Holidays

We have just booked our summer holidays for this year, and we can’t wait. We’re having a few days up seeing family in the Western Isles, followed by a week in Edinburgh at the Fringe. I am reminded once again how much my idea of what a holiday is has changed over the years.

A few weeks ago, I did a guest post about holidays for Marianne over at Mari’s World, and she has kindly agreed to let me publish a version of it on my own blog too. 

Isle of Harris beaches

Holidays? I’ve had a few! They change though, don’t they? Not just the places you go, but who you’re with, why you’re going, what you remember…
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A Bit of a Chump

I feel like such an idiot. I’m doing the 52 week project. I’m supposed to be taking at least one really good photo a week. Something that’ll remind me of that week, and any interesting things that I did.

So you’d think – given that I spent half an hour posing for photos outside one of the world’s most famous and recognisable doors on Wednesday – I might have remembered to take a photo of it myself. Even a phone photo.

But I didn’t. I didn’t take a photo of the 10 Downing Street door, or of the Downing Street sign, or of my fellow campaigners.

Instead, the only photo I have from my day in London is this one.
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Last Post From Paris

Image of the Eiffel Tower with two pigeons in the foreground

Dear DorkyMum,

Well, it is over.  The 20112 Coupe du Monde de Slam Champion is David Goudreault from Quebec.  He was simply perfect, hit all three of his poems with calm, beautiful intensity.  The audience loved him.  The rest of the poets loved him.  He is a good and true champion. Second place looked like it would go to Roberta from Brazil after she scored two 10s during her final poem, only to have Chris Tse from Canada (the guy who knocked me out of the elimination round by 0.1 point!) score THREE 10s with his last poem.  And Youness Mernissi came in fourth in the scoring, but first in his elegant skills as a writer. Continue reading

Letter from Paris

Image of a bridge in Paris at night, lit up.

Dear DorkyMum,

Paris has a way of swallowing time.  It seems like just hours ago that I arrived here on Tuesday morning, and now it is Saturday and the final round of competition in the World Cup of Slam is on for tonight.

And what a final it will be!  Roberta Estrela D’Alva from Brazil, 33 years old, six feet tall, a beautiful confident woman who shines with kindness; David Goudreault from Quebec, always smiling, sure of himself and his poetry; Chris Tse from Canada, 21, self-aware and cool in an engaging, friendly way; and Younes Mernissi from Belgium, possibly the strongest poet among us, who puts together words in the way great artists paint pictures — you see what he wants you to see.  Who will win?  Who will hold their nerve and capture the fire for three rounds? It will be very, very close.  But the quiet consensus among the rest of us is that Roberta will be difficult to beat.  She is an Amazon warrior with a heart of sunshine.

But truth is, all 16 poets in this competition deserve to be here.  64 poems have now been performed in front of eager and enthusiastic audiences, and not one has been bad.  The youngest person in the competition, 20-year old Mathias Bungaard, is the only poet to receive a perfect score of ten twice in the same round.  The oldest, 63-year old David Morgan from England, an unreconstructed anarchist from the Old School, spins stories out of the ether and leaves people breathless.  The talent is so rich, and the people are so nice — we have become a community. Continue reading

The Knock-Out Round

Image of a hand painting the word 'poetry' in bright colours on a graffiti wall.

Dear DorkyMum,

0.1. One-tenth. It takes ten of them just to make a single one. A very small number, 0.1.

Five judges. Three rounds. 15 different scores. My highest was 9.8 out of 10. I had three 9.7s.

One-tenth of a point. And that is the difference. I did not make it through the Round of Death. My new friend, Chris Tse from Canada, scored 79.8. I scored 79.7. And Roberta from Brazil — more on her in a bit — came in at 81.2. They are both in the semi-finals tonight. And I will be watching from the audience. Continue reading