Last week, amidst meetings and appointments, I had the distinct pleasure of reading to a full room.
It was a lovely mix of people too - I ushered pods of fond friends (and, as you'll see, their babies) to adjacent seats, leaving just before they started cackling and peppering me with insults...and even found my mother-in-law a spot on the couch, within ogling distance of said baby.
Writerly types, used to the hullaballoo of readings, confidently strode towards the sturdiest of the folding chairs and got a good gossip on.
Kelly of Aqua Books, who will soon be moving kit and caboodle to a new, expanded venue, was avuncular (even jolly!) while introducing me and also the main draw, George Murray.
I've been busy compiling (and piling and unpiling) a manuscript of poetry of late and so am feeling sentimental about certain poems - and completely indulged myself by choosing three that have yet to find a home and trying them out on my invisible living room audience.
They loved it...and the audience at Aqua, the next day, seemed to like them okay too.
But then, I'd made half the room promise to lie to me if I bombed, so who knows how I did, really...
And then I spent the whole of George's reading cradling my friend's three-month-old son because there's something wonderful about the empty arms of a new mother.
He grunted and pecked me with his little chin, not precisely in rhythm to George's poetry but almost.
So here's to George Murray, for giving me a reason to assemble such an august assembly...and for asking me to join him.
Here's to Kelly, for keeping Aqua open late for the reading and for being such a supporter of literature, reading by reading by reading.
And here's to all of you who came, or meant to come, or even emailed to say that you wished you could have come.
And though I probably end too many posts this way: Fun!
(I recorded audio of one of the poems I performed that night but haven't yet found a free way to upload it...anyone have any suggestions?)