The train of thought departs and then leaves the tracks. I make coffee. Monday: From 9am till five pm the lines are arriving in my head of An
Ancient Mariner who departs to the sea for a fatal journey. And I have to memorise it all. At 6pm I depart for The Three Kings in Clerkenwell – a party – the leaving do of my Cape Farewell colleague Hannah Bird.
It’s all about departures and arrivals this week. All the lines I learned yesterday departed from my head. So on Tuesday it’s the learning of lines again. In the evening, 7pm, I’m on a panel in front of the public in a debate about the writer in residence called Know Your Place. It’s at The German Gym . Have a look. it’s the most beautiful room in Kings Cross. I went with a close friend of The Journalist, Winta Yohannes, who is staying at our place right now.
On Wednesday I arrive at Southbank for a line run-through and a meet with the artistic director to discuss Rime. And in the evening I was to go with the journalist to an intimate gathering in Soho – a launch of The Long Song by
Andria Levy. I couldn’t make it because of The Ancient Mariner but the journalist and Winta did go. I received a call from Felix Cross. There’s a benefit for Haiti at hackney Empire…. At home and late I write a letter to a lawyer to support the stay of a friend. Then sleep arrives and I depart.
Thursday came and again I spent the day learning lines and keeping track. Chooo Choooo. At 6pm I am be-suited back stage at Hackney Empire. This beautiful Theatre: This the final performance before it closes for a year. is
a Requiem for Haiti. On stage are at least Twelve black operatic singers and
seven or so musicians. I am here to read writings by Haitian writers. At 7.45pm the audience arrives, the curtains de– part and Mass Carib begins. I leave shortly after the final bow. It was emotional.
By Friday a pile of letters from all quarters, from Judges and politicians, arrive upon my desk in congratulations for the gong. I’m so proud. But the lion sleeps. An interest in my biography arrives from a major publisher, another. I need a
literary agent – someone who can deal with books and publisher enquiries and
commissions. Help. Friday at 9am I am in the spirit Level at the Southbank Centre. From ten am until noon I am learning lines. At noon I am interviewed by Community Care and at 2pm I am interviewed for Everychild. And at home late evening sadly I finished the final book of the trilogy by Steig Larrson starring Lisbeth Salander.
And on Saturday morning, today, a final piece of news. Gil Scott Heron shall be doing an extra date at Southbank Centre confirmed as April 24th. I have had his album in my bag this whole week and not listened. I want to give it the attention it deserves. I am half way through learning Ancient Mariner. I know the first half off by heart and the she plunges and tacks and veers into the silent sea of weekend.