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Wednesday something of November 2003

19/11/2003

You can see I have no idea of the date. No idea of anything really! Since I last wrote this log (that word is very Startrek) I have been to Warwick and Hull. Both were very enjoyable, although it took my friend and I several hours to find Warwick University. The campus hides between Coventry and Warwick in a tricky web of ring roads and lanes called things like Gibbet Hill. By the time we got there I was nearly speechless with fear of lateness, a quality that has always been with me, even when I was a teenager. It must be another category…early or late people, yet I have never seen the question in a quiz. My best category is radiators or drains…although both sorts of people can have drainish or radiator qualities. I avoid drains on the whole, and it’s a very helpful way to live. Then there is always the fear that I may be a drain.

Anyway, once we got to Warwick Arts Centre, it was really nice. I had a lovely group of people in my workshop which was all about apples. This is partly because I love the vocabulary of apples, the smell, and the look of them. But although the workshop used apples, it was really about narratives within other narratives, and trying to think in circles, not lines.

Another thing about Warwick was that we hated the hotel. This is for various very easy reasons…

1. They gave directions to the hotel from the South only.

2. The room was too hot and you couldn’t open the window.

3. My Caesar salad was just lettuce and tinned anchovies.

4. the chambermaids woke us up at 8.00 am on saturday morning.

I am becoming an expert on things I don’t like in hotels. there is a smell I haven’t given a name to yet, of some kind of cleaning fluid, and something else that is awful….but what is it? Infidelity? Loneliness?

So we went on to Hull, which is always a place I have liked. The Humbermouth Literary Festival was a very well organised affair, and we didn’t have to stay in a hotel as we stayed with my friend’s family (watched Pop Idol…I was glad about Andy). I was reading with Patrick Gale and Jake Arnott, and James Nash…all very interesting writers. We discussed reading habits…Patrick said if you get bored , just read dead people as they are cheap and always good…Jake said his father read obsessively throughout his childhood….I admitted that I can’t stand italics. The audience was small, but they were ALIVE…you felt their characters filling the room. Perhaps it was because they were all avid readers.

I left feeling quite rejuvenated. Now I am back in my cave room, with the new sofa and my novel, a short story to finish for the Big Issue, and a pile of reading about the Red Spot babies. And I have just bought a furry jacket from TKMAX which is just the image I am after this Winter…a cowgirl gone to the dogs…..

If anyone reading this lives in Brighton, do come to a workshop I am running on 7th Dec…details on this website somewhere!

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