Everything has been churned up since I last wrote, from my job to writing to my personal life and what’s happening in the wider world (most importantly). My mind feels a bit like a stream must feel when someone kicks all the silt up from the bottom of the river bed and the water clouds. Things seem to clarify about 3am and all my thoughts make sense again, which is a bit of an insomnia issue and the wrong time to be thinking at all. The seagulls have been up and crying on the shed roof for breakfast long before I’ve managed to get to sleep for weeks. I’m hoping to get back to work around the end of July so I need to get my sleep pattern back on track somehow. I’ve written some notes in the early hours that I hope will become poems of substance. My concentration’s been poor in terms of the grafting part and I need to make the most of my time off to get some good work done. Since I last wrote on this site, I’ve been to Yorkshire again and had a great week walking by the Rochdale canal in the sunshine (the duck and ducklings picture was taken just outside the Stubbing Wharf pub) and walking over the Pennine Way to my dad’s memorial stone (our self-chiselled letters have lasted well).  That seems a long time ago now. I was hoping to go to the Kendal Poetry Festival, which was excellent by all accounts, but couldn’t make it in the end. I was delighted to receive a very heartening note from Les Murray this month accepting a couple of my poems for the winter issue of Granta. I also loved seeing Radiohead’s set at Glastonbury (from the sofa) which reminded me of childhood and walking past the Jericho Tavern where they used to play before they were famous and the world seemed full of hope. I’m looking forward to seeing them in Manchester next month. I’m appalled by what’s happening in this country. I’m so very sorry that we seem to be regressing as a nation and the most vulnerable are the victims, as was as always will be. As Steinbeck said: “All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”