Cruisin’

Sorry about the absence of blog, but that’s where I’ve been – cruisin’! This wasn’t just for fun, you understand. I was working, running creative writing sessions for people on the cruise.

Before that, I had a very busy couple of days. On the Tuesday, I gave a talk with poems to some volunteers at Stoke library, which went really well; they were a lovely bunch. I came home and left again almost immediately for London, where I stayed overnight with my cousin. The next day I was running a session for a firm of solicitors, getting executives to respond creatively to their brand statement. That was really good fun, and again went down well, although the journey home was a bit of a nightmare. I cleared most of the emails, and on the Thursday I did some poetry on Loan work, finished packing and set off.

The first full day of the cruise was a bit of a nightmare – I was sick first thing and it got worse and worse. I managed my first session, but only just. In the end I was so bad that I went to the ship’s hospital to have iv anti-sickness treatment. Fortunately, this worked wonders, and I was absolutely fine for the rest of the trip.

So, in the last two weeks, I’ve visited Lisbon (Portuguese custard tart), Lanzarote (Fire Mountains and camel ride), Gran Canaria (on the beach), Tenerife (wandering about), Madeira (jeep trip, cable car, toboggan down hill), and Oporto (another custard tart). I’ve run 7 creative writing sessions, which went down really well, and given a short performance at an afternoon cabaret. This was quite brave of the Cruise Director, as neither he nor his staff had any idea what performance poetry was. But we had a good audience, and loads of them came up later to say how much they had enjoyed it. I sold 7 books, and wrote 20 poems. I’m not sure how good they are; I haven’t read through them yet, but I think that a couple are ok. Oh, and I met some lovely people, and ate and drank much too much, of course.

Now I’m home, and my desk seems to be swaying gently in a light swell, which is rather odd. And I’m very much enjoying the silence, which is something you never have on board a ship. I’ve done most of the unpacking, and now I’m cruisin’ through the emails. There’s an ocean of them.

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