Thursday, 17 February 2011

Writing in the Bath

Following the notebook theme – we were sent this by ace poet John Foster. (Watch out for a review of his fantastic new book of poems coming soon.)

If writing in the dark is difficult, how about writing in the bath? The paper gets wet and soggy and soapy and the water turns blue where the ink leaks into it. And everyone in the family complains about the blue stains that won’t wash off.

Actually, the bath is where you can have a good think, until someone starts banging on the door because they are desperate for the loo! You can let your mind wander into places like The Land of the Flibbertigibbets. By the way that’s the title of my latest book of poems. It’s published by Salt publishers. Here’s one of my favourite poems from it:

A Cheeky Boy called Robert Rung

A cheeky boy called Robert Rung
Was always sticking out his tongue
At everybody that he saw
Passing by the village store.
Till one day he went too far.
A driver, leaping from his car,
Shouted out, ‘You little toad!’
And chased Robert down the road
Into a farmyard nearby,
Where Robert slipped and, with a cry,
Fell headlong in a steaming pile
Of manure, squelchy and vile,
So that cheeky Robert Rung
Was covered, head to foot in dung.
Which is why when you are young
You never should stick out your tongue.

So Robert Rung needed a good bath. Served him right for behaving like that!
Anyway, why not take a notebook into the bathroom with you. You never know - the bath may be the place where you get your most brilliant idea. But you might want to put the notebook in a waterproof folder. I dropped mine in the bath once and you don’t want your ideas floating off down the drain as mine did.

John Foster


  1. Brilliant - I'm glad I'm not the only one to take a notebook and pencil into the bath with me. (Well, within reach, I mean.)

    I shall be looking out keenly for your new book. When I was little my father always used to call me a flippertigibbet!

  2. I always thought a flippertigibbet was a kind of penguin with big boots on?

  3. No me too, I usually leave it on the floor and put a towel next to it to dry my fingers on.

    It did once go horribly wrong though, when my cat fell in the bath and then in his eagerness to escape the wet stuff landed right in the middle of my notebook and then decided to lick the remnants of bath water from himself whilst sitting in an increasingly black puddle. Luckily he was a black cat grrr