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Poetry Postcards

Broken Trees

I can finally announce what my new poetry project is going to be! It’s called poetry postcards and although most of it will be over on Tumblr I will be updating this blog and my website often so that you can see it everywhere, there will also be links on Twitter and Facebook as usual so it will be hard to miss!

This is the wording from my introductory post over on Tumblr:

Poetry Postcards is an exciting new semi-collaborative project from British Poet V.C. Linde (aka Vick, aka Me). I have written a long (400-ish line) poem that also works when broken down into one hundred short poems.

The idea is that each poem can be read alone, all one hundred can be read in the order that it was written in, or in a completely new order. Every short poem, which is either four or five lines long, is going to be printed out and stuck onto the front of a postcard. The postcards will then be sent out in a random order to ANYONE who wants one.

I am going to be sending them worldwide and asking people in exchange for a picture of the postcard which will be posted here. That way a whole new poem will be created depending on what order they are sent out, where they go, how long it takes people to post pictures and (heavens help us) the post office! I’ve been working on this for a few months now and I’m really excited to share the words and ideas with everyone as well as seeing where it can go. More details will be coming very soon as well as some pictures of the postcards etc. and how you can receive a postcard of your own.

I’ve had the project ready to go since the middle of December but as it is mainly post-based I didn’t want to get tangled up in the Christmas post and so delayed the announcement until this year.

I’ve been so excited and I love being able to tell everyone at last. I hope loads of people get involved and I would really like to send these cards as far around the world as possible so if you know anyone in Antarctica or Kamchatka then please do put us in touch!

Vick.

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Vintage Burgess

There are lots of ways to find new friends on Twitter. I have a tendency of jumping of top of conversations and talking to everyone – even if I don’t know all of the people involved. Also I often talk to people who my friends have re-tweeted. I did a combination of this last week when Vintage Books (@vintagebooks) re-tweeted a comment by @stujallen about their re-releases of Anthony Burgess’ books and saying that his best known work was perhaps not in fact his best. Ever eager for new books to read I asked for recommendations. And I got them. Also the wonderful, wonderful Vintage team have sent me them to read.

So not only did I make a new twitter friend but I now also have the chance to read these amazing books. I’m going to be starting with Byrne which to my chagrin I had never even heard about. Very excited. The other that was recommended by @stujallen was Earthly Powers.

So here is a look at the gorgeous new covers and a first look at the shelves in my almost-completely-finished library!

Settling in with my other books.

The first to be read (red read?)

Beautiful frontispiece (excuse the poetry behind – I’ve been working hard today)

Beautiful design.

Probably my favourite cover – The Complete Enderby.

I can’t wait to get reading. If you want to read more about them head on over to the Vintage site to take a look at their Burgess pages.

I’m off to finish my poetry so I can read!

Vick.

Varyag Memorial

While driving around in Scotland we kept seeing signs to a Varyag Memorial with Russian (saying presumably the same thing) underneath. After passing the signs many times we decided to go and take a look. The Varyag (кре́йсер “Варя́г”) was a Russian ship named after the Varangian Guard who went through some amazing times and eventually sank off the Ayrshire coast. The memorial is to remember the ship and the men who served on her. You can read a BBC article about the memorial here.

Moving In


Moving in day was fun, stressful and very nerve-wracking. I wasn’t nervous that something was going to go wrong, we were pretty much past that stage but I was nervous about moving in, taking on this huge responsibility.

All houses have problems, they come with big bills and many small annoyances, this wasn’t my first house purchase and I was all the more nervous because of how badly I had been burnt by my last experience (a story for another time). I was scared but I was well taken care of. I was picked up and driven to my new town – both for my safety and that of everyone else on the road while I was so distracted! I had coffee and lunch in the little service area just five minutes from my house which is very convenient and was close enough but also far enough away that day.

And then I waited. My estate agents had been great and briefed me on what sort of time I would expect to hear from them, and they were spot on. It’s always worth calling the estate agents the day before you move to sort out times and arrangements so that you know what is likely to happen and the day before is when they will have the clearest idea.
I was very lucky, I wasn’t moving out of anywhere that day. I had no chain to deal with and the previous owners of my new home were moving into an empty property so we were only waiting on the money going through. It was about 1pm when I got the call from the agents to say that the money had gone through so they had key release (meaning the house was legally mine). I went and picked them up, gave the staff a thank-you card and headed to the house. There was still the stamp duty formality to go through but that was a question for my solicitor to handle not me.

It was surprisingly fun walking through the front door, but also a little weird. Because the transaction had taken so long I had forgotten a lot of the details of the house and it looked very different when wit was empty. On the downside I saw straight-away that there was more cosmetic work to be done than I had first thought.

That first day, because I wasn’t properly moving in I took a few things that I thought I would want right off. My list included:
Kettle
Tea & coffee
A few mugs, plates, bowls and cutlery
Scissors (well actually I forgot mine and had to make do but it was on the list!)
Cleaning products and cloths
Toilet paper
Towels
Hand soap
Tester pots of paint ( I’d chosen these well in advance)
Tool kit
Tape measure
Camera
Biscuits, crisps, salad, sandwiches.
To this I would add some old clothes in case you want to have a look around the attic/garden without messing up your day-to-day clothes.

As soon as I moved in I started making a list of things that I wanted to ask the plumber/electrician/builder about so that I didn’t forget. I still forgot a few tags but most of them ended up on the list. I also started thinking of things to ask the estate agents which I did a few weeks after I had gotten the keys.
That first day was great, and I had a lot of fun but I was also very critical and kept finding problems. No doubt the house did have a lot of problems but put in perspective I am so pleased with my little home.

Vick.

Squirrels

I’ve got quite a collection of squirrel pictures now and being very undecided about what I wanted to put online I decided on squirrel pictures. Little bit odd perhaps but they are damned cute.

Vick.