Tuesday, April 02, 2013

"There was culture of walking in Victorian times we've lost today," author Peter Clark explained at the start of his talk on Dickens' London at Wells Library. Nietzsche believed "all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking" and Dickens thought nothing of walking 10 or 12 miles a day ~ or rather, he thought it essential for mental balance. Many many of his characters go on long walks and the novelist's own prowls around the city provide the social observation which makes his work so rich. Peter himself is a great walker ~ he celebrated his 70th birthday with a walk up Ben Nevis ~ so we shared walking reminiscences as Wendy drove our posse home to Frome. Currently I'm reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce which expresses through bittersweet fiction how "Life is very different when you walk through it."

Monday was Daffodil Day at Mells, when the village population swells by approximately 1000% as surrounding lanes become mile-long gridlocks and a mini-Glastonbury springs up. Frome is only an hour's walk away through Vallis woods beside the river path which is thick with snowdrops & scented with garlic, and I joined the pilgrims braving icy temperatures, rewarded by Frome Street Bandits in the Music Tent and Bugs in the Nunney-Acoustic-on-Tour.

Sometimes it's great to see a show without a reviewing remit, and as Michael Frayn's Noises Off has arrived at Theatre Royal Bath after a 'triumphant' West End run, there's no need for me to add my two-penn'orth as southwest columnist for Plays International.  So I went along for the promise of hysterical uncontrollable laughter and because I've been a fan of big-name-draw Neil Pearson since Drop the Dead Donkey days. Farce at its best isn't far from satire and the first act brilliantly parodies theatre company back-stage traumas, but after the interval characterisation ebbs and action becomes increasingly manic and less funny. But it's a brilliant production, a clever set and great acting so if your aunty loves farce, take her along.

And finally...it's National Poetry Writing Month, Carrie Etter tells me, so I've recklessly committed to a poem a day throughout April. Some will probably be haiku ~ here's today's, entitled Interflora window:
glitter-sprayed bunnies
profer eggs with toothy grins
Christ must be risen.

No comments: