Not really. If people stopped sending me emails I’d feel neglected and lonely; but I still haven’t answered or dealt with all the emails left over from my holiday, and I feel guilty. But it has been a busy week.
On Monday I had an interview for a job as writer in residence at Shrewsbury prison – and was offered the position that evening. I’d spent some time during the day working out what I could and could not take on, and knew I could accept. This meant, though, that I had to cancel the Friday interview – I couldn’t take on the work if I had been offered it, so there was no point. I worded the cancellation email very carefully; I do hope that the organisation will still bear me in mind in future. And they did leave me a very nice phone message, thanking me for letting them know and making it clear that they understood my reasons. So that was ok.
Reading Agency staff day in London was fun, except that I wore the wrong shoes and ended up with blisters. As if I haven’t got enough shoes to choose from; I refuse to admit how many shoes I own, but it’s far, far too many. One day I will simplify my life, starting with my shoes…
Wednesday was busy! Two schools, with lovely kids, all really keen to do their bits of narration for the schools event in the Cheltenham Music Festival, which is now only a few days away; the last meeting of the Ledbury Poetry Festival trustees before the start of the Festival; and a TADS meeting. The TADS members were delighted by the fact that Once this was a poet will be on as part of the Cheltenham Lit Fest, and we decided on our next major production, which will be Pygmalion.
At last on Thursday I had a day at home (except for a visit to the dentist for an emergency repair to a broken tooth), but it was fully occupied with prep for everything happening in the following few days. I still didn’t have a chance to tackle the emails, let alone the ordinary mail (although I did receive my tax demand for the July payment. Ouch.) Another emergency repair was required – this time for my son’s trousers, so he would look smart at an interview the next day.
And all the time more emails were arriving, great electronic heaps of them, work-related, personal and spam, and on Friday it was all phone calls ( mostly good ones), and then it was the Lydney slam, which turned out to be a really enjoyable evening. The excellent David Johnson was guest poet and doubled as scorer; Jonny Fluffypunk was a well-deserved winner; and a local lady, Carole Rudings, came second. Couldn’t have worked out better if I’d fixed it (which I hadn’t).
Yesterday I was in Ledbury all day, managing an event with Michael Rosen, Jackie Kay and Francesca Beard. The event went down well, and really the only problem was getting the poets from the hospitality room to the venue – like herding jelly. Shopping on the way home. I had planned to have a really good go at the emails in the evening, but in fact I fell asleep for two hours, and so they still remain, lurking and scary, massing, ganging up…
However, I don’t feel at all depressed byt this, although I probably should, because on the way to Ledbury yesterday I suddenly had an idea for a new slam poem, and by the end of the day the first draft was done. I was beginning to think that I would never write another slam poem, but I’m quite pleased with this one. I’ll have to find an opportunity to try it out, so that I can get it polished and shiny ready for the LitFest slam in October.
And now – now, definitely – I’m going to get on with the emails.