Evening all! I’ve had one of those weeks that feels like you’re barely holding on to the reins of a horse that I have no idea of how to control other than to hold on for dear life. This was my first proper week back into teaching and it was full on straight away. Monday was the Barrow Shipyard Junior Band’s first rehearsal of this academic year as well and they turned out in force and with enthusiasm and excitement and daftness. I love that they are so excited to see each other but I was slightly wrong footed last week – usually the first rehearsal is quiet till things get going so I was expecting an easier time of it but this week I’m ready for them – armed an arrangement of Dr Who and not afraid to use it!
After band I sped off to Dalton to the back room of a pub and did a rehearsal with Soul Survivors, the new Soul Band I’m playing with, which was really enjoyable. It’s starting to sound really good now – although I did feel for the poor bar maid, having to listen to the same song, over and over again.
Tuesday was another full day of teaching, not finishing till 5pm with another band practice and Tuesday was officially meant to be our Exchange day. However for various excruciating and boring reasons it didn’t happen, hasn’t happened and I think Scotland will be independent before I move out of my house and into my new one. On Tuesday night I went to Barrow Writers and took one of my running poems to get feedback on. Just the act of reading it aloud made me realise I was being indulgent and gave me some ideas of where to cut it down a little. On Tuesday Alison Brackenbury and David Scott were reading in Grasmere, which I was sad to miss, as I was looking forward to it, but we desperately needed a meeting for Poem and a Pint in advance of our event on Saturday and after Barrow Writers was the only time everybody could make.
Now I was remonstrated with yesterday by Martin Copley because my blog, has, apparently become too full of Running Talk which he is not a fan of at all. So this will be a test to see if he has read up to here – if you have Martin, HELLO! And if you haven’t, well that Martin Copley has the loyalty of a fish is all I can say and I can continue to tell you about Wednesday, when I did the Ulverston 5k race and managed to complete 5k in 22 minutes and 54 seconds, thus meeting my self-imposed target of running said event in less than 23 minutes, so that was very exciting for me.
More excitingly, the husband ran it with me, and as he doesn’t run very much, I thought it would be easy to kick his butt and glory in my victory. However I didn’t bank on his hiking/cycling stamina and realised he was right next to me at the 4th kilometre and what’s worse was even trying to beat me! How rude is that. Here is a photo of us finishing the race – and if you have to ask whether he managed to beat me, you clearly don’t know me at all!
On Thursday I spent the whole day doing admin things for my poetry work – sending invoices, planning the ‘Early Morning Writing Workshop’ for Ilkley Literature Festival – there is a link here if you fancy booking yourself on. I’m really excited about the poems I’ve found for this workshop. I also finally, and slightly late completed a short article about Sylvia Plath which I’d been asked to write by Artemis. The rest of Thursday was spent eating, walking the dogs and going running to try and get Wednesday out of my legs which I don’t think worked well because my legs felt really heavy for the rest of the week.
On Friday I planned my Young Writers workshop in the morning and then went off to Kendal to deliver the workshop – there was a new member this week who seems very nice. Due to cuts in funding, the Young Writers Group will only be running every other week from now on, which is sad, but at least it can keep functioning.
On Saturday my legs were too heavy and I was worried about a little twinge in my hamstring from my Wednesday exertions so I didn’t do park run, but just went for a very slow run with Chris and the dogs instead and then spent the rest of Saturday tidying my rather scruffy house up ready for the arrival of Rhian Edwards, who was the guest poet at Poem and a Pint last night. I also edited my running poem at the last minute to read as my MC’s poem – I’m still not completely happy with it, but am glad that I gave it a first airing.
Poor Rhian had a six hour journey to get here from South Wales which involved a replacement bus service as well, but I think that even the rigours of travel were nothing compared to looking after a young baby and she assured me she’d actually had quite a nice journey! Rhian was fabulous at Poem and a Pint – I particularly enjoyed hearing her new poems about birds and folklore and the body and transformation – something very close to my heart at the minute and I can’t wait to see them in print.
After Poem and a Pint we went for a curry and stuffed ourselves with poppadoms and then came back and gossiped till about 2 in the morning which didn’t seem excessive at the time, but when I woke up this morning, definitely did. To make matters worse, we then continued to gossip till 9.35 when I suddenly realised what the time was and bundled Rhian into the car to get her to Ulverston for 10am so she could get her replacement bus service back to Preston and then on to South Wales.
For the rest of the day I’ve been playing at the Beech Hill Hotel Wedding Fayre with the South Lakes Brass Ensemble. It was our first experience of playing at a wedding fayre and it was fairly quiet and low-key. I don’t know if it will lead to any bookings, but we did get some free pieces of wedding cake from the other stalls and a magician turned a piece of paper into a Ferrero Rocher (is that how you spell it?) for me so that was rather exciting.
I was also supposed to be moving on Monday but – well I won’t say that solicitors, estate agents and mortgage brokers are all incompetent, but I think somehow the ones I have found have proved themselves to be exactly that, so moving on Monday is now off, and we are waiting for them to suggest a date. We have gone on strike and said we are not suggesting dates because it doesn’t seem to work.
And that was my week! Due to a complete lack of organisation, I haven’t got a Sunday Poem for tonight. So I’m having to put one of my own in, which is against all the rules, as this is supposed to be about poems that I’ve read that I like, not my own poems. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. Things will resume normal service by next week I hope.
On Twitter this week I discovered another poet, Simon Barraclough who also plays the trumpet which excited me tremendously as I’ve not met another trumpet playing poet before. This came about when Holly Hopkins mentioned my poem ‘The Curse of the Trumpet Teacher’ which was published in a recent issue of The Rialto.
So I thought I would post the poem up here, for anybody that is interested, with a link to The Rialto, which not only is a magazine which smells good and looks beautiful but it also has great poetry in as well and I’m sure would be very welcoming of any of you taking out a subscription to support the publication of great poetry.
The Trumpet Teacher’s Curse – Kim Moore
A curse on the children who tap the mouthpiece
with the heel of their hand to make a popping sound,
who drop the trumpet on the floor then laugh,
a darker curse on those who fall with a trumpet
in their hands and selfishly save themselves,
a curse on the boy who dropped a pencil
on the bell of his trombone to see if it did
what I said it would, a curse on the girl
who stuffed a pompom down her cornet
and then said it was her invisible friend who did it,
a curse on the class teacher who sits at the back
of the room and does her paperwork,
a curse on the teacher who says ‘I’m rubbish at music’
in a loud enough voice for the whole class to hear,
a curse on the father who coated his daughter’s trumpet valves
with Vaseline because he thought it was the thing to do,
a curse on the boy who threw up in his baritone
as if it was his own personal bucket.
Let them be plagued with the urge to practice
every day without improvement, let them play
in concerts each weekend which involve marching
and outdoors and coldness, let their family be forced
to give up their Saturdays listening to bad music
in village halls or spend their Sundays at the bandstand,
them, one dog and the drunk who slept there the night before
taking up the one and only bench, gods, let it rain.