Wednesday, 17 October 2018

I Topple Over

Bringing into mind the circumstances of my fall yesterday, I think 'over' is the most accurate preposition to use in my blog title about the event. This is because, when I hit the kerb [it was dark, I was riding my bike, the kerb leapt out into the road unseen at a jaunty angle] I went sideways but remained almost bike-bound.  I grazed my left knee and hand. If I'd toppled 'off' or 'from', I might have received a more symmetrical pattern of injuries.

All in all, I felt lucky. I got upward a second after I'd hit the pavement, and cycled away, composing within my helmeted head a letter against the Council about a) the kerb design and b) poor / defunct street lighting. 

When I texted Mike, a more seasoned cyclist, concerning my fall, he replied: "You'll learn how to jump off the bike eventually with poise and alacrity. Even in an emergency." This cheered me amongst my wounded pride and bruises. Not only had he used more customary prepositions, I like the words 'poise' and 'alacrity' even though I hadn't, up until then, thought of including them during my letter to the Council. 

My new bike seems to have come with a free side helping of righteous indignation about poorly planned and / or absent cycle lanes within the beautiful town of Shrewsbury.  I cannot ride towards the railway station from my home [1/4 mile] without a) riding amongst a pavement, b) riding the wrong way through a bus lane, c) riding the whole way throughout the one-way system (a mile or more - more!) or d) walking, and pushing my bike beside me. 


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

I Print Off My Poems

I have just printed off my sequence Seven Days in New York City. It takes about 20 minutes to read out loud and I have a 20 minute reading tomorrow, in Bristol, here:


I will be reading alongside my Bristol friend Paul Deaton, who is a thoughtful and sensitive poet of lovely images and moments. My Bristol Niece will be there and Bristol Liz, who is one of the Durham Liz's, (or should that be Lizes?).  I haven't been to Bristol for 2 years, since my lovely Bristol Niece's wedding.

I have to rush down after teaching year 2 on Wednesday and rush back on Thursday morning to teach year 1 in the afternoon, otherwise I'd have liked to have hung out in Bristol a bit, put to rest some memories, pop down to see my adoptive mother in Somerset and read her my latest poems about violas and Viennese whirls.