Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Turtle Moves. But Discworld Fans move mountains.

My Grandmother - 'Head Grandma', as she is known, being the Lavender family Matriarch - is 96 and sharp as a tack. She plays Scrabble with her friends once a week. She has travelled the world and made lifelong friends everywhere she has been. These days she's a little bit frail; but if I can be half the woman she is when I am in my Lavender Bag years, I will consider that an achievement. 

Keeping one's brain active and stimulated is believed to be something of a safeguard against Alzheimer's. It's by no means infallible, but it's a reminder that one should, maybe, I don't know, write more poetry and spend less time arsing about on Facebook.  

*and these awesome boots #lovethemsomuch
To the point: I'm sitting here on my sofa, dressed in pyjama top, fishnets and a pair of Deadly is the Female's finest* (click there to see some really nice pants). It's been a crazy weekend - I've given several poetry performances this weekend as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the twinning of Ankh-Morpork, the greatest city on the Discworld, with Wincanton in Somerset - home, naturally, of the Discworld Emporium and the finest Hogswatch celebrations you'll see anywhere. It's an overwhelming thing to have been part of - the love, warmth and passion of all those Discworld devotees, who brought together all those other warm and passionate Discworld devotees from around the globe. 

Here are some photos; the key points to note are as follows. In summary, People Are Amazing, and Donate To RICE Here.  

That's it.

1. My friendship with a remarkable young artist, Captain Purky initially brought me to Wincanton and the Discworld folk. You can find out more about the Captain and his work here. Much love, Harry. xxxxx
2. I believe Sir Terry Pratchett himself describes his most dedicated Discworld followers as 'Bloody Loonies'. It's clear that his regard for these Loonies is both warm and mutual. I was privileged to be part of all this inspired lunacy this weekend.
3. Speaking of Sir Terry, he came in during my performance and took a seat. That was a very special moment for me.
4. The generosity (and, it must be said, devoted fandom) of the Discworldians who attended the auction, raised over £2900 for The Research Institute for the Care of Older People.
5. As if giving a poetry performance in front of Terry Pratchett were not enough, I did something else - two other things - that felt pretty special. I donated one of my Edinburgh Fringe posters to the auction, which sold for at least four times more than I thought it would, and the buyer asked if I would sign it. I won't lie: that was a lovely moment. And I got to use a Sharpie pen. The second thing was, a teacher asked me to record a video message for a struggling student of hers who was making some bad decisions and falling in with the wrong people. So somewhere in the UK, I'm going to appear on a whiteboard this week, earnestly advising an unknown young person that yes, poetry is fantastic, but Poetrix Doth Not Live By Verse Alone.   
6. Incidentally, Reaper Man is my favourite. And today, I found a spoon*.
Crowd gathers to watch live video feed from the Town Hall

The original Cohen the Barbarian

C.M.O.T. Dibbler with Elizabeth
Cheery Littlebottom and a female Wizard (obviously - she's wearing trousers)
My Discworld Mummy
The Corset Inspector. Or that's what his badge said.  Hang on...
A very fine couple
The Unseen University Cheerleading Squad
Fion Kelda and Madam Rosie Palm
It's ok, she's wearing the black ribbon. I'm safe
*If you get that, please drop me a line. I'd be really touched.