lost landscapes

Well my time as poet in residence at the local TEDx event has been and gone. It was an interesting experience and did mean I had to actually produce some new poems.

I already had a lot of pieces that would have fitted the theme of home, but it wasn’t a question of reading old poems, but of creating newer pieces that documented the event and complemented the talks in some way.
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late home

It’s way later than I usually write the blog, but I’ve been out all day at a rehearsal for the local TEDx, which is coming up in a fortnight’s time and at which I’ll be reading – or perhaps performing – some poetry.

I won’t go into the details of what I’ll be doing, as I guess I will write about it all after the event (or not), but all the talks and performances are vaguely connected to and around the theme of the event, which is “home”.
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home and hearth

I’ve been thinking a lot about home recently. Not because I’ve gone all nostalgic, but because it’s the theme of the local TEDx, which is taking place in November.

It’s a great theme, as it offers a huge range of possibilities for talks. My immediate thoughts were quite domestic: houses, family, pets, neighbours…

But of course there are other connotations: home is about being safe. And there’s a definite emotional connection: it’s not just about being out of danger, but being comfortable with the language, the culture, the habits…
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you don’t know what you’ve got…

When I moved to Spain in the late Eighties, I still thought of the UK as my home. Having now, at least temporarily, ceased to have a permanent base in Spain, I seem to be in the opposite position. I don’t think I’ve ever really suffered with home-sickness, but there is always a hint of greener grass elsewhere. (Or, more realistically, greener grass in the UK and bluer skies in Spain, I suppose.)

olive grey leaves against a grey sky

I don’t know if the leaves in the picture are actually olive leaves – there were certainly no olives visible on the trees – but even set against the grey English sky they reminded me of the olivar I used to walk through to get to the pueblo and I had to stop to take a photo.
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going home

Madrid from the Casa de Campo
Many years ago I used to regularly read the Peanuts cartoon in the Sunday colour supplement; occasionally, I would cut one out and put it with other bits and pieces in a scrapbook. I remember the last panel of one of these cartoons showing a fairly despondent Snoopy saying, “Thomas Wolfe was right: you can’t go home again.”
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