Some of you know that for homework I have to write an anaphoric poem. We got some guidance. At the end of the class we had to write four lines starting You are.. plus an image.
To complete the poem we have to use each of those lines as the first in a verse, a verse of four lines, and then finish with a two line message to the person the poem is about.
I have struggled. I didn’t clean the windows, a favourite task when procrastinating about something, and thank heaven for procrastination or my windows would be forever filthy, but it was a near thing. I now have a draft. I want feedback, not too critical please, but a bit critical to be helpful. So don’t say it’s lovely if you think it’s crap, and please think of a nice way of saying it’s crap if that is your opinion. Of course, if I get no comments I may have to change my name and leave the country.
Basically I am asking you to be kind and constructive. A big ask I know.
You have twenty-four hours. Or so. And I don’t have a title yet either.

You are the thin pink line between night and day



A seam of light.

You are the burnt stubble of a harvested field



A memory of summer.

You are the words of childish goodnights

Sweet dreams

God bless

Don’t let the bugs bite.

You are yourself but less so



Guilelessly honest

Sometimes the fire burns warmest

Before it goes out.


I’ve finally heard from the tutor of the class I went to in July. She hasn’t been lying unconscious in a darkened room; kidnapped by aliens; or recovering her memory after a blow to the head. No, she’s been abroad. Actually she still is abroad. I’ve heard from her because about ten days ago i contacted the college to ask if anything had happened to her, as I was staring to feel guilty about being cross that I hadn’t got my work back, and if the truth was that she had met with a grisly accident, I could get to work cleaning my soul.

Back in London after being on Das Boot and seeing Mother, but unable to access email, I found a message from the college saying, and one from the tutor. The tutor apologised and said the work would be returned by the end of the week. She had sent the message on Wednesday. Today is Saturday. Saturday is usually considered the end of the week, though some people would argue that Friday is the end of the week, hence the term, weekend. It’s a fair point. However, there was no sign of my work, so emailed and asked for clarification about which week she meant.

I got a reply pretty quickly. Next week. she also said she hoped that was okay.

Now good manners  might dictate that I say yes, that’s absolutely okay. But actually it isn’t. I’m going to get my work back more than a month later than I should have received it.  She didn’t do me the courtesy of writing to me to apologise until I had chased her up. I think that’s pretty unprofessional and also rude and disrespectful. So I replied saying I was sure she’d understand that I was quite hacked off about it. So far no answer. I’ll let you know should I receive one.

This Year, Next Year, Sometime, Never?

No I didn’t do it with cherry stones, and it wasn’t about getting married, though I’m sure the duncart bit in the version we used to count put me off, and told me more about the hit and miss of love and happiness than the copies of Jackie I read ever did.

I’ve come on line to check my email and see if my homework from the writing class, which Not-Melissa promised to return by Thursday, was in the inbox. And it wasn’t. Nor was it in the Spam box.

Considering the mini lecture we got about deadlines, I find it a bit rich that she hasn’t kept to hers. I wouldn’t mind so much if she had sent a message apologising for the non-return. Things crop up; family commitments trip up the best of us, but my feeling is that this disrespectful and rather rude.

Of course, if I find out now that she was rushed into hospital on Wednesday I am going to feel very guilty.

Ah well, back to the paper clearing. I can almost see the carpet now.

Last Class

We had the third and final creative writing class today. I should like to report that my inner writer is well and truly liberated, but I think she’s got her coat or something caught on something; a rib maybe, I shouldn’t like to think of her being entangled in my intestine.

After the initial excitement of Not-Melissa and Fellow-Student’s first encounter, week two seemed quite tame. we had to create characters and then work out a storyline with others in the group and the character they had created, the initial scenario being supplied by Not-Melissa. So some people were caught in a lift;  others passed each other in a church entrance; and so on. You get the idea. The homework was to write the story, in the first person, from the viewpoint of our own character.

It was a good exercise, but I found it excruciating. I was partnered with a woman who was very directive, and I found myself saying no a great deal, and being defensive about my character. We agreed on a few points quite early, thank-goodness, so we were able to retreat to common ground at regular intervals. As our characters were living in different countries, we had to decide on a location where they could meet, and invent a reason for them being there.

I won’t bore you with the whole story, but we agreed on Barcelona. As our conversation went on, I was stunned to discover that my partner had never heard of Gaudí, and was inclined to view Spain as a homogenous whole.

When I came to write the story, I found that this was the piece of information that had struck me the most. We were supposed to listen to each other’s work today, but that plan was abandoned. Also my partner did not show. I forgot to ask if she had emailed her homework in. I’d like to read her version. Now I’ll never know.

By the way, Maria, if you read this, I need to check some Catalan with you!!