swings, roundabouts, and swings again.

Life is currently a series of small steps forward and knockbacks, but then isn’t it always? Like millions of other self-employed people I’ve seen my income dry up at a stroke as the coronavirus lockdown began, although bits and pieces of new work have now started coming in. Then my ego was delightfully massaged when – of the three poems I entered in the Plough competition – one was shortlisted and another highly commended, after which I was brought back down to earth a few days later when four poems I’d entered in another competition – and which I had relatively high hopes for – got absolutely nowhere. A timely reminder to an over-excitable poet that you need to take the rough with the smooth, and the chances are you’re neither as brilliant nor as dreadful as you sometimes tell yourself.

The launch for my new book was cancelled, of course, and while the feedback from folk who’ve read ’thirty-one small acts of love and resistance’ has been wonderful, the absence of gigs means it’s that bit harder to promote it as I’d like to. So, swings and roundabouts.

Thankfully, the sun is shining, which is always a definite plus in my book. Touch wood, I’ve got my health, as I hope you have too, and I imagine now more than ever we’re all being reminded how important that is. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to meet up as and when life returns to some kind of normality, share a pint, and catch up.

For now, take care of yourselves and stay safe. Oh, and if you’d like to read the poem which got highly commended in the Plough, you can do that here. And if you’ve an inkling to get yourself a copy of ‘thirty-one small acts…’ to help you through social isolation, that’s on sale here.