Saturday I had my first reading of my poetry - I was the support act for a very good local poet. I had a fifteen minute spot. I was terrified then someone passed on the advice that the best way to overcome nerves is to practise. I taped and timed myself reading my poems and forced myself to slow down though another poet said that however much to try not to speed up you do end up doing so. I practised in front of a friend who had some helpful suggests about changing the order of the poems. My husband was also subjected to a read through but nerves made him giggle- I'm so glad I didn't invite him. On the night when I was performing my poems I had that incredible buzz that I only usually get from dancing. I couldn't stop grinning at the end and the applause made it even better. I felt so high, I'm still floating.
Had the most gorgeous day at the allotment today. The site is surrounded by mature trees and amongst mainly green were spaced firecrackers of yellowy red. I planted my red onion sets and did some weeding. Before I started I noticed G on the other plot seemed to be trimming his artichokes worried that there was another job that needed doing I asked him. He told me that you can pull the new stalks near parent plant (use medium sized ones) and trim and pull out stringy bits then boil in water with lemon juice. Once cooked drain then roll in flour and fry in olive oil. The water you've drained off can be drunk - it''s meant to be good for your liver. I forgot to buy lemon so haven't tried making it yet. I did a spot of digging in the old french beans ( the roots are really good for the soil as they are nitrogen fixers and the rest of the plant helps loosen the clay soil we have). I had a cup of hot chocolate and a sandwich with bread I baked that rose really well this time. I felt so rested from being outside all day.