About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Saturday 28 July 2018

A One Stoat Day

You wait ages for a Bradford-on-Avon to come along, and then two appear in as many days. Thursday we were in town for Words and Ears in the Swan, with Rosie Bailey and June Hall as guest readers.

It was a golden evening.

And today it was the biannual Kennet & Avon Floating Market (summer edition). I drove down through a strange yellow countryside in glorious sun. A stoat ran across the road (well) in front of my car and it felt like a good omen.

The River Avon looked lush but the grass outside the Tithe Barn, where, six summers ago, we watched a couple celebrate their handfasting in teeming rain, was shockingly threadbare. 

Go straight back to summer 1976. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.

The young woman charged with unlocking the Barn let me in the small side entrance and I got to see it fill with light as she opened each huge door. A bird shifted high in the rafters. It was only when it moved its head with a distinctive bob that I knew it was a pigeon. 

Up on the canal I found Dru and the offspring-formerly-known-as-Boat-Teenager. 'Lovely day for it!' I said in a spirit of stoatly optimism. And the skies opened.

I held an umbrella over one display of art until Dru had time to clear it. Then we repaired to NB Eve and drank coffee whitened with Marvel until it went off. 

Back outside, I rendezvoused with my friend Helen and we wandered up the canal. The towpath was as interesting as ever. 

Back at the market the pub appeared to be shut. Helen and I had a drink and a sit-down in the cafe. It started to rain again. 

On the towpath Dru and Katie were scrambling to get their art back into the dry. I headed for home and some chores I had to do for my mother ... 

... my haul of treasure tucked inside my jacket to keep it dry.

Original artwork for The Leaping Word logo by Dru Marland

Zines by Katie Marland

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