Thursday, 11 June 2009

Wednesday 10th June 09

Excellent day, although got off to a slower start than I would have liked.

Gill went to art and I did the washing up before cycling down to the station so I could go over to Sheffield to see Ali. I took some climbing bean seedlings, a squash and a yam, for her raised beds. The train was a bit late and then there was quite a wait at the tram stop, so didn't get to her until after midday. But hey, that's life!

Had a lovely afternoon with her and at 3 went to collect 'littleboo' from school and she was, as usual, ecstatic to see me... and then when home, helped me plant the beans and other things. Hope the cats don't dig them up with their pooing activities. I buried a load of cat poo under the squash plant as extra fertiliser!

Ali had received an invite to go and see Carol Ann Duffy, the new Poet Laureate, perform a reading, and this is one reason I'd come over, to help Ali get there. We had decided to go on the tram, but the rain started coming down quite heavily so we changed our transport options to her car.... which turned out to be a good thing, as if we had of gone by tram, we would have been completely stuck. The rain came down, hail, thunder and lightening, continual cloud burst for some length of time, resulting in flash-floods all over central Sheffield, tram lines closed and traffic jams everywhere. We spent an hour and a half getting to where we wanted to be... we had intended to go and eat first but this time was used up with the chaos caused by closed roads.

But we got to the church where Carol Ann Duffy was due to speak. She'd taken the train over from Manchester but the floods had prevented her from getting any further than Dore, where she got a bus into town. I loved the poems she read, well, most of them, and her humorous commentaries. She started with a selection of her poems from her book 'The World's Wife' including 'Mrs. Midas', 'Mrs. Tiresias', 'Mrs. Aesop', 'Mrs. Faust' and 'Anne Hathaway', which is I think n the GCSE syllabus. Then she did some more personal stuff, 'A Child Asleep' and a series from Rapture, 'Text', 'Tea', 'Row', 'Syntax' 'Art', 'The Love Poem', and finally 'Prayer' and Premonition, a new poem about her Mother who died a few years ago, and she's only just got to a stage in her life that she can write about her. (see this page for biographical information and a selection of poems read by the author..)

After this we went to a nearby 'stuff yer face for a tenner' and did just that, after which Ali took me to the station. Lots of cancelled and late trains. I eventually got one to Leeds, which got in at midnight, and waited for the 12.34 to York which got in at 1.15. Fortunately a nice young lady was happy to chat, and she, Ruth, told me about her cybernetics degree at Reading Uni, and about her laptop, and I told her about some of my writing and entertaining activities. It made the journey go quicker for both of us.

Home just before 2am, damp but full of buzzy thoughts. Quite a day!


Ruth said...

Hi! Ruth here. Thank you for a very interesting conversation. It did indeed make the time pass a lot quicker having been stuck on trains since 6.40pm due to all the confusion caused by flooding. I hope your last column goes well and you can decide what to write about the circus :)

Compost John said...

And I enjoyed our chat too. You can read my blogs and columns at
My last column is already written; I have two more blogs to do before I finish.
Keep in touch!