Why have ten words when one is enough. Here it is “arghhhhhhhh”. Each morning I
forget as my foot slides out of bed and finds the floor that blood will rush downwards to feed the infection. My foot erupts into a block of burning lava and I lie back on the bed chewing my forearm so not to scream. The day begins. I know the pain will subside so I stay their for thirty minutes waiting for my body to adjust to the pain and then limp around the apartment like a wounded soldier and it strikes me that the wounded soldier has much more to deal with.
Eventually it subsides into a more manageable pain. Riding the bike is comparatively easy. At 8am I am at the doctors and by 10am I am diagnosed with a prescription for anti biotics.
But there isn’t time for the chemists. I get on my bike and arrive at The Southbank for about 10.30am and at noon meet artistic director Jude Kelly. It’s an enjoyable meeting and we agree to meet again. I then bike it back across the Thames to Bush
House to meet radio producer Claire Grove at 2pm. I’ve known Claire now for twenty years. From Bush house I bike it to Kings Cross station and get the 3.52 to
the beautiful city of Cambridge.
Still haven’t been to the Chemist. I arrive at The Hotel Felix which coincidentally is
right across the road from Phil and Helen’s place. Phil and Helen are a couple
whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know over nearly twenty years and
who have kindly let me stay at their place when I have been in Cambridge. The
pain in my foot is excruciating still and I am walking with a pronounced limp.
At 8.55pm I arrive at the venue. The reading is for one hour. I know I can’t physically move so I stand as close as possible to the microphone and talk and read poems. It feels to me like a wonderful reading. One hour of poems, what a delight. Afterwards five friends and I go out and eat some food and chat. We were at the pizza express which was once The Pitt club a gentlemens club for conservative drinkers. It is one absolutely hilarious evening. Phil and Mary come back to the hotel for a coffee and the night ends perfectly. A rowdy bunch pour into the bar as we are walking out… “bladdy ‘ell” says one of them as he passes by “it’s blaady tiger woods”. I catch what he said and turn, his blonde girlfriend is looking at me apologietically.
I t reminds me of when I went into Claridges once to see a man about a bbc radio interview. He is a wine taster often seen on television. I knew him from Manchester. He greeted me by bellowing “lemn sissay you black bastard”. He’d had too many drinks
and thought that this in some way was a bonding moment. Neither of the above have any class. We continued walking and after a couple of seconds Phil summed up the fleeting moment (which I thought only I had heard) “dickhead”, he said. There are times when one
word between friends is enough.