Workshop, 19th June 2018

Once again, it’s my contrite duty to apologise for the lateness of this Blog.  The fact is that last week My Man gave me some tiles to rearrange in an app on the iPad – he says it’s called Mah Jong and tells me that it’s essential I keep them in order at all times.  Well, I think there’s something wrong with my tablet, because whenever I turn it on, there they are all messed up again.  Whatever is going on with the blessed thing, I find I have wasted an inordinate amount of time keeping the tiles arranged and come to the blog very late on.  In fact, it might almost be possible to predict what is going to happen to the group this week, if our meetings were not so unpredictable.

We had an enriching a fulfilling Workshop this week, I am certain of it.  Martin Choules, who never fails to turn in a high-quality piece led out with a prayer to Mammon which I am sure your friend and mine Boris Johnson would understand.  Doig Simmonds, who has definitely rediscovered his poetry mojo, if he ever lost it, which I doubt, gave us a tightly-composed pean to guilt which some of our politicians ought to find uncomfortable reading.  John Hurley claims that his poems take a mere ten minutes to write, first thing in the morning, which is hard to believe considering the quality of this week’s close observation of a friend who has given up on life.  Anne Furneaux has been working on something of an epic; the memory of the same bombing raid on Cologne, from the British and the German points of view.  It’s going to be great to see all the segments brought together.  Michael Harris writes some of the shortest poems in the group, that nevertheless require the most in-depth discussions.  Finally Nick Barth Is apt to pick an appropriate typeface when printing out his copies, and this week did not fail us, with his piece about man’s seeming desire to do without insects, done in a nice Calibri.

Pitshanger Manor is looking increasingly ship-shape and it will not be long before the glittering reopening of Sir John’s bucolic masterwork takes place.  I myself have already begun the arduous task of lobbying the Powers That Be to consider the grand opening a suitable occasion to invite a lynchpin and doyen of the local artistic community to write a three-act verse play on the life of the Manor since at least 1801, with self-same lynchpin performing all the parts using a variety of convincing voices and hats.  Truth be told, I have been lobbying for this for the last 18 months at least , and it’s getting to the stage where I’m going to have to ask Buffy Fotheringey whether he would mind trailing a banner behind his bi-plane over Ealing for a few afternoons, with the addition of coloured smoke, as all other methods have so far proved futile.  Certainly driving around Ealing in the now Tannoy-Equipped two-seater reading aloud from my last collection has not had the effect I desired, and it looks like it will be some time before I am allowed to hang a thirty-foot banner of my face from the front of the cinema in the Broadway again, however nicely lit the photograph was.  Ah, well, every little helps.  If you have been, thank you for reading.

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