2 minutes reading time (412 words)

Made it

It was a close call. During this last week of college work, I wasn't sure I would actually make it to Friday. But it's amazing how this always somehow happens (or has always somehow happened so far). I've just read that Adrian Mitchell has left the world. People are fragile. We don't continue forever.

I'm glad I met Adrian, had the privilege of working with him both at Snape and in St Andrews (StAnza) and that he told me about working with Stevie Smith and Tove Jansson.


Christmas tree, decorated with light.
Christmas tree, decorated with light.

We all link together - a chain of odd, word-obsessed human beings. I won't forget him -- at least until I myself am on the opposite shore.

Meanwhile, I've been working (in between a small mountain of college marking) with Colin Begg and D A Prince to get the text of Nearly 'Nearly the Happy Hour' ready to be downloadable from the HappenStance shop. It is an account of the editorial process behind that book. Colin put this together for his M Litt and we've since modified it somewhat to be a little bit more general-reader friendly. All the erudite footnotes have vanished.  It is very nearly done and dusted. It will be freely available and I think it's an interesting insight, but then I would.

Now it's back to several unfinished pieces of work. One is called How (not) to get your Poetry Published which I hope will summarise lots of the advice I send back to people sending me manuscript submissions, in a gentle and humorous way. It is very easy to give offence, but there are lots of things people should know and often don't. I didn't myself once.

Another job waiting for me is A Conversation with Ruth Pitter, which author/artist Thomas McKean shared with me some considerable time ago and which I simply haven't had time to page set. Yet.

Then there's Sphinx 11 which is already moving from grist to mill. And I suppose I'd better wrap some presents.

It is odd what we do, we human beings dominated by the Christmas principle: rush off, acquire sundry objects, wrap them in paper and various kinds of glittery string, unwrap them again, consume turkeys... I don't know. The older you get, the odder you think it is.

Meanwhile, the wild and withering wind wuthers outside my window. It's the shortest day. Magnificent displays of red berries are all over the place. Who needs Christmas decorations?

Christmas comes, Christmas goes
Eleanor Livingstone


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Friday, 18 June 2021

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