fair to middling

That’d be the traditional way of describing my month. Fair to middling. An archetypal British expression to downplay your excitement at how things are going, draw as little attention to yourself as possible, and do all you can not to invoke the displeasure of the gods and your neighbours who see you getting above yourself.
I don’t think the concept has an American equivalent.
Unless it’s Canada.
Anyway, that’s how my July has been. Fair. To middling. And now – deadpan and offhand as you like, while not making any kind of eye contact, and with the thought of a fanfare of trumpets so far out of the question the trumpeter hasn’t even got out of bed yet – let me explain why.
Yes, the weather’s been great, and that helped. We’ve waited seven years for this sunshine, after all. But on top of that, on July 16th I had one of my poems published by Poetry24. You can find ‘Lesson’, about the killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman, here.
Next day, the copies of City Baby, the autobiography of GBH bassist Ross Lomas which I wrote with him, arrived from the printers. They look absolutely fantastic, and I’m incredibly grateful to both Ross for telling such a great story, and Ignite Books and the printers for doing such a great job of turning that story into a thing of beauty. It’s selling like hot punk rock cakes, apparently, which is no more than it deserves.
The following day, the Morning Star published another of my poems, ‘Keytown’, and the day after that I trundled down to the south coast in the VW camper, and spent the weekend on the Isle of Wight, as festival poet for the very wonderful Rhythmtree festival. Which involved a lot of sunshine, the occasional set, and a fair amount of beer….
And to round things off, this morning (July 25th) Poetry24 chose to publish another of my poems, ‘369 000’. I wrote it because 369 000 babies are born into the world each day, and this week you’d think there was just the one. You’ll find that one here (and on my website soon) and it seems as good a way as any to bring July’s offerings to a close.
Like I say, it’s not been a bad month. Fair to middling. Can’t grumble, if I say so myself.
Hope that’s ok. With you and the gods.

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