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Sunday, 6 June 2010


It's starting to get hot here and that feeling of inertia is kicking in so I didn't feel too keen on doing the story telling for the kids at the book fair yesterday. On a deeper level I think it was more due to the idea that far from the confines and safety of a library, this particular reading was outside, in a park and would involve more people. I'm not one for audiences and suffer from something that Howard Hughes was supposed to have suffered from, a dread of people watching me. It would not bother me to be more like him and never cut my nails again. Anyway, it became apparnet ( ha! love this new word, almost as good as the parnets, the parents..) on arriving at the fair that I would be required to wear one of those awful headsets and stand up in front of what looked like loads of people and read the stories. Totally unrehearsed and last in a line of others doing stories I felt a bit like I did years ago when for some unfathomable reason I was entered into an athletic competition and found myself surrounded by fit, blond, Germanic types in a stadium somewhere in Middlesex. That's another story, this one got worse as I watched the others perform what looked like theatre or circus storytelling in Spanish and French. My turn came and I had to stop myself from reading it in another accent just to confound the adults who had truned up ( To Trune up= To arrive expecting more than you bargained for..) for the chance to hear a 'native'. The kids are always fine and enjoy the stories but the bemused looks from the parents pisses me off. It's like they are trying to catch you out for saying 'gonna or 'somting like dat'. Perhaps next time I'll do it with a Jamaican accent, or even better, move my lips and have it dubbed. It did feel weird having my voice echoing around the park for all to hear. It wasn't held in the bandstand in the end. That had some kind of tarpauling going on in its roof.

Later that evening the lack of sleep left me lying on the sofa in the idler position watching what looked like singing grannies, pogoing pensioners and dancing dogs. ' What is this?' I asked Henderson, who told me it was a talent contest to look for someone to perform in front of the queen. No wonder the country is on its knees. The BBC didn't come up with much better as it offered what basically is an ongoing conversation I have found myself listening to in the wee small hours of. The one were men battle out to the death whether Jimmy Hendrix or Jimmy Paige was the best ever guitarrist. My money would be on Jimmy, Hendrix of course, who was surely some kind of spiritual envoy.

Lastly, I need to work on my pronunciation of the name Virginia as a friend pointed out that I pronounce it Vaginia.

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