday. It’s our Christmas episode so not to be missed!

Have I written anything lately? Not really, although I was inspired by the Marina Abramovic show at the Royal Academy. Challenging and thought-provoking. I feel something is coming of it, in terms of poetry…

On the same day as Abramovic I was at the Nutcracker reimagined, a dance performance as part of the South Bank Winter Festival. I’ve seen the Royal Ballet version and this wasn’t it – but it was equally brilliant. And I love performances where I’m so close I feel a part of the action. (Although I confess I did baulk at Abramovic’s ‘Imponderabilia’.) Lucy and I had front-row seats and narrowly missed being knocked out by a high kick and showered in confetti.

In the New Year both Peter and myself are reading at Needlewriters in Lewes, on January 11th. It’ll be my first reading in ages. I need to get back into the swing of things, and with a collection coming out next year I’ll need to start begging for opportunities, which I’ve never been great at. Please come to Needlewriters if you are anywhere near. Friendly faces very welcome!

The New Year also sees a renewed effort to get my novel out the door and into the slippery inboxes of lit agents. Let’s hope it hits them just as they’ve had a nice lunch and are feeling all is well with the world.

At the weekend we were in Rye, a little town that seems to have come on considerably since the pandemic. Many more interesting shops but still charming. At Lamb House, a National Trust place that has been the home to Henry James, E. F. Benson (who wrote the Mapp and Lucia books) and Rumer Godden, they have a ‘seventies’ themed Christmas going on. Perfect! Blue Peter annuals, paper chains, Angel Delight and – erm – Slade on the record player. Someone had a lovely time putting that together!


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Robin Houghton 2024