Persons From Porlock

The erudite literati out there will of course know the history of poor Coleridge’s writing of Kubla Khan. The great poet was in full (opiate?) creative flow when a visitor from Porlock knocked on his door causing the most disastrous poeticus interruptus of all time. Even so, a wonderful poem was conceived and Porlock went on to host a famous literary festival. The only thing it had lacked in the past was the attendance of a full bodied Romantic Passionista such as modest little me.

Candy and Paul awaiting the person from Porlockl
Of course, I was supposed to go with Oscar – but he couldn’t get the day off work. And guess who the folks actually wanted to see? It’s not that I don’t do poetry – I still do (ish) and did ( ooh – you could have taken your pick of my iambic at one time). No one did as it happens! That’s why I’m not on BBC Radio Foreplay. 

Buy my books. OK BUY MY BOOKS!!!
Happily I met up with a couple of fantastic poets, Candy Bright and Paul Tobin who starred in the “Freeze Frame” anthology. I had read their stuff and done the sound editing on the audio track. These guys are the real deal. As a young young writer I went to poetry readings and longed to be that kind of writer. Poets push off from the shore, not knowing where they’re off to; prepared over and over again to drown in waves and cross currents. Their work is their cry above the storm or the landscape of the calm horizon where only ideas or desires cast shadows. Poetry is the true form and I still love it. I guess they don’t look at their Amazon ratings or admire their limousines too much either.

I also met a fellow novelist – Jackie Gingell, author of “Ee Aye Addyeo” (The Farmer Wants a Wife). We had a comradely chat which left me smiling.

With driving rain and wind, the village hall was no Xanadu, so many thanks to the man from Porlock and partners, who fought the elements and treated themselves to some poetry.

And finally just to note that this is my three hundredth blog. I know there are tattooed old sweats out there who have done several thousands. My feeling is that the blogger sands have shifted since I started. At the outset it was absolutely de rigueur for writers to have one. There were gurus writing blogs telling other gurus how to blog up their guru power. A quick google has just confirmed my suspicion that many pets now write blogs. A look at the stats reveals that at least one spaniel has twice my readership. I dare not check out the cats cos they can be far wittier than me. 

Hey ho – blog on. 

Emma Thinx: Big ideas stand tall. Their shadows are the light. 

House Of The Rising Bun

The House Of The Rising Bun

In England I just don’t think about bread. In France, for me bread is the new chocolate. Sadly or luckily, a crusty baguette or pain does not carry a nutritional value label. In a town of about two thousand souls, how many bakers can co-exist? Well, within walking distance of my house there are a mere four. In addition there is a mobile bakery parked at the station and a depot de pain – which is a grocer’s shop which sells bread. All the bakers loosely cooperate with a rota for holidays and week day closing. Of course, they mostly close for lunch just in case the tourists want something to eat.  

Much fun was poked of the Mcdonalds University degree. In France you can go to the Ecole Banette. No one would jest about the importance of the artisan baker I can assure you. As I groan my way back to full speed back at my UK desk I can still dream of the house of the rising bun in Saint Savinien. Oh yes – it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy/girl – and god I know I’m one. 100 grammes of lettuce for lunch it is then.

 Chat – Oh

About on a level with bread is the French love of pets. When they ask me if I have any animals in England I tell them I have a rabbit called Casserole. Etiquette requires them to smile and glance quizzically at any other French person present. However I have some new neighbours who have a cat. I took some photos just so you can say Ah. 

Even in mid France the weather is most un-seasonal. The natives huddle in overcoats and scarves as the North wind blows in June. Brave poppies grow from any crack in any wall. The swifts (les martinets) still swoop and turn.  For some reason all the fields are planted with cereal crops this year. I guess the sunflower seeds went on strike and refused to come out. At least there will be running wind shadows across the oceans of barley at harvest time. 

Emma Thinx:  North winds speed a fledgling swallow. Accept.

Cook The Books With A Gastrocrat

Italy is to be led by a technocrat. Greece has been handed to a technopinion of technocrats. All of this misses the vital point. What is a crat? Also what is the proper collective noun for a number or gathering of crats? And another thing – how could you hire one or apply to be one?
“Excuse me Frau Merkel – we have a problem here. Could you send us a couple of crats?”
Anyway this whole issue has led to me re-branding myself as a writocrat, busocrat, laundrocrat and very much of a gastrocrat. World governments please note. If you need to pay a big wedge of cash to hire a crat, you need look no further. Once you’ve put a crat in your team you’re on the way to salvation.

Well now, I’ve been kinda loafing about and kinda busy. You poor souls had to clear your inbox every single day of my output and I figured you might need a rest. I actually needed to get down to some good solid chocolate sampling and digging up of sexy tingle dust to sprinkle on a video trailer for “Knockout”. I’m sure some of you already know that it takes about a day to do 10 seconds of visual. If you would like to see my efforts they are here.

At an educational establishment where some of my bus kids attend, they offer “life skills” training. Often this involves retail orientation and expertise development. You probably know this better as shopping. The idea is to show them how to handle money and how to evaluate the best price. During a recent tutorial held in a hypermarket, a student was grabbed by security guards for impulse buying without payment. There are several terms for this practice. The suspect explained that he had been asked to obtain goods at the best possible price. Now, that lad got the best deal in the world.  And they say educational standards are slipping!

Tonight as I drove my bus on a 4 lane highway at about 50 mph a black cat flashed into my vision as it sprinted across the 2 lanes to my right, across my path, body swerved a lorry to my left and sprang on to the foot-way. I’m guessing that’s 4 lives used up. If he makes the return he’ll only have the one in reserve. Should I buy a lottery ticket?

Emma thinx: Why do the big breaks all come in life number nine?