Reading at artistsmodelsink on October 3rd

I will be reading at the next artistsmodelsink event on Monday October 3rd at the Marlborough Theatre. Life Cycles is a life-drawing event featuring performances between the tableaux. Doors open at 7:30pm and the audience are asked for donations to cover the costs.

The first artistsmodelsink event was a great success and I'm very excited to be a small part of this one. The team have some fantastic scenes planned. There will also be a performance from Chris Parkinson, who has blogged about the night here (there's also a post about the previous event) and Rosy Carrick will be compere.

I don't know exactly what I'll be reading. I wrote a piece last weekend called The Pornography of Tea, but I'm not sure that's going to work here. I've got a couple of other pieces in the works though, and will finish one of them over the weekend.


Horseplay 29th September: Richey Manic vs Godzilla

It's been a while since I've done any spoken word, but I have a load of events coming up in the next couple of months, culminating in something very special for White Night. The first event is Horseplay on Thursday September 29th, where I'll be reading a new story called Richey Manic vs. Godzilla:

This is the story of a man who saved Tokyo! South Ataria Island, also known as Monster Island, is the prison of the world’s most dangerous monsters, among them Mothra, Rodan and Godzilla himself. A secret United Nations team keep watch to make sure they cannot threaten the world again. Among them is pop star Richey Manic. This is the story of where he went after his disappearance. This is a story of heroism and sacrifice. 

Despite the over-the-top concept, this is intended as something of a serious (and respectful) story, even if it does involve giant monsters.

Horseplay happens at the Black Dove in Kemptown, 74 St. James's Street. Also appearing is the fantastic Bernadette Cremin, as well as a group from Southampton who specialise in improvised sound-poetry. There are also open mic slots available. And it's free. Doors open at 7:30pm. You must come!

The Nottingham Marathon

After running the Brighton marathon in April I was eager to run another – not least because I was a little disappointed with my time of just under 5 hours – holidays, work and injury had all interfered with training. As well as signing up for the 2012 Brighton Marathon, I looked for another race later in the year, settling on Nottingham as it was relatively flat and close to my parent's house.

As usual, training didn't go to plan, culminating in missing my last long run with a spectacular hangover. I had hoped to do the race in under 4½ hours, but that seemed a little ambitious. But, when I thought about it, I realised that it was my legs that slow me down, not my heart and lungs. So, if I could keep up a decent pace, I might be OK. I set off for the race last Sunday with no idea what time to expect.

The first 18 miles were pretty easy. The Nottingham marathon is in two halves. About 10,000 people run a half-marathon through the town. The course splits at 13 miles with about 1,000 people running a full marathon. Coming up to the split point, a woman was cheering the runners, encouraging each one, "Nearly there, nearly there." She saw me approach, with my marathon number. "Not you! Come on, nearly half way!"

The second half was a strange contrast, with a smaller number of runners and the course changing to back streets and tracks. I knew I was fit enough to run 16 miles without a problem; which meant that my race would only really begin about 3 hours in. I stayed strong until about 18 miles and kept running for almost 21 without a break, despite the pain in my feet. It was the lap of the National Watersports Center lake that broke me. Running into the wind here broke me, as it did a lot of other runners, and walkers outnumbered runners on that section.

The last few miles were very hard work. I dragged myself through it, running a little, walking a little. It was at about 23 miles when I decided that I would quit running after the race. Barring a disaster I was on track for a 4½ hour time. I'd proved my point, I could stop with honour.

In the last half-mile I was easily on track for the 4½ hours, but I told myself to run to see if I could lower the personal best that little further. I don't think I've been happier to stop doing something as I was when I crossed the line of the marathon. The pain was impressive, particularly when I finally took the weight off my feet. But, after about ten minutes, I was feeling better and already looking forward to the next marathon (which is the Beachy Head marathon five weeks from today). 

My final time was 4 hours, 23 minutes and 49 seconds, which I am very happy with. It was a good race too. I appreciated the support from family and friends. I was also particularly impressed by the marshalls, who must have been out for ages by the time I passed them, yet were still clapping and encouraging the runners. Good work, folks!