Ruth Fainlight in Malvern, 26 October

Ssshhhh – I’m collecting poets. One of the 2011 Ledbury Slam entries was about stalking poets and I felt a guilty recognition. Ruth Fainlight is shortly to be following Julie Boden and Ruth Padel into my – spare! – bed. High in the attic, with en suite shower room, it has a view across Malvern, the Severn Vale and to the Cotswolds beyond. How do I tempt them (other than that view, which might be enough)? Malvern Writers’ Circle invites them to come to talk as part of our annual autumn dinner and, when I arrived, I offered free accommodation in “our penthouse suite” (with a caveat that stairs – lots of stairs – are involved). Husband was wary at first but, after a couple of guests, he’s realised poets aren’t so bad after all.

Ruth Fainlight will be with us on Wednesday 26 October. Dinner and her talk will be at Elim International Centre in West Malvern, 6.30 for 7.00, tickets from Malvern Writers’ Circle, 01684 561550. By the time she stays we should have a walk-in shower on the ground floor but, at the moment, the place is a mess, as the plumber found wet-rot beneath the old bath and so the floor has to be replaced. Our house was built in 1998 but the original plumber wasn’t. He was, we gather, the brother of the bloke who had the house built and his plumbing was somewhat less expert than mine – crap. Apparently, the first time the poets’ attic en suite was used, water cascaded through the ceiling to the kitchen below: he’d not connected the disposal.

But at last the shower is done. Only the last little details need finishing – connect the radiator, replace the windowsill, fit skirting board.

It’ll all be gorgeous in time for Ruth’s arrival.

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