This is the first narrative I’ve had the opportunity to pen for a few days. The hours ordinarily spend getting my daily literary fix instead taken up preparing for readings I’ve committed to perform next week in Bedfordshire.
Consequently, as opposed to writing a blog on Wednesday and Thursday, yours truly spent several hours editing monologues I plan to deliver to a Barton-le-Clay ladies group next Tuesday. This ‘gig’ an inaugural attempt at utilising oration as a conduit to articulate my art.
This chasteness of performing my chronicles meaning I’ve spent a good deal of time practising delivery of these essays which I penned during my recent Canadian odyssey. GJ Strachan’s locutions taken from excerpts of blogs journaled in Ontario; although significantly edited to allow delivery in a diary format a la Alan Bennett…… Incidentally, not that I’m vain enough to make comparisons of my journals with the positings of the highly acclaimed fellow Leeds born diarist/author.
My preparations included the request for constructive feedback following relaying these readings to family and friends. On one occasion, an exercise which witnessed my mum fall asleep whilst I was mid-oration. Admittedly a highly comedic sight, however one that planted seeds of uncertainty about the quality of my content and delivery.
To be honest, though, as she approaches her 80’s my mum is inclined to nod off now and again. An afternoon cat nap not uncommon for the quirky Leeds lass, even if her favourite daytime show Doctors is blaring out from the new Smart TV I just purchased her.
Consequently, I’m not going to let the incident dent my resolve, or confidence, to deliver these readings next week. I’d rather attempt and fail at the project than remain in my comfort zone, as would’ve been my want for the majority of my time on this dysfunctional planet.
There’s still a small amount of editing still required, mainly ensuring with my host Margaret that there’s nothing within the work that’s inappropriate. As I’m pretty sure the 30 pages of A4 would take up more than the 40 minute slot I’ve got to evidence my prose, I also have to work out the timings of each diary entry.
My host is family friend Margaret who I know from my childhood in Gateshead, where she was a buddy of my mother, my sister Helen’s junior school teacher and Sunday school teacher at Cromer Avenue United Reform Church, Low Fell. The family place of worship during my fledgling years.
I became reacquainted with Margaret around a year ago after she contacted me after reading one of my narratives about Gateshead, which I’d published on a Low Fell social media site. An accomplished painter, since that Facebook reunion, we’ve formed a kind of mutual admiration with regards our respective arts. Margaret being particularly supportive and encouraging about my written output.
This mutual respect for fellow creative spirits resulting in her, earlier this year, asking if I’d like to deliver excerpts of my monologues to a ladies group she facilitates in her Bedfordshire village.
Since my heart attack in January I’ve promised myself I’d vacate my comfort zone considerably more than previously. This residence a place I’ve relied upon far too often during my life, resulting in misguidedly suppressing competencies which if I’d have displayed would’ve made my life a damn sight more fulfilling than it’s been thus far. Consequently, Margaret’s enquiry was one I grasped with both hands.
This project isn’t something I’m monetising; the only reward I seek is the fulfilment gained from stretching myself. If I can nail the delivery, I’m confident there’s enough decent material within the near 1,700 blogs penned over the last four years to, in the future, deliver similar diary formatted content to other groups.
No matter how it turns out for me next week I’m proud of myself for at least giving it a go. A far greater behavioural trait than the avoiding experiences due to fear of failure, which’d previously hung on my shoulders for far too long.
Bring it on!!