Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Leamington Snow / Lucky Bunny

Leamington Snow
Image of snow fallLeamington Garret. This morning I crawled out of bed to see the park beneath my garret bedroom carpeted with snow. It looked wonderful but I felt terrible.

This year, for some reason, I am not coping with January at all well. It cannot be purely because I am on the wagon. I have done that a number of times before and not suffered as badly. These past three weeks I have felt terrible - physically and mentally. I have missed Lewes like mad whilst in Leamington Spa; found the Day-Job stressful; and really struggled to get my head round anything, including poetry.

This week has been typical. On Monday I rolled up at the Reckless Moment comedy club in Leamington to perform my comedic poems, only to find I had come on the wrong date (a week early). I have also been sleeping terribly and feel drained at work during the day.

But I mustn't grumble. I came up from Lewes on Sunday to perform at Sean Kelly's excellent poetry night, PureAndGoodAndRight at the Fox in Leamington. What a fine evening it was!

I performed Probably Not which went down well and Loving You - likewise. Our Neighbours went all right, and my new poem Cook and Drive was well received. I Fought The Law and Women also went well.

The gig was packed with a very pleasant crowd. Jane Holland was very good indeed and I bought her volume The Brief History of a Disreputable Woman from her for a fiver. Emma Purshouse was also very good, taking a thematic approach to comedic poetry. And there was a superb poet from Oxford called Laura King who has kindly contributed a brilliant poem to Oliver's Poetry called From London to Oxford. She was really eloquent in her diction and performance.

There were 17 poets in total, a remarkably varied and talented bunch.
That was the highlight of the week. That and the tremendous warmth in the Leamington Garret living room. Last year I could never have dreamed that this place be so snug in the depths of winter.

It is 11.11pm now. I am dog tired but know I shan't sleep.

The other thing I did this week was have a go at generating a MySpace site. In fact I had started it months ago in a spare half-hour and have not looked at it since. In a sad moment, it occurred to me that having no friends on MySpace was incredibly pathetic, so I should devote some time to it.

Last night I went into a friends frenzy and this morning I had more than 20 so-called 'friends'. I deleted the ones I have never met and am left with 18, mainly comedian acquaintances, as my MySpace gang.

It seems to me that this is not at all shameful for MySpace. For instance, the comedian and musician Earl Okin has hundreds of scantily clad young women as friends, most of whom I would wager he has never met.

And Paul Foot, who I liked very much when I met him regularly (despite his disastrous performances at my former club Joe's Comedy Madhouse) has almost 1,800 so-called connoisseurs on his fab MySpace site. God knows where they all come from. He is a shy man.

If I have a spare couple of hours next week I am going to try to put a version of the Oliver's Poetry home page up on my MySpace site, and make some bally sense of this MySpace malarkey.

Lucky Bunny (Flashback to Thursday, 30 March 2006)

Leamington Garret. Great day at the Day-Job!

We came to the end of a three-day conference for volunteers which went really well. I chaired a couple of sessions, the second of which was for the volunteer webmasters. It went brilliantly. I'd hired a website expert to give them some training. He was followed by the Daily Mirror's webmaster who was most entertaining (especially with his shirt hanging out).

I must say I learnt a great deal which will help me in the design of the Oliver's Poetry website which I currently working on. And the question and answer session was great fun - I felt like a stand-up comedian again with all the banter flying around.

Afterwards I had a can of beer in the marquee with the Mirror chap and colleagues from the day-job. Then I went home in the Last Word in Luxury - my trusty steed. It was dusk.

Image of two bunnies As I was driving along the fast road to Leamington at around 40mph, a little bunny ran out from a hedgerow and under the nearside front wheel. I was shocked but it happened so quickly I hardly had time to touch the brake pedal and just managed to swerve slightly. I feared I had killed the bunny. I hate that. Roadkill is everywhere round here.

I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the bunny running away completely unharmed. Thankfully, the wheels had missed him and the car had travelled over without touching a hair on his little body.

Lucky bunny!

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