August 10, 2012

Hello Summer. I’ve a suspicion this is going to be one of those rambling blog posts where I go on about what I’ve been up to rather than writing about anything particularly coherent, but we shall see. It’s been a while, anyway. The sun is beating through the window and I’m trying to put off riding a load of buses.

So far, summer has involved attempting to do something about my dire financial situation, going on some delightful weekends away, and trying to read every single Agatha Christie novel. July is also a month of birthdays, and I had a lovely indoor-rainy-picnic on mine, with just the right quantity of Cava and lots of friends, old and new. And then on the Monday was whisked out for cocktails, half-price sushi and fine ales. Anna actually managed to coincide her birthday with the first day of actual summer so we spent that day on the beach with more cava, sea swimming and various other delights.

Here’s a photo of me pretending to ride a bike with Rosanne

I’ve not really been writing very much since the book launch, apart from a load of scattered fragments, a bit of sarcastic political doggerel, some incoherent non-fiction ramblings, and notes for two new poems that may possibly see the light of day at some point in the future. As mentioned above, I’ve been powering my way through the complete works of Agatha Christie, but I think that deserves a blog post of its very own.

I’ve also realised that I need to sort myself out and actually earn some more money, so I’ve been on the lookout for new exciting part-time opportunities. At the moment, that mostly means tending bar, which I’d quite forgotten how much I enjoyed. I guess working in the best pub in Brighton is probably part of that, but it’s definately surprised me at how much I’m enjoying it. Ask me again in a while, though!

Bartending aside, I’m also looking out for all sorts of exciting things – so if you’re looking for a bright-eyed writer/poet/graphic designer/someone to dress up as a giant pizza slice/tapir interpretator/jack of all trades, master of none, do let me know. Similarly if you’re a wealthy patron of the arts. Drop me a line.

Hopefully that didn’t sound too desperate. My other solution is gluing a load of cogs and watches to baseball caps and selling them on Etsy as “genuine steampunk hats”.

I’ve also been building a website, which will be an actual real website about all sorts of things. I’m not sure if it’s going to incorporate the Daily Whale into it or replace it or just exist simultaneously, but considering this blog is a mix of poetry, politics, wikipedia and personal ramblings, you should be able to figure out what the new site is going to be like.

Despite the looming threat of financial crisis, we managed to head deep into rural France for a week back in June, where we were staying beside a giant lake filled with otters, coypu, herons, grebes, energetic coots, and with owls swooping overhead, all coupled with the lovely lovely bread and tinned vegetables. We visited markets, drank some fine wine, climbed around some castles, attempted to deceipher La Canarde Enchaine, failed to get any Francois Hollande propaganda, and generally had a thoroughly relaxing week.

And then last weekend we set off with Alice and Dan in their big yellow campervan and drove down to Sidmouth via Dorset. We stayed in a big campsite full of stereotypical British holidaymakers on the first evening – all screaming children on bikes and tents the size of houses, but managed to escape via some remarkable rock formations, and then drove on down to Sidmouth, where we found a much nicer field to stay in. The folk festival was on, and Sidmouth was writhing with morris dancers, violinists and people playing the Barong. We watched various folk sessions, attempted to learn how to strip the willow (which involved being shouted at by a very serious man who had no patience for amateur dancers such as ourselves flailing around all over the place), drank some very orange cider, had a slightly awkward moment in a pub draped in Union Flags with a load of morris men singing Rule Britannia and beating on the tables, saw our first two Bass Clarinets in the same room, got lost walking back to the field and made a 1½ hour detour around the edge of the town, and then had to get a guy with a 4×4 to drag the van out of the mud when we tried to leave. All in all, a delightful weekend!

Anyway, those buses won’t catch themselves (in fact, it would be a clear impossibility), so I shall sign off this protracted autobiographical ramble for now – until the next time.

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