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Friday 17th January


In my last entry I spelt epithany wrong…but am I spelling it right now?I am filled with that vague uneducated feeling. I’m learning how to spell all the time. This is what happens when you leave school at fifteen and think you know everything. I am always trying to catch up. I really enjoyed doing an MA because I got MARKS for writing, and this is something you never get in the real world. I also found that I could enjoy writing essays and that it wasn’t so difficult as scholary types like to make out. I am rather missing being educated, and fancy doing another course. For years I felt outside the education system. I grew up in an atmosphere of learning, in the centre of a public school where my father taught. There were boys with gowns everywhere, flapping about, knowing everything. As a teenager I slouched amongst them, chewing gum, trying to be streetwise, which I wasn’t. I went to art college in the end, where it didn’t matter if you couldn’t do joined up writing, and oddly, that’s when I started wanting to be a writer.

I’m about to do loads of readings. For the past year or two I haven’t been doing any readings at all, partly because of health and fears of having a funny turn somewhere like Barrow in Furness, and also because I’ve been doing so much theatre and actors can read my words so much better than I can. But it’s about to start all over again, as I’ve got loads of poetry gigs now I have a new collection to read from…oh eek…it’s very exposing reading poetry, like tearing oneself apart in public. And I get a bizarre stammer on words beginning with M and A…and wierdly these new poems are choc a bloc with such words. What was I thinking? I’ll probably find myself reading from the novel too later in the year..at least with prose if you see a tricky word coming you can change the sentence…but you can’t do that with poems. The answer might be to sing the poems, rather than speak them…like Gareth Gates! Oh well…if I can’t stand the heat I had better leave the kitchen.

I’m going to be on Front Row…or that other Radio Four review programme. We’re recording on 24th Jan, so it will be sometime after that. I’ll put it on the website. That will be fun..luckily I don’t stammer on the radio!