Underneath the dressing on my purple arm, it’s very hard to tell what’s happening. The swelling has definitely gone down, and I’ve got better mobility in my fingers. I’ve got to keep the dressing on until I go back to the clinic next Wednesday for an X-ray and a check-up from the orthopaedic surgeon. It’s meant that showering is an awkward experience, holding my left hand above my head and out of the spray, wrapped in a poly bag. However, I’m getting on with things. I’ve been doing a fair bit of walking, up to Dunbar High Street and harbour, down to the shops, visiting the 1650 Café for latte and cake. (1650 was the date of the 2nd Battle of Dunbar). You know how it goes.
I’ve also been catching up on a lot of other things. One of them was to update the cumulative indexes to Poetry Scotland magazine. Previously, I had indexed up to issue 44, but now I’ve taken it up to the most recent one, issue 60. So that’s now up on the Poetry Scotland website. It’s split into 8 sections to make it quicker to load. After completing the indexing, I checked the statistics. Poetry Scotland has published well over 2500 poems by 704 poets in the 60 issues. I can’t be more precise, because for those issues dedicated solely to one poet (and the occasional duo), I haven’t indexed individual poems. The true figure will therefore be closer to 3000 poems. That’s about the equivalent of 60 conventional full-length poetry books. That’s a HUGE labour of love by the editor, Sally Evans, who deserves the gratitude of the entire poetry community.
On other fronts, I’ve been sending Calder Wood Press publication details to the Scottish Pamphlet Poetry organisation, and choosing sample poems by the four authors most recently published. I also had a visit today from an author I’ll be publishing later this year – Hilary Graham – who lives near Greenlaw in the Borders. I’ve heard her read her poems at the Eyemouth writers’ group (called Eyewrite, by the way, and it predates Glasgow’s Aye Write). However, it was great to get a good sized portfolio of work from which to make a selection for a pamphlet. It’ll probably be ready in September.
My next two Calder Wood Press titles have both been delayed for reasons not connected with my current one-handedness, but I hope to have both back on track in May.
One of the down sides of my condition is that I’ve had to call off a proposed visit to Gray’s School of Art, part of the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. I was due to talk to some design students about haiku and Japanese culture, to give them some background for a Japan-themed project they’re working on, but it clashes with my clinic appointment.
Tomorrow it’s domestic chores – tidying up my mountainous paperwork etc – although it seems, sadly, that I can’t do my ironing at the moment. Every cloud has a silver lining.