First of all, thanks to everyone who posted kind thoughts after my last post. I need little encouragement to get stuck into the Talisker on a Friday night, and it and an overdose of Strepsils seemed to do the trick. The voice recovered a bit, and held out until the end of the reading, though it's gone again today. But the not-talking-for-20-hours thing proved impossible - it was closer to two (waking) hours.
But anyway, the reading, at Nottingham Mechanics Institute, went very well. One of the other readers, Mark Gilbert, had also been struck down by a more virulent form of the lurgy, so couldn't make it, which just left me and Davina Prince (who, as D A Prince, is a regular in all kinds of poetry mags).
I did the two poems that appear in the current issue of Poetry Nottingham, Sweet Spot and Cafe Italia, a few from the chapbook, plus six or seven others, including a couple of very new ones. They seemed to go down well, and I liked getting my reading done first, because it meant I could relax and enjoy Davina's. As I say, she's someone whose poems often stand out in poetry mags, and she reads very well. Her reading seemed very well structured, too - there were two or three themes, subtly introduced, but always there beneath the surface.
It would have been nice putting a face to the name anyway (and to that of PN editor Adrian Buckner), but the icing on the cake was finding out that Davina also hails from Coalville (she now lives a little nearer Leicester, in Kirby Muxloe). Small world.
I sold a few chapbooks, bought one by Alan Baker and an anthology that Davina had edited, and went home more than ever determined to read more regularly. I'm hoping to get down to one of the Monday night sessions at The Troubadour in London next month, and I'm looking into setting something up locally. Ideally, I'd like to find a couple of other poets interested in reading with me, so if you're interested, drop me a line.
Very little birding this weekend, except for the happy discovery of a potentially great site in Castle Donington. The EMDC industrial park is just an expanse of puddle-dotted wasteland at the moment, but when I stopped there yesterday, it contained all sorts of finches, two Shelducks (not common round here), a Ringed Plover (ditto), and 79 Pied Wagtails (I gave up counting at that point), the latter presumably attracted to the huge swarms of very big gnats that were everywhere. I'll have to go back for a longer look soon, because it looks like a potential haunt of Black Redstarts.