You will have noticed that yesterday’s post was rather brief. For this, blame two road accidents, one on the M25 and one at Yoxford, eight miles south of Latitude. At two twenty, we were ten miles from Latitude and anticipating being on the campsite by three. Four hours later, we had travelled approximately four miles and I was ready to kill someone. I had also lost most of my mojo, hence the short post. But I did write, for exactly seven minutes and posted it, so I kept my rules. And today at Latitude was awesome.
One of my highlights today was a John Betjeman celebration, during which various of the poets who are performing at Latitude recited Betjeman poems. Betjeman is probably my favourite poet and I know his work well. My favourite Betjeman poems are poems of place, for which he is unbeatable. Try Middlesex or Essex, for instance, or Harrow on the Hill, or Margate, a little masterpiece.
He is also a genius of language: consider this, from Devonshire Place, W1, about a man who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer: “The opposite brick-built house looks lofty and calm, its chimneys steady against a mackerel sky”. “Calm” and “steady” are not words you would normally use about houses, but I know exactly,