Oh well, my brief period of relaxation (huh!) is reaching its end. I haven’t finished clearing the garden, although work is still in progress; I haven’t written any of the novel; I haven’t done any indoor decorating. But still, I should look at what I have done, rather than what I haven’t.
So, this week, apart from gardening, making curtains for the newly-cleared spare room, and more trips to the gym, work has started properly. I am prepared now for the first session of the two sets of workshops I’m running in the autumn, so don’t need to worry about those. And I had my first session for the Cheltenham Literature Festival sleeping and dreaming project – with the Black Elders Day Centre in Gloucester. This was a delight of creative chaos. We produced a couple of group poems and some individual ones, and the Elders seem very pleased with how it all went.
The POPPs project (with older people) was finally signed off with an evaluation session. This was another project that went well except in isolated pockets where the artist had no support at all from the places where they were working; sometimes people take part in projects like this because it looks good for prospective clients, while in fact having no interest in or enthusiasm for providing creative activities.
And work has started in earnest on Poetry on Loan, following a handover meeting with the lovely Jonathan. I now have all the contact details and more of an understanding of what goes on, and will soon be sending out summaries and models and plans… And, by the way, a plug for the Birmingham Book Festival – it’s on in October and has an excellent programme; have a look at their website and book now!
TADS (the drama group I work with) had a meeting this week. Our brilliant lighting man pointed out that I could see how many tickets had been sold for Once this was a poet at the LitFest by going online and nearly booking a ticket myself; they are allocated with sequential numbers… I did, of course – 47 so far! There was a good response to the proposal that we take Once this was a poet to the Edinburgh Festival next year – something I find rather scary; but if all the cast want to have a go, then why not? I doubt whether I’ll get much swimming or sunbathing done there, though. One week of easing in to work and I want to book a holiday, although this is nothing to do with the work. I think it was the Black Elders talking nostalgically of sunshine and easy living in Jamaica that did it. For a heady moment I thought I had a free week at the end of January, but if I’m needed for TADS’ next production on 30th and 31st, that’s out, so it will probably be June in Skiathos. But there’s lots of writing to be done before then.