Extract from a letter to a British friend

It’s odd for me to cast my mind back to England. British TV programmes that people rave about on Facebook are a mystery to me; British weather forecasts seem shockingly cold (it was 0c in the UK last Friday whilst we walking around in shorts and 32C sunshine). It’s weird how your memory can’t remember if you had to wear a jumper in May in England. Then of course there’s the fact that I no longer say “jumper” to talk about a “pullover” since a “jumper” is a little girl’s school dress. The same language, used differently. I get annoyed about UK prejudices toward America and American misunderstandings of British ‘ways’. I would say it makes me mad – but then that does not make sense here where you must instead say “it makes me cross”. Mad people are…well, crazy people…although, confusingly, crazy people are cross. It’s a wonder I manage to understand a word people say sometimes.

It was a long letter…sometimes saying “no” nicely requires it.

Being interviewed – it speaks…

I appear this week as a guest on “This Reality Podcast” (despite a technical glitch or two!)

You can hear me about 32 minutes in to the program – but listen to the whole show or you’ll miss all the great stuff on the UK’s foremost unsigned and independent new music podcast!

http://thisrealitypodcast.com/?p=1123

 

April and the change cometh…

So, Facebook and Twitter have destroyed my enthusiasm in connection with blogging and distracted my attention away to the world of 140 characters or less.  The lazy man’s blogging ensnares the lazy man; how predictable!

We’ve had all sorts of things triggering my Google alerts about Milton Keynes in the last month due to Google Street View descending on us.  When it came down my road I happened to be at home and I spotted it with just enough time to spare so I could pin myself to the window of my apartment like one of those stick-on Garfields you see suckered to the back of people’s cars (or a generally redundant “baby on board” sign – you get the picture).  I have no idea if I will appear on their pictures but I thought it might be funny and gave it my best shot.  🙂

When the Street View car went down one of the local suburbs and the locals spotted it if the newspapers are to be believed they all rushed out and blocked its way.  There was no actual mention of pitchforks or wickermen. Amusingly most news agencies referred to the area – Broughton – as a village “just outside Milton Keynes”.  Most locals scoff at this description because Broughton stopped being a village outside Milton Keynes about 20 years ago and is now mostly a sprawling new housing development well within the environs of good old MK.  As the increasingly interesting Rory Cellan-Jones said via his Twitter account and various online blogs it was slightly ironic that the “villagers” stand against Google’s street photography resulted in half a ton of news crews arriving on their doorstep and broadcasting pictures of their closely-guarded private front doors to all and sundry possibly making them for a brief time one of the most world-famous streets with the possible exception of the home The Rover’s Return.  In the final analysis their whole argument did seem fairly daft; that it would provide a tool for burglers to case the properties at a safe distance.  Who knows?

Anyway, I’m off being a poet again tomorrow (Easter Saturday), first stop the centre:mk (a.k.a. Central Milton Keynes shopping centre) for poetry busking and then in the evening I’m up performing , judging and generally mingling and being useful at The Poetry Kapow.  May, in particular, seems to be a whole month of lots and lots of performances and gigs.  There does seem to be some kind of poetic renaissance going on around these parts.  Woop woop!

Work is going well – sorry if you’ve been hit by the recession – we seem to be hitting an upward curve and have been given bottles of champagne (a sign of a HUGE order being signed) twice in the last 30 days plus champers and cakes on another occasion too.  There are still customers out there for people like us so it seems.

Oh, and I wrote a daft poem for the BBC the other day – perhaps we should spare a thought for the feelings of telephone boxes and give them our love.  Read it here.

Christmas has begun…

Yes it has, because the Milton Keynes shopping centre says so.

Enjoy the loveliness.  (The singing was some kind of karaoke/ X-factor style thing going on in the background, my poor poor ears).

Click here for more pictures

The main display:

and the Christmas train, leading us all into our brave new world of American Presidents who have a previous occupation of “Civil Rights Lawyer”: