I won’t lie; I feel there has been a definite lull after the build up to, and the reading at the open mic night. It feels a bit like those weeks after Christmas and New Year when the holiday excitement has finally subsided and you’re left twiddling your thumbs…wondering what to do next…
So, what have I done next? Well, taking a friend’s advice I’ve started an online poetry course. It’s a Basic Guide to Poetry course run by the Open University. It’s a freebie and it’s only 20 hours so I do a couple of hours every day (nearly every day…) My only complaint about the OU is the lack of variety of online courses outside the UK, or specifically for India…I don’t want to do an MSc in Finance.
One of the course tutors advises reading contemporary poetry. So I got a recommendation from my sis – A Shropshire Lad – a cycle of 63 poems by A.E.Houseman. I’m not sure it can be classed as contemporary, it was published in 1896. But, it was a freebie on Kindle and she said it was good. She said it was a weepy and that it had her crying on the tube.
“The saviours come not home
Themselves they could not save.”*
Too sad. I haven’t read any further than the first poem yet.
What else have I been up to? I had a little break. I went to Dubai for a long weekend which was interesting. The sis referred to it as a cultural void….and I’m inclined to agree with her for at least the part I stayed in. It’s a good place for relaxing, everything is shiny and new, there are shopping centres everywhere but at one point I almost forgot where I was. The Emirati population is 1.something million and the expat population is 7.something million. Everyone speaks english, there were LOTS of Brits and nothing really to distinguish it from anywhere else really…
The UAE have only existed since the 1970’s and Dubai is like a city that fell almost fully formed from the sky. The H was wondering how they decide when a building looks old, so they can demolish it to make way for a new snazzier version. Who knows, the new city hasn’t been round long enough to have old buildings.
I did a bakery course a few days ago with the lovely Shaheen of PurpleFoodie. When in doubt BAKE! Not only can she make a mean ciabatta but she can run a super fun, informative workshop. I did make the ciabatta at home and found that there is a difference between Instant Yeast and Active Dry Yeast. Waste not Want not – I ate the bread anyway and it was yum. Perhaps that had more to do with the sausages stuffed inside it.
On the culture front, I went to a screening of the Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci 2015 production by the NY Metropolitan Opera. It was bloody fantastic. Some religious hypocrisy, some adultery, some very unhappy people and ultimately someone cops it. I know opera isn’t to everyones taste but the acting abilities of some of these singers is amazing. They’re not just standing there belting out a tune, it really is a musical play. Even if you don’t understand the language the opera is sung in, these screenings have subtitles and the music is wonderful. I did actually feel sorry for the crazy, drunk, knife wielding clown.
Oh and what a surprise – I cried.
I have also fallen off a horse. I have had a very entertaining evening with my poetry chum which involved margaritas and driving round in circles in a tuk and I have also been to a leaving party for a lovely french family who are off to Singapore.
So, I seem to have disproved the lull……the lull is infact null.
*1887 – A Shropshire Lad – A.E.Houseman