Last night's inaugural outing for a new venture in poetry improvisation called Strange Cargo was the first time I'd managed to get out of Bristol in weeks. Or even get out at all.
In any event, it went well. The gig, part of the Lyrical series run by Diana Durham in Trowbridge Town Hall, was a little daunting but an excellent opportunity to try out our plan of spontaneous poetry reading on the loose theme of walls and windows.
We found ourselves in the perfect room for our subject-matter, and my fellow poets, Dawn Gorman, Chaucer Cameron, Anna-May Laugher, Shauna Darling Robertson and Helen Dewbery (Pey Oh being away) and I grew in confidence.
By the end of the evening we were brimming with ideas for framing the poems, regulating their flow, and also the possibility of audience participation instead of a more formal open mic. It feels good to have a new venture underway.
Today I'd hoped to take our dog, Ted, who's been confined to base during the last month of hospital vigilance and funding applicationing, for a lovely long walk, somewhere with open skies, but he's picked up a bit of a limp so I had to downsize my plans.
Instead we headed for Greenbank Cemetery, which I've driven around all my life but never actually visited.
There was a burial going on when we got there so we decided to walk the bounds of the plot for our first visit.
Sultry summer days aren't my first choice when it somes to visiting cemeteries, mainly because they tend to burn off all the atmosphere.
The grass had been newly mown too. It was all looking very well-kempt.
War graves, both military and civilian
The long alleys of trees provided some welcome shade.
It intrigues me how people still visit old tumbledown graves to pay their respects, even if the tributes are chosen to last as long as possible, thus reducing the frequency of remembrancing required.
I watched two large, bright jays fly into a lime tree and then turn into lumpy jumping shadows that were completely invisible.
A pair of moulting crows weren't as self-effacing.
Poor Kate Perezic got a beautiful headstone but it doesn't look as if her loving husband chose to lie with her in the end.
Commonwealth war graves
I'd intended to pop over the road to Rosemary Green where the dead from the Eastville Workhouse, which used to stand there, were buried, including my great-great-great grandfather, Mark
Drewett, who died there in the 1880s. (No headstones for them, of course.) But Ted was still limping so I decided to save that journey for another day.