On the Eurostar to Paris on 31 March and I get a phone call. I've been planning this trip for ages, promised it last year to my daughter because I went to Paris at 11. So on her 11th birthday I said I'd take her before she was 12. It's taken a few months to summon up the cash, but then I went for it. Looked on Railbookers for cheaper tickets and booked a hotel near Bastille in the Marais.
Anyway, we're waiting in Waterloo to leave and I have a call from a guy in Poole asking if I'd be able to do a reading with Kit Wright the following Saturday. Fantastic surprise, lovely to be asked.
So, having had four days in Paris which were wonderful because we did the Louvre and as many of its amazing paintings as we could take, the Eiffel Tower when I got vertigo walking down, Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur, as well as the lovely discovery of Eglise St Eustache just near Les Halles - being restored and we didn't notice it in the guidebook. We went in because of some painted glass in a door.....then it opened up into this magnificent place. My daughter lit candles in Sacre Coeur and St Eustache. It is a ritual some of us have forgotten. We only light them for atmosphere now, not to remember. It's good to be reminded of these things by your children.
Oh, a river trip, too, and the views from the top of the Beaubourg where a cake costs 10 euros.
So it's been all holiday.....came back to a workshop and then I was off again for the weekend to Poole with a friend. A walk along the cliffs from Worth Matravers in the Purbecks before the reading, then a lovely audience at the Lighthouse in Poole and some good new poems, as well as old, from Kit, then another longer walk around Old Harry and to Swanage from Studland on Sunday.
I want some space to write now. Looking at the madness ahead in May and June when I barely have a day to myself. More readings would be good, so I can try out more new poems.