It's been a long week, I must admit. I have been working away from home since Monday morning. And I have yo-yo-ed twice between Newcastle and London. This has therefore involved a total of 11.5 hours of train travel, four nights in different hotels, four 18-hour days and now, as I type, a wait to fly back from London to Edinburgh.

So I thought I would treat myself.

I had time after my last meeting in central London today before I needed to travel to London's City Airport to sample the delights of a fabulous-sounding indulgence which my lovely bloggy friend Letizia has been writing about recently.

Have a look at her post The Poetry Aisle. As you will see, she describes brilliantly and deliciously her habit of acquiring poetry on trips from Paris to London. As you will also see, this has generated much interest in the blogosphere, and very understandably too – it's such a magical idea.

So, me dear readers, I thought you might like to come on my journey with me. The story so far….

I went into Waterstones in Piccadilly, strode purposefully up to the first floor (well I took the lift because I had heavy luggage, but you get the idea), and arrived in the poetry section. I was determined to be true to Letizia's rules. So I looked neither left, nor right, but thought only of the outcome of my trip – leaving with a slim volume of poetry, and concentrated on it finding me. Sure enough, my hero beckoned to me from a table:


I knew it was a match made in heaven. The cover is delightful; both the picture and the feel of the paper a perfect finish. I briefly turned to the back and saw that there was a review from a newspaper called The Scotsman. I stopped myself from reading further, lest there be anything in the way of a plor spoiler, but felt a frisson of satisfaction that I had managed to pair up with something that might be Scotland-related.

And so here we are, sat together in the departure lounge of the airport, about to turn the cover and see what's inside…

Oh, it's so brilliant. There are characters. There is weather. There is Scotland. Even George Street in Edinburgh!!!! This is Andrew Forster's first collection. He grew up in South Yorkshire but now lives in Scotland.

Here's one with a musical theme, Fingal's Cave:

The moan and crash of Atlantic swell
against basalt pipes would not let Mendelsshon go.
It resonated like a fever, a layered melancholy.
With a script for strings and woodwind
he tried to conjure the cavernous halls.

Musicians, touring the Hebrides, floated in
on platforms, scratched tunes to rebound
in bass echoes from broken black columns,
played the stalactitic rook like chimes.

Turner too was drawn here. His charcoal scraped
a brisk image of the Great Face of Staffa

whose crooked mouth disconcerted with its chords.

I must admit that it was hard not to browse more in the bookshop. But I was firm of purpose and steadfast of heart. And I am looking forward to spending longer with FoT during my flight back home, and in the future of course.

I'll be getting back to my more usual musical fare in due course, and no doubt we'll be checking out old Felix (Mendelsshon) in a little while. But I have really enjoyed the light entertainment and diversion that has been the divertissement of this whole exercise. Can't wait for the next time…! Thanks, Letizia. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Divertissement

  1. Oh, how wonderful! I am delighted to hear that your venture down the poetry aisle fared so well! I love the lines:

    The moan and crash of Atlantic swell
    against basalt pipes would not let Mendelssohn go.
    It resonated like a fever, a layered melancholy.

    You have introduced me to a new poet. A big thank you to you!

    1. The thanks are all yours – you have really set some wonderful hares running hither and thither with this idea, and I’m so glad I had a chance to run with one of them today!! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Kurt. I really like your Mendelssohn post too. I have a visit to Fingal’s Cave on my visit wish list – shouldn’t be too difficult, you would think, but it’s a long list! Anyway, all credit must go to Letizia for the Poetry Aisle idea – it’s great isn’t it, and I was so glad to get a chance to try it out. Let me know if you do too.

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