Archive for December, 2014

Ever-expanding madness

(AKA a toffee-vodka-flavoured rant: add one packet of Werther’s Originals to a bottle of vodka, shake occasionally till dissolved, drink in liberal quantities, nip onto WordPress and blog drunkenly)

Came home to Nottingham today from Dorset. Hit Junction 26 and as if by magic, snow appeared. Gosh. Had been down at Mum’s, and had seen just a few flakes of snow. Lots of frost, mind. And cold weather, but I didn’t see much of that, because I was working hard. Ish. So much work going on at the moment, but it’s all fantastic stuff. I currently have three jobs, just in case you didn’t realise. I’m Development Director for Nottingham Writers’ Studio (major tasks at the moment = getting newest NWS Journal typeset and launched, and working out ways to persuade shy writerly types to get together and be active members of NWS), Project Director for the Nottingham City of Literature bid (major tasks = quantifying just how fan-f***ing-tastic Nottingham is as a City of Literature – VERY), and where it all started, Publishing Assistant at Five Leaves.

Ross Bradshaw is one of the most wonderful people on this planet. He’s going to be completely mortified to hear me say that, so do him a favour and ignore this paragraph. Five Leaves Publications has published books that should be available to everyone but otherwise wouldn’t be. For instance, in 2011, he commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street by issuing no fewer than FIVE books about the events of that day. One of the most memorable days of my life, my #2 son and I pretended to be Jewish Socialists in a march along Cable Street, and helped Ross and Myra man a stall at a celebration of the anniverary, selling over £1600 worth of books and seeing The Men They Couldn’t Hang playing an amazing acoustic set at Wilton’s Music Hall. I sang along at the top of my voice, which was thankfully drowned out by the band. We also saw Billy Bragg, who was not totally disrespected by Marie Thompson at the Bread and Roses festival this year… it all comes back to haunt us in the end. Anyway. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Ross’s mentoring and support, so that’s, um, I think, something worth saying.

Um. I’m proud of where I am. And I’m intensely grateful to the people who’ve helped me get here. Ross is very high on that list, of course. Mum and Dad are also up there, of course — hope you’re as proud of me as I am of both of you. Ann Hardwick, Sophie Hollinshead, Niki Valentine and Matt Welton, all of whom had faith in my academic learning and teaching abilities when I wasn’t particularly convinced. And my friends… too many to name. You know who you are. You all kept me going.

Oh, this has diverted from the rant I was planning to write. I was going to go on about how idiotic people are, and how the human race is doomed. But there are lots of you I love. In fact, I love the whole bleedin’ lot of you. (yes, that’s the toffee vodka talking)

Enough. Resolutions. I’m going to give more to charity, and I’m going to do more Good things. Not sure what, but there have to be many of them that need to be done, so I’m going to find out what they are and do them. I’m going to write more blog posts. Not sure what about, but probably thoughts inspired by books I read. I was thinking, on the way back to snowy Nottingham today, that there are many things that need to be sorted out in the world. Not sure how, given how contrary (selfish/greedy/idiotic) people are as a rule. There must be a way though. I will find it. And then everything will be ok. That’s my promise to you for 2015.

Oh, and I’m going to write more.

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