Four days of the Poetry Swindon Festival would test any resource. It was a huge success but it’s the stream of dramas that go on in the background and solving them that I enjoy.
We based ourselves at the Richard Jefferies Museum this year which was a first-class venue except for the drive-way . It had been churned into a soggy mess with the previous week’s rain. There were muddy footprints all over Jefferies house and we reckoned the magnificent tent floor in the garden would be a disaster.
We considered gravel (no time), bales of hay (even bigger mess), every suggestion considered and rejected. Then the Eureka moment, how about carpeting the driveway.
Jamie, who is an enthusiastic woman, and I went to The Carpet Warehouse where the wonderful manager gave us access to the dumpster out back. I lifted the lid open but couldn’t reach the carpet so Jamie climbed up and slid down into the dumpster as if she was in a fairground. She pushed up several rolls. We were excited bunnies until she tried to get out and couldn’t reach my hand. I crawled down half-way, legs in the air, and yanked her out over me. Charlie Chaplin would’ve been proud of us.
And guess what? It worked. The driveway was covered and there was no muck in the house or the tent. There’s always a solution.
So, I am dedicating this problem-solving stanza by Jane Hirschfield to Jamie:
You enter the problem’s bodegas,
its flea markets, souks.
Amid the alleys of sponges and sweets,
of jewellery, spices, and hair combs,
you ponder which stall, which pumpkin or perfume, is yours.
First published in Swindon Link