My name is Bob Harding-Jones, aka Bob Jones. I am a Performance Poet, Humour-Columnist & Writer based Hertford, Hertfordshire, UK. My Glastonbury Festival 'Poetry & Words' appearances (sharing the experience with Tony Walsh - Longfella no less!) are my proudest to date but sometimes a village hall in the sticks with a small audience can be very exhilarating too. I have performed one-man shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe twice and been a featured poet at Birmingham's Young Readers UK Festival. Some years ago I also trod the Comedy Circuit including the Comedy Store when Bill Bailey (as a Rubber Bishop) and Rhona Cameron headlined. However, I decided that it was Poetry & Writing for me - and that's just what I've been enjoying since. My one-man show 'Laughter in the Village' has travelled all over the UK, mainly in village halls and I have bookings over the next 18 months. However, I have a dearth of Poetry Festival/ Poetry Club type bookings at present due to my inactivity in that direction over the last few years. So if you know of a suitable festival for me, please do get in touch. That would be good. Thanks. I wrote a humour-based newspaper column for 13-years. Was a scriptwriter for NEWSREVUE on London's Fringe and have had a few bits and bobs on BBC TV and Radio. Also an article for The Countryman magazine - that's diversity for you! My material is for young and old: 'A poet for all ages and occasions.' I enjoy writing about rural themes but by no means am I restricted to this. My humour is observational and sometimes family oriented - but I'm not cosy cosy or comfy comfy. Since experiencing Glastonbury and appearing with so many talented poets of all genres I think it's about time I put myself about a bit again - so here I am! Bob developed his skill at humorous writing and performing whilst still at school. He regularly read his hilarious accounts of school-day events to a delighted morning assembly. A career in accountancy was jettisoned to seek his burning farming ambition: agricultural college and supervisory livestock positions preceded the tenancy of his own Hertfordshire dairy farm. Following this another career beckoned, qualifying as an ambulance paramedic on his 50th birthday and retiring in his 71st year. These days he combines all his career experiences in his poems and humorous talks that he gives all over the UK. Bob initially submitted sketches to radio, television and magazines, including the BBC’s satirical radio show WeekEnding and joined a group of writers he met there to contribute to the scripting of Newsrevue: a weekly satirical revue on London’s ‘Fringe’. Sample scripts and poems came to the attention of television personality Esther Rantzen, who propelled him into a shortlist for a presenter, not scriptwriter as he hoped on That’s Life! Bob performs his style of poetry and humour at festivals, schools, clubs of various genres and village halls and has written five poetry books. Bob also writes regular newspaper and magazine columns.
MAG Article post Glasto Diary of a Sixty-Something Glastonbury Virgin The honour of being selected as a Glastonbury Festival poet was fantastic. But having to camp in a tiny tent squeezed into a minute soggy space in a crowded sodden field with the rain belting vertically down and the water table bubbling vertically up; attempting a balancing act on a wobbly pneumatic mattress/come sledge half-zipped out of a twisted lumpy sleeping bag not aptly named – all to the accompaniment of the thump-thump-thump of all-night music and shriek-shriek-shriek of all-night revellers, wasn’t. The pleasure of performing my stuff to appreciative audiences was also fantastic –even if I needed to keep my wellies on. But strip washing at a standpipe, negotiating latrines designed for Roman Legionnaires not southern softies like me - and sharing the duration of the festival with a pair of friendly underpants, wasn’t. If you saw the television reports, I can confirm that the conditions really were that bad. The camaraderie of performers and punters however was marvellous. It must have been a bit like this during the Blitz. I didn’t witness any anger or aggression. Ample lager, pear cider and chain-smoking herbal rollups seemed to provide the energy and tranquillity required for seventy two hours with little or no sleep. If you cared to gaze into people’s eyes, they would gaze back at you with either pinpoint or dilated pupils, sometimes one of each. My compatriot poets were a fine friendly bunch, spanning all ages and genres. Most were used to performing at gigs all over the UK and Ireland and many already knew each other having shared platforms on previous occasions. Alcohol, although I enjoy it, does not enhance my performance so I tend to be sparing with it. Some poets seemed able to consume huge quantities and in true poets’ tradition, performed even more brilliantly as their blood-alcohol levels rose. Most readers will know of the famous headline music acts that appeared there this year, but I chose to update myself on the poetry front, spending many happy hours listening to the talent on offer. So I’m now an updated poet, have learnt what MySpace is and now am the proud owner of my own site. I’m currently networking to my new poet friends, been offered a gig in York and received two internet offers from young ladies to venture to their naughty websites with my credit card number. I don’t think that they can be poets, so I won’t. The good news: took lots of great pics. The bad news: lost my camera somewhere in the Glastonbury mud on the final night. The good news: one of my newfound poet friends found this out from my MySpace and emailed me lots of pics. What a mate! Most embarrassing moment: Tripping over the power cable when the Glastonbury Poetry Slam competition was in full flow, cutting off all power, light, sound and leaving the contestants speechless – what a plonker I was! Unsung hero: one of our band (Dennis Just Dennis) rescued a semi-conscious man with his head and shoulders through a lavatory aperture contemplating a fate worse than death 6-feet below. I returned to Hertfordshire completely shattered, suffering sleep deprivation, eardrums that pounded a rock ‘n’ roll beat for three more days and smelling worse than the dog. Would I do it again? Of course I would! And a few poems . . . IMPERFECTION I am an imperfectionist. I admire imperfection; Esteem people who attain it; Respect those who strive for it. People who always get things right, Don't get a scrap of envy out of me. If they wanted to gain imperfection, They'd probably have to have two or three goes at it. Not me. I'm a natural. Although I strive for imperfection, It's all a little too easy for me. I get things wrong the first time. POETIC DISORDER ISBN 978-0-9516941-3-8 IN FOR REPAIR I'm staying at home today, Because my dentist has taken My front teeth away . . . Removed for repair And I'm aware That people might stare At the gaps in my life. So I'll hide inside Out of sight Writing poetry Without a bite. POETIC DISORDER ISBN 978-0-9516941-3-8 TOAD ODE This is an ode to the toad: The toad only knows how to crawl, He pulls no other strokes at all; Which makes it difficult for the toad, When he has to cross the road. Once a year toads return home To mate, and spawn by the load. (if it wasn’t for the road) Or to be more exact, The cars that compact. If it takes the poor old toad Ten minutes to cross the road, It doesn’t take a statistician To work out, it’s a suicide mission. Nothing could rival Toad’s sense of survival, Toady does what comes naturally: He doesn’t look right, He doesn’t look left, If it’s all clear (or not), He doesn’t bother a jot, He just crawls out into the road; And sooner or later, splat! That’s that, Toad’s flat… It’s the Code Of the Highway Toad! POETOONS ISBN 978-0-9516941-4-5 ALL VERY MUCH COPYRIGHT PLEASE. NO PERMISSION GIVEN TO READ OTHER THAN ME AS HAVE STARVING FAMILY AND PETS TO SUPPORT - TA!
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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