Journal: A day in the office

Thursday, 6 April 2017

6th April, 2017

My day began with half an hour working on a new poem based on an anagram of a medical word. If successful this will go into my new collection, Bearing Gifts, a book of poems all about the twenty three months of Mark’s final illness.  Then I went on to answer a few e-mails on my iphone and to check messages.

In my e-mails there is an enquiry about joining ‘friends of poetry space’ and I send a welcoming reply. I have recently put the fees up to £25 and I am so pleased that so far this has not affected renewals significantly or discouraged new people from joining. Then another from Cancer Research UK. We are holding a memorial walk for Mark on June 10th and trying to get as much publicity as possible. It looks like an interview we did some time back might be shown just before the walk. Fingers crossed.  I also have Amazon orders for Chester City Walls by Julia D. McGuinness and Through a Child’s Eyes, our WW2 anthology edited by Moira Andrew. Both of these titles have had widespread appeal and sell particularly well on Amazon. I imagine that is because these topics are often searched for and these books are likely to be recommended to readers browsing related books. 

In my messages there is a note from Georgie (Mark’s fiancée) to say that she is on a stop over in Abu Dhabi, en route to Sri Lanka for her elective. They seem to have taken a long route involving three flights. I have never been but I have heard it is beautiful. I am hoping it will be a healing place for her.

After packing up the orders in gorgeous metallic red envelopes I am called to a late breakfast. Chris doesn’t like cooking but he does make wonderful breakfasts. Today it was boiled egg, fresh fruit salad (with all my favourites, raspberries, pear and pineapple) plus Hot Cross Buns. I used to be strict about not having Hot Cross Buns until Good Friday but M&S Kentish apple ones are so lovely that I have given in this year and have started early. Over breakfast we talked about the decision Cadbury’s and National Trust have made to drop the word Easter from their annual Easter Egg Hunts. I am not religious but I do like seasonal rituals and I think it is a shame to lose the connection with Easter completely. It feels like a cynical commercial move on the part of the manufacturers and the National Trust.

I am going to a writing day on Saturday in Bath with Sue Boyle’s Project 2017, writing group and so another task is to get myself ready for that today. I have printed off fifteen copies of my Fury in Yellow review (An Eyewear pamphlet by Robin Thomas) to take along. I regularly write reviews and have a slot to talk about reviews on Poetry Space. I will also be taking along copies of a couple of poems from my collection. One is modelled on Wallace Stevens Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird and I am keen to have feedback from the group.

My sister Marilyn has been beavering away this week to get the winter 2016 and spring 2017 showcases ready to send to members along with their surprise collection. 




The rest of my morning will pass finishing off the stapling and trimming of Banking Towards Home, a pamphlet collection by Christopher Delaney, being launched by Ver Poets in St Albans on May 19th. I am looking forward to this very much. I shall be attending the launch and have also been invited to do a talk entitled: Poetry in the Digital Age.