Static

So I have been playing with plural first person and a collage narrative, to write a new novel about a couple whose child goes missing. The idea is that any of the sections can be read in any order and that the overall narrative creates an effect that perhaps replicates how events trigger memory and so on. Anyway, I like it. Needs much work.

 

Static

 

the copper hexagonal kettle where you put your arms around me and

Muna laughing at the rabbit

Muna being sick, late-night exhaustion with reflux

our twilight whispers sewed me together

The snow                                          the snow

the snow

purple on the landscape

the snow

fingers stabbing at white keys and then joining up like handwriting, rippling, tripling, our wall of us

me at school, what is your favourite colour? I drew a purple sun I on sugar paper and got a sweetie

masturbating to the idea of the popular boy at school

how we sat our dolls up on chairs at the dinner table, my own mother, grim after dad. Grey. I stopped calling                                                     she was sick

smacking my legs on the way to the dentist

my mother, my mother the time my own could-have-been-baby that just would not grow and then you and then us and Muna and the squeak of wiping glasses together at the kitchen sink

My stomach tight with sadness every time I wake up. My whole body misses us.

she was just there, just clear, our girl with the mermaid hair, which curled at the bottom like perfect hooks cold hands

socks and toes and purple coat in

the snow         the snow

 

*

The 4th and 5th fingers are narturally weak. It is the purpose of this exercise and those up to No. 31 to make them as strong and adile as the 2nd and 3rd.

*

tO mumny

muna

 

a violent blue heart on the yellow sugar paper

*

Paint – okra – has dripped on the floor and we’ve decided to let it dry to pick off clean. A Turkish song haunts the background, a repeated left hand melody, almost off-key with flats, matched with a sitar. A spiralling hum from the singer. She’s our favourite and we’d nodded, unsurprised, when we’d discovered this fact:

We were meant to be

One of us stripes paint over our cheek. We grin and the stairs pinch our bodies when we seize each other and watch skin flower and whiten and pink. It’s when we make our child, probably, though we can’t have known, though both of us pretend to have done. The lies bind. We’ve eating halvas through the decorating, that one of our friends has sent over from Istanbul. We have that in-the-moment feeling. Of sex and living and sugar and fat. We suck cheese from our thumbs and check it is gone. A pat on the bum. Desire stings again. But we bend to roll more paint –it slicks and sucks. The song playing is called Muna – Turkish for unreachable wishes. We had both so longed for children.

*

Anger, like our daughter’s favourite: aubergine colour. Her cheeks like the silk of that vegetable. Her hands in carrot-coloured gloves and sweet-potato boots. Her little vegetable fingers and little vegetable toes. Bright against the snow. I hear the triplets, as if she’s sat at the piano practicing, stripy socks dangling from the stool and the blue corduroy of her dress with the yellow duck buttons. We – and it strikes me this – that I never included him in the we of our daughter. We. Me and Muna. Muna and I. So maybe it is all my fault after all. He thinks I don’t hear the body shift when I leave the bedroom. The strained silence as he does things he shouldn’t. Check phone, send a text. I can almost feel the electrons charge the air from the mobile screen blueing the dark. But anyway, when dressing, we – Muna and I – we press the duck buttons and make them quack.

‘You are quackers, mummy.’

And I wonder where she has heard this.

In this image I have of Muna, this visual of her bright coat picked out within Christmas-icing snow, the ripple of piano overlays it. When she played, the same deliberate intervals, when distracted, we would tuck against a wall, hiding from our child, to complain. Anger has played through our we like a refrain, or our daughter’s ascending and descending scales. That we had to wait, that what we had waited for was spoiled by this girl we adored, yet how it made us judges when we’d loved before.

‘You’re not –‘

‘You –‘

‘Why me?’

‘Because she –‘

‘Sometimes,’ one of us says, rubbing our arms, the fire sputters to bleach the cold.

‘What?’

‘She –‘

‘What?’

‘Come on,’ one of us says, ‘we don’t have forever.’

‘She – ’ A frown, the music’s not stopped, I’m sure but when I think – it is – but Clare stands, stripy footed, fingers glistening in her mouth.

‘What?’ she says, over her knuckles.

But at that point, we’d been checking, there is the dot. There is the dot. Muna, Muna.

Mummy, wave. Wave to mummy. And the last time we’d looked – because this is how I wanted to remember it – after we’d cracked a tension and he’d kissed me and I felt an echo of that climbing thrill, of how perfect those hands and how lovely that mouth, and mine and mine, finally, and how could I complain when I knew his nature anyway – Muna was gone.

 

*

Tick.

Tick.

Tick

Tick

‘Mummy?’

*

She would keep her hair long till she went to university – a red brick, but not Oxbridge – too stuffy, and wave it at boys and men. Be cut by love and cut it all away into a pixie crop and dare them. Fall in love in her thirties after the richness of time and experience and travel and postcards – Mum! At the Guggenheim today – have eased the knots in her heart and let her hair fall, fall again, for someone’s fingers to comb lovingly, half-asleep, in a decent house in a nice suburb, someone to make plans with and hold back in the well of night.

*

Was she always there? That still face when we were laughing? That shake of the head when Muna was up on your shoulders, giggling? Peering at the new underwear I’d bought, with that Myra Hindley stare, the one I’d tiptoed to, imposed on giant canvas in the Royal as a girl, dreaming how one day I’d find a man who fit what I thought of love. Those eyes, daring us: look up. I know what you’ve done. I know what you’ve done.

*

 

Inhospitable, the doctor said. Scarring. Endemetriosis. Her laced fingers. Her nod. Her name on a small black plaque.

*

Once, we went to Venice and it rained solid. Everyone was walking around in what are essentially carrier bags that you can get for your feet. You roll the plastic up to your knees and wade bravely through the alleyways. Everything is open for business still. I went to visit Murano island to look at all the glass while you went to the Guggenheim. The day’s separation like a hot bath. So I could look forward to you again. So I could be miserable in the rain and not pretend we were okay for all the other happy families, thickening in number. All their others joining on. We would never be one and the fault was mine. On the way back, I stared at the retreating island through the spots of rain on the water boat. Bright even in darkness.

*

It is best not to look at the comments on a news article.

We decide this when there is a new appeal, a new fragment of evidence. One of Muna’s stripy socks.

‘I keep thinking of how cold her feet would have been in the snow. She should have been in tights.’

In one of our narratives, Muna is given replacement socks by the elderly couple who have taken her in.

In another, Muna is undressed.

We spoon the froth atop our cappuccinos as though it’s pudding. The air is wet, the window is wet, a pretty, curly-haired woman enters with her own daughter. We glance over as she sits close. They have their heads together, conspiring. ‘And then and she and daddy is like…and daddy…’

We squeeze each other’s fingers under the table.

*

They never asked me. They never brought me to a windowless room and pressed record. Never introduced themselves and asked me to verify details. Never wrote things under headings when I’d finished speaking. I’d never had to comb through and through the events of that day, sifting for the information through the emotion. Never had to boil it down to facts that would verify I hadn’t . Never lied when they asked me who was I really with when I said I’d nipped to Kwikfit to get the tyres balanced. Never asked back for a second interview to do it all again.

*

Message request accepted:

I hope you don’t mind my getting in touch. I just wanted to say that nothing happened after Muna was taken. I just wanted you to know that. I just hope you’re okay. We just – I don’t know? – we just sort of clicked.

*

Through it all, I imagined Niamh’s observation of us focusing in. I saw my face in newsprint, slack, mid-30s, a snap of the appeal that went onto TV. I wanted to be happy so she wouldn’t be vindicated. So she couldn’t say, see. But how could that be? I felt the seeping low cold of shame.

*

Sometimes I find you on a memory. I know all the different shades of you. The dense, meaty wetness of your hair after a shower, the chlorine on your skin after swimming, the bright cleanness of the shampoo, the thick sweet warmth of you when you’ve just woken up. I pull my arms through the water, back, back, turn the elbows, form palms into paddles, propel, back, back. Water crashes to tiles in the shower. In the cubicle, I cream my knees and elbows. Smell my chlorine-skin in supermarkets when reaching to test grapefruit, for the milk in the fridge, when I lean my fist on my cheek, poring over music sheets to mark, when I take you to bed at night.

*

The officer addresses me by my married name. The wind is blowing through the yard. I’ve been staring at the piano. Everything still takes an age to do. I am supposed to write a homework for one of my private pupils.

This has happened before, of course. But you can’t help how your body hopes, even though your brain is saying, stay calm, stay calm, ride it out, wait. It’s weird, that it crosses my mind, even as the focussed part of my brain is noting down everything that’s being said, that I relate this feeling to hearing from David. How are you? I miss you? I would collect all these things and put them in my pocket like a child collects seashells. Let them jangle as I walked, striding through life with hope.

‘There’s been a sighting in Nottingham.’

‘Nottingham?’

‘Yes,’ I’m saying to David later. I can hear a drill at the other end. The type that attacks concrete.

‘Should we go for coffee?’ he’s saying.

*

We sit. Four of us in the café. It has a different name to the one we used to meet in. And it’s come over all Italian. Now, we’re sat opposite, straight. Then, we’re pointing towards each other.

‘They seem… I don’t know. I want to say convinced?’

‘When will we know more?’

‘You know, what it’s – just when they get in touch.’

We shake our heads and lean against the rests of our chairs.

We watch a couple sit down out of the rain, the girl has cropped white hair, the man is dressing to try and keep up with a natural charm that she has.

The other we holds hand under the table.

*

My mother was a mother before. She reached 40 when I was already 11. It is an evening when I’m sure it has all finished with David and I. When he was so suddenly available yet still unreachable to me. I have shopping. Curiously flavoured popcorn. I wonder if he and Niamh have reconciled. It’s midnight on a Saturday. There is nothing waiting for me in the house, which is pretty and disorderly. My heels click like my mothers. What a figure she’d cut with me by her side. Her implacable face, elegant cheeks, her tomato-red lipstick that she called pillar-box-red. I am still waiting.

*

His feet don’t reach the pedals but his fingers are elegant. He has taken naturally to the piano. Maybe he is good at maths. Some people find the patterns easy to read, some people need to name all the notes. His fingers progress the A flat major scale and the old schoolroom is suddenly Russia, just with that twist of A flat, how it resists the notes either side.

David and I at the piano, naked. He left a glass of wine nearby – I got up to move it. The idea of that, sticky and congealing inside my music, horrifying. Admiration as my fingers dug and tricked the keys. I remember wondering whether that counted as love, and yet I loved it, this.

*

You could hear her thinking, that was the thing. When I was working late and finally drew in, the easy kiss, the cup of tea. The turned attention back to a student arriving at 7 but was here already. I would fit myself into part of the house so as not to disrupt things. She would never tell me what. I could have done anything. I’d read the paper and have a beer until the last pupil was goodbyed out of the door, with a Much better. Bye! Bye! Muna was the same. I was making eggs, freshly twisted black pepper, butter from the farmer’s market (Clare’s middle classness showing through) and she would drift in like snow. And I could tell you know, that she was thinking, you’re doing it all wrong, daddy. But she would never tell me so. I wondered if my first little girl, mine and Niamh’s, whether she would have been effervescent with love, just bloody volatile with it. A hugger. Messy. Chaos. I’d expected, when we finally got together, Clare’s restraint would have popped.

*

Like a daisy chain breaking. The ones I used to make, cross-legged with girls I didn’t like at school. It was as easy as that. One day, David didn’t love me anymore and I couldn’t put it back. The links, the stems, were broken, leaking green life.

We are at the police station. Our knees close. I want him to hold my hand. I had never allowed my mind to open to him, my body yes, my heart definitely, but he didn’t have access there. I would wake in the night sometimes and he would ask, what’s wrong? A sweet kiss, and I would fasten back to sleep.

But he does it anyway. His fingers over mine. His hand like backing paper. We watch people walking in and out. We keep watching.

*

In that breadth of time, perhaps only just a week, when I could feel David returning to Niamh, or questioning what he wanted, we breathed in and held our breath. I’d hurt my head, slipping on ice – it was that awful winter where nothing grew the spring after – in heel boots (my own fault then) pigeon-stepping to the petrol station to get milk and my ears would sing even when I was on my own. I’d juddered my head so badly on the ice that I – me – took pain killers three days straight. I struck up conversations with other men. Jamie from the train station bar who was down from an unpronounceable place in Scotland who called me lassie because he couldn’t remember my name. The surfer from Saltburn-by-the-sea who was on the dating site I occasionally logged into. I gave him the youthful me. I love Saltburn! Come and visit! I may! Etcetera. The black man with the impeccable accent.

Because of Dad, I had spent too much time in hospitals and the illogical side of me would not get the hearing loss checked.

So it lived in me, spreading.

At first, I didn’t even notice it until I sat at my piano. I flicked through music sheets for something I needed practice on. I held down the G minor chord and went to play with a riff on the bass. I frowned. I unstuck my fingers, as though burned. Tried again. The sound hurt. I tested a few more chords, always that metallic jarring. For a second I wondered if my vision had gone and I was depressing the wrong keys, but my fingers knew the fit. Still, I rechecked. No. I called the tuner and booked in an appointment for that evening. I had lessons booked all week.

So when did you last go to Saltburn!?

I went to have a surfing lesson! It was so good!

I surf! Did you stand up!?

For all of 2 seconds!

That’s good!

I may be exaggerating!

When you coming to visit me?!?!?!

My hearing got worse. Some days I would wake up and hope. Oh. It feels better, less stuck. But the block had just transferred from one ear to the other. It picked its side each day. I googled hearing loss from fall, perforated ear drum. I have spent my life hoping.

The tuner came and the piano sounded the same. I sat, sore, in lessons whilst trying to be encouraging, That’s good, Samuel, most people wait at the end of the bar but you carried straight on, the poor playing making the discord worse.

When dad finally died, I began to be an observer. When my hearing changed – it wasn’t lost, in many cases, it dialled other sounds up, I noticed the quick sound of my strides as a deep burr, voices down the street chaotically close, voices wriggled electronically, a mingling alien whistle in my brain – some, depending on the pitch were alarming, some almost too soft to register – but I had more of a reason to secret myself away. It was allowed. I stopped rubbing my ears as if to pop them. I drove to Settle for an interview, just thinking to get on with life, as this is all you can do, keep moving, and the pressure blinked and for a second I hoped.

David was a blank.

I googled trains to Saltburn. I didn’t like driving anymore.

Saturday?!

We can go on the mountain ride!

The one that goes all the way from the bottom of the hill to the top?

I’ll take you on a ride 😉

But yes, it was easy to retreat, to fold away like a cardigan for the attic. ‘Sorry, I can’t hear very well.’ People would try for a while but it became easier to look away and watch what was going on outside the café. The last conversation I caught of my friends, who were younger anyway, was about children and how it was all getting too late. Like, oh my god, I’m twenty five. I didn’t try to smile.

O   N   I   C   C   U   P   P   A   C

Through the letters in the café, a woman with pink hair short as a boy. She has a caramel puppy and an elaborate fan of smoke sprawling beyond her pink hair and I think of a white geisha. I had my hairdresser shear all mine away and felt my neck for days, I needed scarves even when it was warm as the cold snuck down my tops. This is why women with short hair wear polo necks, I thought.

Nobody, unless they were a musician, could comprehend the feeling. How the sadness coats you. To sit down to play was to be gratefully lost in the beauty of sound. If I remember back to when I was first learning, I could see the evolution of my joy with the piano. Of getting things right. Of understanding a new rhythm. Of breaking rules, to tip in a little feeling and see-what-that-did. Of riding your intuition and being rewarded. And then the warmth that comes from the echoes and complexities, the interactions of all the notes, the question and the answer, the sense of completion.

I would still play, of course I would. There was still pleasure in the memory, the physical mechanics, the gist of the right sounds. But they were not pure.

If I played now, it was to remember a beauty I could no longer experience, and to see other people find that beauty.

I have cleared away awards and certificates, the photograph of a young me with honey hair and a velvet dress, the navy bow my mother put in, playing in the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall. I am eleven and serious.

But. I see things. Yes, I see the man sat with his back to me, the perfect hexagon of his shoulders and back in the chair. It’s 20 degree slump forward. The woman who sits opposite me and her unusual wedding ring. How her gaze trails the tall man striding past. The old woman in aubergine who stared at me with eyes like a Margaret Keane painting and the torture of a Francis Bacon. The way you look at me when you’re lying. Not away as some might, but at me, to check.

You sent me a message.

You, who went from woman to woman, love to love, without a breath. Take a breath, my love. Breathe.

I wonder if you would ever know quite how long I waited for you, David. I wonder if you would ever know why.

*

We are knotted together in bed, but she is in between. It is as good as it has ever been. I have not cried for you. I will not. When we fall to sleep, I know she will be gone in the morning but that I will look her up from time to time. See youth, the option that I was once for you. That sometimes she likes your updates  on Facebook. The enigmatic pictures you take on morning runs. The stray one of us that makes the grade, her approval blank.

I could have been that person, the don’t you dare talk to her again ever, girl. Move jobs, fire her, delete everything.

*

And even after all that, she never asked. Never made me apologise. Which made it all the easier to hate myself. But – well – Clare was so fucking smart, it registered that she was just being like this to make me feel worse. She made my brain dizzy. In the morning, before our alarms, she made me a cup of tea and came back to bed. She burrowed under my arm and tucked in. I always liked that. She was a hugger. It made up for the other stuff. Shit, did I just even think that?

‘I love you,’ she said.

I didn’t answer.

*

We’re in the interview room. We’re gripping each other. ‘Mr and – Clare, David, I’m so sorry,’ the officer is explaining. This is Penny, she has dealt with us a few times now. A snappy sort of woman. Sharp, thorough, late nights and overtime. ‘The girl – her name is Alice. She’s been identified by her parents and reunited. It seemed -’

Because of my hearing, another thing I never told David, I was worried about him finding me old when I was supposed to represent the younger, more vivacious Niamh, but anyway I became able to turn things down. I did this then.

I don’t know how to feel. I’m ashamed that I pick up where I left off from this morning. There are crates that need signing for, testing that needs to be ordered and done. We are late with a job for one of our biggest clients and this costs. Per day, this costs. No, fucked off is how I feel. And I just can’t fucking deal with it anymore.

We’re not holding hands as we leave, twisting through cars to our own.

‘I could drive you back?’

‘Thank you, no.’

‘What’s wrong?’

‘What’s wrong?’

‘I’m – take care.’

‘Take care.’

We kiss each other’s cheeks and stare at each other as cars seek spaces around us.

 

*

I have been caught out. Gazing at a mother and a child in the retail park. The mother hoisting a bright pink back pack and then her own elegant teal shopper. The girl’s hair fluttering like ribbons. I liked Muna’s hair best when she had it cropped. I loved to see her ears, the little tips, and to see through them like little windows of stained glass. The back of her neck. My thoughtful, clever girl. What was going on in her mind? How was she puzzling the pieces of life and making them fit with our adult ways?

*

*

‘Oh Muna. Muna,’ I say.

I have conversations with my girl on overcast days.

‘Are you okay?’

‘Yes, mummy.’

‘Are they treating you well?’

‘Yes, mummy.’

‘Do you miss us?’

The conversations have shifted with the seasons, arcing as a gull cuts through clear blue sky.

‘What do you think of mummy talking to herself – to you – in the supermarket.’

‘Well you always were a trifle odd – I love trifle!’

I smile near the Charlotte potatoes.

*

Sometimes, when you are at work and I am texting, booking lessons with my students’ parents, we would both login to whatsapp. I would click on your picture, careful not to call by accident, reread your last message and see something different in it each time. Last seen 16:53. And then the numbers would wink to online. You’d stay for a few seconds and then blank. Were you watching me watching you? Were we watching each other? Last seen 16: 57. Who were you talking to? And I would wonder, are we both wondering the same thing?

*

My father was good with his hands. It is raining-wet-damp in the shed. He is fashioning something. Shaving. I watch my mother in the bath. The opposite strokes, the razor up her legs, my father down the wood. I ask her, ‘Why’d you do that, mummy?’ I could swear she said, ‘Because daddy likes it. Now shoo, give mummy some privacy. I don’t come in the room when you’re bathing.’ You used to, I think, but I became oh-so-clever oh-so-good at knowing what not to say.

*

Anger, like our daughter’s favourite: aubergine colour. Her cheeks like the silk of that vegetable. Her hands in carrot-coloured gloves and sweet-potato boots. Her little vegetable fingers and little vegetable toes. Bright against the snow. I hear the triplets, as if she’s sat at the piano practicing, stripy socks dangling from the stool and the blue corduroy of her dress with the yellow duck buttons. We – and it strikes me this – that I never included him in the we of our daughter. We. Me and Muna. Muna and I. So maybe it is all my fault after all. He thinks I don’t hear the body shift when I leave the bedroom. The strained silence as he does things he shouldn’t. Check phone, send a text. I can almost feel the electrons charge the air from the mobile screen blueing the dark. But anyway, when dressing, we – Muna and I – we press the duck buttons and make them quack.

‘You are quackers, mummy.’

And I wonder where she has heard this.

In this image I have of Muna, this visual of her bright coat picked out within Christmas-icing snow, the ripple of piano overlays it. When she played, the same deliberate intervals, when distracted, we would tuck against a wall, hiding from our child, to complain. Anger has played through our we like a refrain, or our daughter’s ascending and descending scales. That we had to wait, that what we had waited for was spoiled by this girl we adored, yet how it made us judges when we’d loved before.

‘You’re not –‘

‘You –‘

‘Why me?’

‘Because she –‘

‘Sometimes,’ one of us says, rubbing our arms, the fire sputters to bleach the cold.

‘What?’

‘She –‘

‘What?’

‘Come on,’ one of us says, ‘we don’t have forever.’

‘She – ’ A frown, the music’s not stopped, I’m sure but when I think – it is – but Clare stands, stripy footed, fingers glistening in her mouth.

‘What?’ she says, over her knuckles.

But at that point, we’d been checking, there is the dot. There is the dot. Muna, Muna.

Mummy, wave. Wave to mummy. And the last time we’d looked – because this is how I wanted to remember it – after we’d cracked a tension and he’d kissed me and I felt an echo of that climbing thrill, of how perfect those hands and how lovely that mouth, and mine and mine, finally, and how could I complain when I knew his nature anyway – Muna was gone.

*

We are sweetly drunk, walking apart, as if none of us have considered the carnality of it all of the savage tight things we have imagined. Red paper lanterns are strewn within the city in which we’ve met. A Chinese New Year. Monkey, someone once said, Nother monkey, in another city with another man and hieroglyphed my name onto bubblegum paper. I kept it on my rented fridge in my rented flat that was just on the wrong side of the city and felt, whenever I opened the door for milk or butter, that I had finally landed, was finally exploring. And in the night on the street in which we first hold hands and in which we first fuck, that song is playing, we’re sure. ‘Shhhhh,’ a finger to lip. A finger to point. ‘Shhusssssh!’ A couple go by and we both pretend not to notice the blood on knuckles.

*

 

You do this a lot. Pause before windows, wait the extra beat before closing the door. You peer. You strain to hear – mummy, wait! You can’t help but still hope. You like the lies you tell yourself: don’t worry, hey, you okay? No, so look, This isn’t real. The lies change shape as the days drip drip together elongate into teardrops of seasons changing, but they keep you safe. Muna isn’t just late, delayed, a step behind, she has been deleted from all of your life and past and future. If you spot a picture of her somewhere, a photo of you and her smiling on a friend’s Facebook page on one of those gutsy, blustery days out, beach, ice-cream, crane machines, iPhone games to amuse her in the chip shop, though they rarely did, you simply frown for a moment, puzzled. Maybe sometimes you expand the view and go back to checking emails. She talked to strangers, Muna did. You would find her, if you ever lost track, and you did, be honest, chin up nodding to grand-dad types, asking questions that made maiden aunts nervous and check with each other first – do you knit to keep your bones from dying? Yes, she liked to talk to strangers, or even just to stand and watch – honey, come on, that’s rude. A pulled hand to cloak your own embarrassment, their stares. Her defiant intimation – I can walk myself, you know. You have also removed the socks the police showed you in evidence bags from the memories also. You move away from the window and hear movement upstairs, forgetting your husband was working from home today. You have never told him what happened, that she did this – the independent insistence – that day. I can walk myself! Never told him that you sighed, you rolled your eyes, you let her go.

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PPS…

No, not a PPS on the end of your girl messages in high school (And PS I hate you and PPS so does Jonny!) Poetry Prose and Script.

I’ve been doing a bit of all of these things and some of them seem to be going alright. That’s quite nice. And useful.

I went to do a reading at Lancaster’s Waterstones with super-author Dennison Smith. I love the inappropriate aunt. Get Eye of the Day and see what I mean.

We’re running Sunderland’s first Slam! (one of many we hope) – a night of poetry and performance at the excellent Holmeside Coffee on March 9th. There’ll be music and a bar, so that’s a couple of things you generally want for a good night out. If you’d like to be on the waitlist (the open mic is full already) just send me a lovely message (sarah.dobbs@sunderland.ac.uk) and twill be done.

Please come (it’s free)! Here’s our Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/events/564510033727387/

I keep telling my students – you must record yourself, you must read, your must perform, you must try out your words in your mouth and on your voice and that. And this is only the second video I’ve done but anyway, following own advice.

(PPS

Do, think, write.

x)