Writers and Words in Canterbury

So there I was in Canterbury waiting for my lift up to the uni to see/hear Will Self. The Tuesday readings offer a fantastic range of writers; the week before I'd had the privelege of listening to Patrick and Henry Cockburn reading from their book Henry's Demons. The week had been a buzz of birthdays and literary activity. Sunday night at THE JOLLY SAILOR saw more than 35 people turn up to hear readings from Wordaid's latest anthology, Not Only The Dark, followed by a feast of offerings in the Open Mic.

 I knew Will Self would attract a good crowd so had made my plans accordingly to get there early. But for some weird reason that I can only put down to approaching senility my brain had programmed itself into believing  that the event began at 7. (Never mind I had been there for 6 the week before.) So after leaving a houseful of grandchildren celebrating more birthdays, I had wandered nonchalantly around Canterbury in the approaching dusk (hints of Not only the Dark!), foraging into Poundland where I treated myself to Michael Flatley's autobiography for  a pound. (I'm off to see LORD of THE DANCE in Cardiff in March so call it research). And picked up some lily bulbs for my sister's birthday. It was whilst waiting against the car park wall for my lift (who also wanted to hear Will Self) that the blanding flash of realisation jolted me -10 past 6? 6?! You fool. Not 7. You klutz. You, you, you ...

The event had started at 6. Stupid me. Not that Mr Self would have missed me.

I'd better get it right next month; I'm reading there myself with poets Jan Montefiore, Nancy Garfield and Derek Sellen. Poems specially commissioned last year to mark the Siege of Canterbury by them there Vikings. I'd better get there on time. For what I remember about our first reading during last year's festival, there was a lot of blood and guts, and a bit of pillaging.