Book launches are like busses, they all seem to come along at the same time. One minute you've got nothing to read and the next you're inundated with requests to buy this book or that novel. We've been to four book launches in recent days and we've still got another two, sorry Suzanne, three to attend before very long. Anyway, I'm not really complaining, after all it's good to get out and about. Isn't it?
THE BARKING THING
We've just got Suzanne's new poetry book, The Barking Thing It's really good and it's published by Bloodaxe you can clink-the-link HERE to review it for yourself. Suzanne is Nicola's twin sister and she is one of the editors of Rain Dog the Manchester based poetry magazine. Okay, we/I've read her book but we haven't been to her book launch yet. I think it is in October at the Manchester Museum, I'll have to give you details nearer the time. In the meantime - buy the book!
TIME GENTLEMEN PLEASE
Don't you just hate running out of time? You're just starting to enjoy yourself and the pub decides to close. You've very nearly finished a project and the electricity goes down. You're just geting into that deep sleep and the alarm clock wakes you up! We've all been there at one time or another. Well? What is all this stuff about time? Does time even exist? Maybe, you need to speak to Steve Taylor, or better still get a copy of his latest book Making Time. I did! But I haven't had much time (pun intended) to read it yet.
NAME DROPPING TIME
Nicola, Jack and I went to the Steve Taylor book launch at a local cricket club, it was a really good evening with entertainment by the way of poetry and song. Steve read the introduction to Making Time and signed and sold a stack of books. In the second half of the evening, we saw the much talented Gary Parkinson perform three songs, one of which was about the former Ancoats pub The Land of Cakes. Manchester writer and prize winning novelist Mark Sullivan hosted the evening, with some really bad boxing promoter style introductions (only joking Mark - you were brilliant!) Next up was copland smith with a mixed bag of poems and songs - I've heard some of his stuff before, and it's just on the edge of brilliance - if you don't know what I mean, do a google search on him! Finally the act we'd all been waiting for, Steve Taylor himself. Steve performed a number of songs, including his version of Dirty Old Town, Dirty Old Time!
TAKE IT EASY
Sometimes, I wish that things would slow right down. Everybody and every thing seems to be in such a rush thesedays. Please slow down! Take it easy! Chill out! What's the hurry? Who are these weird people who phone me up - all the time? I got a call from a guy in Oklahoma today, "I'm just calling people in Europe, to tell them that Jesus loves 'em!" he began. The very next call was from a woman in Jamaica, "Whose that?" she asked "whose that?" I enquired, of her. "Me calling me sister fram Jamaica!" she replied. "I think you've got the wrong number!" I told her. "Me thinks me got the wrong number!" she agreed.
Talking about all these book launches and famous writers and poets in our midst, makes me want to tell you about my very own poetry page. But, I'll warn you, don't get too exited, because I'm NOT famous and I write really bad poetry. Some real poets like Steve Waling, may even call my stuff lightweight. That's okay, I don't mind that. In fact, most of my rhymes are so bad that even I describe them as 'throw away poetry'. I even wrote a poem once that went something like this: Save your replays for tv/ a new thought's what I've come to hear! We were talking about BAD poetry today in the car going to Wythenshawe Park. I said that the worst/best rejection slip I ever got from a publisher was the one that said: This is NOT poetry!
Or should that read: Finally! Perhaps? Well, anyway, whatever, you can check out my really BAD poetry page HERE clink-this-link
SPEND, SPEND, SVEN!
I haven't mentioned the blues, for a couple of weeks, but I expect Sven is finally beginning to get the picture. The blues, are of course Manchester City football club and Sven is the ex-England manager, who is now in charge at Eastlands. When I say in charge I mean he is the highly paid employee of City's new owner who is the ex-prime minister of Thailand. If you're reading this blog in Thailand, and I know that a few ex-pats do, you may not know that it is officially DANGEROUS to wear a replica Man City football shirt in Bangkok - not because of maurauding Uni-ted fanatics, Chelsea pensioners, or Arsenal addicts, of which there are plenty, I'm told, in the bars of Krung Thep - but because of the Thaksin connection! This has been a coded message to my readers in thingy, what's it called? Anyhow, you know who you are and why I can't mention this by e-mail... don't you? Next message is to Spend! Sorry to Sven! Spend, Sven, Spend! But you know what they say, don't you? You only get what you pay for!
PARKS, BEAUTIFUL PARKS
I've got this thing about parks, or more properly, perhaps, about beautiful parks. We were in Wythenshawe Park today in south Manchester, the weather was glorious and I got this feeling that I could be absolutely anywhere in the world. It's one of those timeless/placeless feelings that you get from time to time in place to place. Last week I got excactly the same feeling/impression in London's Regents Park. We were with the Shakespearean actor Nick Simons (more name dropping) in the wonderful park and he remarked that 'you could hardly hear the traffic, even though we were surrounded by the city.'