…which signals the end of a busy week. Not really the end yet, though – I haven’t finished the writeups and other bits and pieces left over from the week, so I don’t count it as properly finished. My son’s blog accuses me of whining about my work schedule, but this week…

Well, judge for yourselves. Last weekend, apart from mowing all the grass, I did lots of prep for the forthcoming activities, and had another rehearsal. It went extremely well, apart from the two main actors both forgetting their lines in places where they have never gone wrong before… but they coped well with the new tiny stage setting. Tomorrow’s rehearsal will be filmed; and we have a lady coming from BBC Radio Gloucestershire to make a programme about the play – ooh! Should help boost the ticket sales, which are already going well. It was 78 – but now the LitFest booking site tells me that if I were to book, it would be seat number 5, so I can’t find the correct number at the moment.

After the rehearsal I drove to Knutsford for a night in the lovely Travelodge, which was ok until 5:40 am when the strange noises started. But I did get some sleep before going to Manchester to help run a course on accreditation for young people. Home again to loads of emails – the sort that require thought or work before they can be answered.

Tuesday – ah, relief – I was at home, writing minutes, helping to write the brochure blurb for TADS’ January production of Pygmalion, preparing for the three things I was doing on Wednesday, doing my end of month accounts, practising for the slam, and relaxing with a little light ironing.

Wednesday was a full day at the school in Wolverhampton. My first session didn’t go very well, leaving me feeling very guilty, even though a few tweaks to the plan made the following two sessions run quite well. And straight from there to a Ledbury Poetry Festival meeting; a quick cup of tea and a TADS meeting. TADS are worried about taking my play to Edinburgh; they think we might lose £6000. We don’t think it would be anything like that… more planning to be done.

Thursday was all to do with the Cheltenham LitFest sleeping and dreaming project. I worked with new and expectant mums, a group of Scottish pensioners, a nurse who works night shifts, and an after school club, most of whom decided (quite rightly, in my opinion) that playing outside in the sunshine was a more worthwhile way to spend their time than writing poetry. The few that stayed wrote some lovely pieces, though. The day was rounded off with a long call froma friend in trouble.

I also realised on Thursday that my poor little cat has almost completely lost her sight. It’s so sad, seeing her bump into things – most un-catlike. She’s lived in this house all her life, though, and is already getting used to feeling her way around. I don’t think she’s distressed, and I think she’ll be ok.

Where are we? Ah yes, Friday – two adult literacy groups, who were again a great joy to work with; helping my son (who was lost) by checking possibe routes online; another long call from the friend; more ironing. And today, apart from shopping for food, which has to be fitted in somewhere, I’ve worked on some introductory stuff for the display of sleeping and dreaming poems, written my slam introduction, and been to an evening meeting about Ledbury. And here I am blogging.

Slam introductions are an art, and I don’t pretend to be a great artist. In 30 words, you have to make the audience warm to you and want to hear your poems. Some people list their achievements, which I’m pretty certain is a bad idea. Self-deprecation coupled with humour seems to go down fairly well. I don’t know how many of these intros I’ve written so far, and it doesn’t get any easier. Anyway, it’s done. Unlike most of the jobs on my list.

Still, next week is much easier – almost a holiday, if I didn’t have so much catching up to do. And of course worrying about the slam and the play is beginning to take up a significant amount of time.

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