Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Poetry Readings and a Phone Call

Next week is the week of a thousand gigs; or three poetry readings, at any rate: one in Edinburgh and two in London. Here are the details:

Sunday 14th November
- Norman MacCaig Centenary Celebration, 7.45-9.45pm, the GRV, 35 Guthrie St, Edinburgh. It will be exactly 100 years since the great 20th Century poet’s birth. The evening will feature MacCaig poems, people’s own poems that have been inspired by MacCaig poems, original songs based on MacCaig poems etc. Part of the ‘Poetry at the...’ series. Here’s a highly entertaining radio interview, featuring Norman MacCaig and Aly Bain in conversation at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre.

Monday 15th NovemberLaunch of Magma, issue 48, the Troubadour Cafe, 265 Old Brompton Road, London, 8pm sharp. I’ll be MCing the second half of this launch, which will feature guest poets Philip Gross and AB Jackson.

Tuesday 16th November
– Reading: Simon Barraclough, Claire Crowther, Rob A. Mackenzie and Roddy Lumsden, at the Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell, London, 7.30-10-30pm.

I am hoping the Gas Board are able to fix the gas leak we reported yesterday. As those of you who avidly read Facebook status updates will know, I phoned the helpline to find a gaspipe engineer and found myself talking to a Voice-Recognition Technology automation. It asked me to speak my postcode into the phone. I did so, but it couldn’t understand my Scottish accent. I had previously seen this comedy sketch on VRT and had assumed it was all a joke.

But it’s not. It’s actually true. ‘I’m sorry, I cannot understand. Please repeat your postcode clearly.’ I must have repeated it around 20 times (I tried going slower, faster, louder, quieter, even fake American and English accents) when I gave up and handed the phone to my wife, who is from North Derbyshire, England. It understood her first time!

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