So, me hearties, last night we foregathered in the forecastle (possibly) of HQS Wellington to launch Caroline Davies excellent book of poetry entitled ‘Convoy’. It deals mainly with the siege of Malta by the Axis Powers during WWII* and also with the homefront in Wales, and has as its foundation Caroline’s grandfather’s war and her mother’s memories of it.
Jan Fortune, who is Cinnamon Press – ‘Convoy’s’ publisher – left her Welsh eyrie to spearhead the event. Vanessa Gebbie (author of ‘The Coward’s Tale’, published by Bloomsbury) acted as compere and interviewer for the occasion, leading Caroline to appropriate points in the collection for a reading. I suppose I ought to declare an interest in that I had a hand in the Blurb on the back of the book. But I don’t write blurbs for just anyone. Dear me, no.
The reading was splendid. Caroline’s delivery suited the poems so well: slightly puzzled, slightly sad, slightly worn, slightly toughened by experience.
Mr Caroline (!) took many photos. I hope I may be able to lay hands on one or two and if I can I’ll post them here.
How delightful it was to be bobbing gently up and down on the Thames. Strange how much easier it was to get off the ship than get onto it. It may have been that the very nice wine imbibed counteracted the roll of the ship. Or it may have been that the tide had come in. I believe it was the latter. But I won’t argue with the former.
I had to ask what HQS stood for and was told, with a touch of asperity ‘Headquarters Ship’. I didn’t have the nerve to ask ‘headquarters of what?’ – so if anyone knows do put me straight below.
*(anyone who doesn’t understand that acronym should write immediately to Mr Gove with intimations of support).
If you want to know more about Caroline Davies her blog is here: http://advancingpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/his-last-letter.html
And if you think you might like a copy of ‘Convoy’ a link to the excellent Cinnamon Press (its publisher) is here : http://www.cinnamonpress.com/convoy/