December 31, 2011

Moving into Movies

Time to put the new into new year. I am now a screen actor. I have accepted the male lead (a baddie) in a short student-made film set in mediaveal times to be shot in Norwich over the next few weeks. At one's age, one likes to have young people about one!

Success will not change me. I will remain insufferably arrogant, opinionated and vain. You wouldn't want me any other way. If I can make such qualities of use to my fellow artists, makers and - by extension - humanity, then how Canne I say Non? In the film I am pursued across a archetypal East Anglian winter landscape by a woman. She is more nemesis than fury, but all the more a nemesis for that. I can't wait.

The photo shows my massive-award winning young cousin Robb Leech (director of My Brother the Islamist) in Edinburgh with me last summer. He'd just got the award. I'd just finished a punishing Fringe run. The mise en scene (oh we get all the in-terms here) is Igg's Spanish bar on Jeffrey St. I am not at all jealous of my six year old upstart relative, as you can see.

December 21, 2011

Lucy in the sky and John

I've been watching the fairy bulbs grow into the gloom
Of this Cotswold Christmas city street middle afternoon
And it made me think of you.

Poets are finding it hard to get a place, still
(I'm chiding late schoolboys)
And still see beauty's face a dark looking glass through.

It's been a long time since 1631,
Since metaphysics met a physics you never knew,
But what you didn't do remains undonne.

Gloucester 1981

Ha ha, that had you. Not St John Lennon or LSD or even Lucille Ball but John Donne's timeleless winter solstice poem Nocturnal on St Lucie's Day (the shortest day, today) or rather my own take on it 350 years later. Anniversarie For John Donne on St Lucy's Day. I wrote this poem thirty winter solstices ago today. We are all becoming history. We are all slipping into the dark...

Photo note: Not Cotswolds in the 80s but Norfolk now, it that's not an oxymoron in a place that often feels timeless. This is the twin of the summer solstice photo I took in a slightly warmer dusk six months ago (see blog June 21.) A lot of wassail under the bridge since then. More solstice-celebration in Poem of the Month for December in the main site.

December 17, 2011

from Sergeant Spectre's Lonely Hearts Club Bang

Christmas morning 1963. The Spectre children have hardly slept. After hours tossing and turning, pretending they are waiting to catch Dad as Santa but really just aching for it to be Christmas morning, they peer around the door of the small living room, its neatly wallpapered surfaces and soberly plastered ceiling a magical garden of decorations. There is the scent of earth and pine. The presents are piled up under the tree like fairytale treasure. The lights on the tree radiate happiness so intense it hurts.

Note and quiz question: this is from a just-about ready new novel about the Sixties where Christmases during the decade get revisited. The Fab Force was mainly at Christmas No. 1 in the album charts 1963-1969. But their signature album Sergeant Pepper was actually replaced at the top by an LP that competed for the top spot with every Beatle album from Beatles For Sale (which came out in 1964) to The Beatles (White album, which came out in 1968) and which is therefore arguably a rival as period soundtrack. What was it? Let me know via the comment box. I think you'll be surprised. Clue High on the hill...?

December 10, 2011

Under Weigh

Under weigh - when a ship has drawn its anchors from their moorings, and started on its voyage. (Brewer). I just tweeted this. It's a full moon and a triple eclipse so it seemed like a good idea. I was worried it might be a bit trivial. As everyone is getting their knickers in a twist about X Factor on there (and that's just the men) I think was worrying unnecessarily.