Friday 18 June 2021

Swimming, Poetry and Radio 4's Off The Page

Having to book a slot for swimming has an effect on numbers. A group of people have to enter and exit together. Consequently the days of me swimming in a gloriously almost-empty pool are no more - at least until restrictions are lifted. I've just returned from a swim where I had to share a lane with a woman who had a particularly worthy style of front crawl. Each time we passed I expected to be knocked out cold by the power of her arm action. I may have to write a poem about it.

I am still plugging away with my poetry submissions. I am getting rejections but I keep having to remind myself that this is an expected part of the procedure. Right now I have twenty-one different poems out there. One thing is for sure, if I get an acceptance you will be among the first to hear about it!

Still on the subject of poetry, I was listening to an old episode of Off the Page the other night. The episode was called Poetry Shmoetry and it's from 2010 but is available as a BBC podcast for a limited time. I've tried adding a link to this screen shot so you can have a listen if you fancy. Hope it works...

At one point they were talking about whether poetry is a waste of time or not. As Andrew Motion was on the panel, and had only recently stepped down from the role of poet laureate, I expected it to be fully in favour of poetry but even he conceded that not only poetry but much of what is written down is not of particular value to us. They went on to consider whether most poetry is merely for tortured souls to fling their miseries far and wide - my words not theirs. 

This made me take a long hard look at my own work, including the above-mentioned twenty-one pieces. As I suspected, I do not fling miseries. In fact a lot of my writing leans heavily on the nostalgia of how things once were and how they are now and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia, now is there?

Friday 4 June 2021

New clothes and bring back hats!

I have nothing to wear. This is not a stereotypical female whinge. This is for real. I have spent over a year slouching about in old joggers and sloppy tops (I bet you have too). Those joggers and tops are now only fit for the recycling bag. I need some smart clothes, ones that fit me. I can't be the only person to have changed shape slightly over the last year and a half! And so I am trying to decide what to buy. 

Skirts: I'm fussy about skirts. Fixed waistbands drive me crazy but elasticated-waisted skirts tend to be uninspiring. Above the knee length looks tarty on me these days, mid-calf looks frumpy and full length often means full width too and so I drown in volumes of material.

(While I'm on the subject of skirts, why do some men wear kilts? And while I'm on the subject of men's clothes what is the tie all about? Why would anyone wear a strip of cloth tied round their neck?)

Dresses: Same problem as skirts re length and don't get me started about the cost. Dresses are so expensive.

Trousers: I have five pairs of smart jeans hanging in the wardrobe. Can't get the zips to do up on any of them, even if I suck my stomach right in. I have several comfortable trousers but they look like pyjama bottoms.

Hats: I do wish hats would become fashionable once more. (I think I've moaned about this before but it bears saying again). I want to wear a different hat each day of the week: beret, fedora, cap, pill box, sombrero, cloche, panama... I feel elegant in a hat. I know I am perfectly free to wear whatever hat I fancy but I'm not confident enough to totally go against the fashion of the day.

Fashions from the 1950s were so elegant and back then my Great Auntie Alice made clothes for all the family. She didn't need to use any kind of pattern but these were some of the styles she would create. What a shame I was too young to benefit...

Oh well, back to searching those online fashion pages...