In the shadow of the moon

Have you seen the film called In the shadow of the moon? It includes quite a few of the Apollo astronauts talking about their experiences, and lots of good film footage. I watched it again last night, as a kind of little tribute to Neil Armstrong, who died on Saturday. It’s a very moving film – for me, anyway, because the first moon landing, and the earthrise photos, and the Apollo 13 recovery were all key moments of my teenage years. But it’s kind of sad; to go further than the moon is almost unbelievably expensive and difficult, and all the other space missions after Apollo were a bit anti-climactical; once you’ve done the moon, what else is there?

Anyway, I haven’t spent much time staring at the moon this week. It’s been the usual mix of hospital (ok), prison (good), emails (wearing), prep (always more interesting than I think it’s going to be). I did get the completed version of two books back from Lulu, which is always nice, and I’ve been out for a few runs; now that the summer is nearly over, I’ve really got into running again.

I saw The Bourne legacy, which was of course well done, but with a plot like a colander. Entertaining, though.

But I’ve done a lot of work on the house and garden – scraped, filled, and painted a whole dormer, cheeks and window frame; cleared some more stuff from the jungle – and picked three loads of plums, one lot of damsons and some tomatoes! I’m pleased with these; this is the first time I have ever grown tomatoes successfully. And The Bloke came round and we mended the front wall, which has crumbled a bit. I know how it feels. A few more repairs to little cracks, which I’ll do today, and that’s a job finished. Hooray!

I had a gig on Sunday – my first as Gloucestershire Poet Laureate – at the Hullabaloo Festival. I’m not keen on performing in music festivals, really. The sound from the music stage was loud, and our mic was a bit iffy, and we had whirly sparkly lights going the whole time – perfect if we had been in a disco. The audience had to stand, and there were hardly of them anyway; one woman was talking really loudly up by the stage and I had to ask her to quieten down a bit. It was all a bit dispiriting. I did two new poems, but really I have no idea how they went down because it was all so difficult. Anyway, it’s done, and I don’t have to worry about it any more.

But I have plenty of other things to worry about, or better still, do. I have a busy two weeks, trying to combine more work on the house (in between the rain) with prep and workshops… I’d better get on with it. I think that really I have to get over my sadness, and accept that I will never, ever stand on the moon. 

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