The Week Past
So, it turns out that going out for 4 of the five working nights of the first week back at work after Christmas is a little tiring. Thank fuck there’s only Saturday to go… that’s a good friend’s birthday film at the cinema followed by drinking and the usual tomfoolery. I’m taking the strange opaque bottle of Chinese grain alcohol I’ve taken from my uncle’s house. God knows what it really is; Marilyn’s translation gave us words, but not meaning. We’ll know on Sunday I suspect.
I have every intention of wearing my cosy slippers and trousers all day on Sunday.
Tuesday – Improv One To One
A return to the one-to-one improv for confidence coaching I’m doing. I’d have to confess that at first I was unsure that I could deliver something that would be genuinely be useful, inspiring and exciting. I’m thrilled to find that with every session that passes I’m even more excited and interested in it. It’s even better to find that my client is finding it delighting and challenging. Outside of a group setting improvisation feels very different, and at the same time its benefits seem even more obvious – gaining confidence and boosting self-esteem works when you completely commit to another person’s ability to create, perform and grow. I’ve never done anything so intimate in teaching and it’s very, very satisfying.
I did of course then cycle home in driving wind and rain. It’s a swift slap with the real world I suppose.
Wednesday – Pub Poetry
Pub Poetry returned to Nottingham. We’re damnably erratic but I can tell you upfront that we’ll be poetising on a Monday in May and in September as well this year. If the gods of calendar are good to us we’ll also dance in December.
We only had a dinky turnout, but as usual that pushes the attendees that bit further (gently, gently) to unexpected readings, laughter and enjoyment. I also picked up some book titles to seek out on Mr Kindle by our regular poet Mr Chris Pearson. I deeply love science fiction and look forwards to indulging in his novels.
This is the second time that we’ve had an Improvised Beat Poetry segment. Last time it was just me and Martin (he of the gorgeous words) but we got another four unsuspecting folks to stand and deliver. Since we had six I divided us into sets of three, acquiring a word of inspiration from the audience and then demanding a poem from each of the team. Wow, but it gets dark quickly! And interesting. With or without any particular metre this seems to plumb the creative depths of the psyche – a combination of the pressure and freedom I suppose, but it produced remarkable results. Improv always brings forth the unexpected, but it’s not always as well married to wit, imagination and colour. I was very impressed with what we produced – Martin, Orla, Martin (at the back), Richard, Lloydie and I. A range of styles, length, content. Oh gosh, just FUN.
Thursday – Gorilla Burger
Gorilla Burger – the first improv (proper) of the year for most of us. I was hosting and whipped up a whirlwind of two minute scenes. I was especially delighted with the turnout – I think there must have been about forty of us in total. We had the pleasure of inducting a chunk of the Furthest From The Sea posse from Derby into the improv mix. Adam, from Karl & The Marx Brothers hit the improv keyboards for the first time ever, pimping scenes into song and making a trio of astonishing Cell Block Tangos pop musically and comedically (thank you Heather & Joe!). It was a great night all round, and I happily took a back seat to compere from my desk (a desk – I got a desk) from where I could easily harangue, direct and end scenes with the sound of Teddy Bear the porcupine eating pumpkins. A kick ass night for one and all.
An especial delight came for me and Marilyn at the end of the night. We’d stayed out a bit late to see off Seth who is sadly moving back to the States (ace to see him, and we were really nice in not giving him a hated Shakespearean scene) so got home at about midnight. I swear, really swear we saw the faintest tongues of the Northern Lights – green infusions drifting across the sky. It was a beautiful clear night, and whether we really saw the faintest traces of the Northern Lights or not, we felt that we saw them. It was awe-inspiring and beautiful.
Friday – Pub Poetry
As you might imagine, the preceding evenings plus going to work during the day had left me a touch drained. Plus I’ve been waking up unnaturally early and suffering weird dreams (damn you amitriptyline, why do you fail me now?) which really doesn’t help do anything except make me feel crazy. Ho hum. Working at home helps a lot – I can sit in my velour Superman lounge pants with a Merly-Boo on my lap all day. I do get more done at home; it’s nice. I used my lunchtime to finally write about the Lego Winter Village Toy Shop we built before Christmas. It was nice.
In the evening I headed back to my Dad’s in Burton to attend the original Pub Poetry – Adrian Thompson’s fine and inspiring event at The Cottage Tavern with their delicious beers. Mmmm, Stout. Before that I’d headed up see my Dad and step-Mum. I was treated to a blood pressure and urine test. Yes, that should seem odd. I believe I’ve been mistaken for my brother… I am not diabetic and internally seem fine, yet my blood pressure is a trifle high. This is unsurprising – frankly, work can have aspects of cuntitude.
I escaped the nightmare of pseudo-medical awkwardness on my uncle’s bike. Not a great plan… I usually ride (a fairly beaten up) mountain bike, but this is a lightweight racer with incredibly thin wheels, drop handlebars with brakes to match and small pedals with straps for your feet. Oh, and the gears – I’ve no idea how they work. Best advice I can offer is to not try out a bicycle set up for someone else in the dark, down a steep hill and roads composed solely of potholes. And in the rain. It was a terrifying ride and I bravely ditched the bike at the station and walked to the pub.
A smallish turn out again (just a quiet week for poetry?) but nice to see some familiar faces. My Dad gave a good reading of Les Barker’s Amnesia which was rather satisfying. I offered up Captain Pigheart’s Triffic Adventure (a small tribute to John Wyndham’s masterpiece The Day of The Triffids), a spot of poetry to offend and horrify (Shanktart) and took the night in a somewhat darker direction at the end with Franklyn de Gashe’s Theatrical Entertainment. As it turns out, the latter is more upsetting than funny. Oh well, now I know. It’s still my favourite event to go to though, and I like being there with my Dad.
Ah bliss… only a couple of nights out this week! That may (possibly) mean I actually get some online stuff done – exciting.
♥ Last Week’s Scribbles
Events and Excitement
Friday 31st January
MissImp in Action – live improv comedy show
Thrilling all-action end of the month show sporting the best of MissImp inventing scenes and playing games.
The Glee Club
8.30pm (doors open at 8pm) – £4.50 in advance/£6 on the door (£3 students/MissImp)