First of all, I must wish all our US friends and contacts a very happy Thanksgiving Day - hope it's all going swimmingly for you. Here at the other side of the water, however, I fear I have been overtaken by a determined wave of period pain (garrrgggghhh ....) so my day of pootling about and novel-writing has turned into a day of rolling around on the bed clutching a hot water bottle, groaning and blinking myopically at the TV. Loose Women was much-needed - aren't they always?... It's a long while since I've had a bout like that - I hope it doesn't mean I'm going back to the old and rather nasty days, as I thought my various operations, pill cocktails and New Age remedies had got the whole dang thing under control. Deep sigh. Or maybe it's the onset of those menopausal years? Ah, Lordy, even deeper sigh. Hey ho, what fun life is.
Anyway, the good news is that I'm feeling much better now and have even eaten some lunch. Still feel utterly shattered and as if I've been put through a mangle twice, but hell that's how I usually feel after a normal day, so no difference there then. I really must get rid of that pesky mangle.
More interesting things that have happened this week are that I've sent in Thorn in the Flesh to Lulu Books ready for republishing that one. I hope it will be fully on the online markets again next year, but really with Amazon, who can tell? They're not known for speed. Have also enjoyed my online poetry course on Wednesday. We had to write a poem which included the Ted Hughes' line: Not a leaf flinched, nobody smiled. Here's my effort:
I carried the darkness on my skin
down to the lake where the air was still.
Not a leaf flinched, nobody smiled
and the swans sailed by as I took my fill
of the deepest blue in the water’s calm.
I gazed at the point where the elements meet –
the pond and the breeze, the flood and the wind,
decisions that lapped at the path by my feet.
When the sky darkened, I drifted away
back to the place where the people are bright.
But a smile is only one kind of truth
and I hold in my heart the knowledge of night.
It's amazing what a depressed lunch-hour slumped on a bench at the University lake will do for you really, and Lordy but some days are like that. I'm also surprised by how much I enjoyed working with a rhyme scheme. Not something I do often, but the course is taking me to places I hadn't anticipated on visiting, and that can only be a good thing.
I've also finally finished my book trailer for A Stranger's Touch, but I've decided not to upload it anywhere until after Christmas, as the book isn't due to be published till the middle of January. So I fear you'll have to wait. All I can say is I'm very pleased with the pictures and music I've managed to find, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
I've also been musing on the terrible scenarios in flood-devastated Cumbria - I can't imagine what people must be going through up there and - though it's useless to say - really my every good wish goes out to them. I'm also shocked by the fact that the Government isn't going to be able to mend any of the ruined bridges until Christmas. What the hell sort of a country are we living in??? Lord H says why on earth don't they ask the army to fix the bridges - after all the Royal Engineers can run one up in 18 minutes in a warzone whilst under fire, and their bridges can take the weight of several tanks. It seems like the ideal solution to me, but perhaps the ruddy red tape is just too much for us all these days?? Bureaucracy is truly the death of action.
Meanwhile, back on safer land, I fear that Strictly Come Dancing is buckling under the weight of all those leg & foot injuries. Is it something they're putting in their coffee? Really, this series - despite the joys of the lovely Chris & Ola - is becoming something of a disaster zone in itself ...
Anne Brooke - mangled, mean and magnificent
I was just "channel hopping" online and somehow stumbled across your blog. Great read!
I'm more into novel writing than poetry writing - as are you, I guess - but I've got to say I love your poem featuring the Hughes line.
Anyway, got nothing profound to say - just wanted to tell you to keep up the good work.
Thanks, Harvey! Always lovely to have visitors - and glad you enjoyed the poem. And actually I never have anything profound to say either - unless I steal it from someone else of course!
Enjoyed the poem, though still pondering some of the symbolism. Isn't it interesting how water causes such a primitive feeling in us at this stage of our evolution?
In Cumbria, I agree that the Army ought to install bridges at least in some of the high traffic areas. Christmas is a month away! I can't imagine how those people are dealing with all the aftermath of the floods. Horrible.
Thanksgiving so far has been Ok, but it's only noon as I write. Could get much worse. :(
Yes, water's such a deep-seated thing somehow. A necessary and terrifying element really. Hope your thanksgiving proves good though, Jackie.
I'm sure the army can put up some Bailey bridges in Cumbria and they can be used for quite long periods of time. When I lived in Lowestoft - years ago - we had a temporary one for about 18 months while they built a 'proper' one. That was a town with only two ways in or out and both of them involving bridges!
Totally agree, Jilly! And apparently they are doing it now, so there's hope :))
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