Weekends off are lovely, but frankly two days are not enough to catch up on the (inevitable and seemingly self replicating) washing up, laundry and all the other crap that has to be done. I bought Seville oranges two weeks ago to make marmalade and have only got round to it today. For two weeks two kilos of oranges have sat in the corner quietly criticising the lack of organisation which not only failed to cook them, but even failed to stick them in the freezer. Still they are simmering away merrily now – which all goes to create more washing up... Having embarked on the marathon that is an afternoon of marmalade making I find I’ll be missing a Poirot episode I’ve never seen; two days is certainly not enough time to have time to do nothing.
When I haven’t been elbow deep in soap suds I made it across town to visit a couple of second hand bookshops and to pick up the gadget to experiment with mobile broadband – internet in my own home – what will it do to my reading time. Already I’ve spent more time reading about other people’s reading than in picking up a book of my own. Simon S has been writing about January melancholia; I know the last week of January is traditionally the most depressing of the year but I’ve never found it so.
Growing up in Shetland we had Up-Helly-Aa on the last Tuesday of January (worth spending a few minutes on you tube if this is something your unfamiliar with) roughly it’s a fire festival involving a lot of dressing up, drinking, and dancing which marks the lengthening of the days after mid winter. Not an easy thing to replicate in the midlands but I do now (thanks to the Scottish one) celebrate Burns night, something else that brightens up the gloom of winter and is much anticipated by the blond and I – we like the Scottish ones knees and his poetry reading. It’s fair to say we look forward to it for weeks in advance, and it makes me wonder why we don’t have an English version.
There must be an English poet who could reasonably be celebrated and I feel strongly that a night of poetry reading with friends is a very good thing which ought to be encouraged. On these same lines I’m very disappointed to learn, to late to change my work rota, about the Poetry Brothel (I found the flyer when I was distracted by a shoe’s on my way to the bookshop) . Leicester (my home town) has a comedy festival. Amazingly (to Leicester natives who generally fail to make the best of the city) it’s the biggest and longest established festival in the country outside of the Edinburgh fringe and in its twenty odd years has gained international standing. It starts on Friday and the Poetry Brothel is one of the kick off events. I’m not sure how it’ll go down here – hopefully well – apparently it appears to be a drink fuelled burlesque show but when one peruses the menu “it’s true purpose becomes startlingly apparent: for a small fee, they can slake their literary lust with personal one-on-one readings from the poetry whores’.
It sounds silly and fun, fancy dress is encouraged – but I don’t think a W******e uniform is what they have in mind – nor does a late shift followed by an early one encourage late nights of promiscuous poetry reading, so I will have to be content with a not at all humorous visit to the theatre tomorrow night to see ‘The Woman in Black’ – which it occurs to me I also meant to read today and have now left to late. Ah well back to the marmalade and the kitchen sink – I will beat the washing up.