Measure gorilla suit

No reason for this title, especially; it was just an item on my list of jobs that I thought showed the range and variety of what I might do on any day. And yes, I have measured the gorilla suit, and it will fit my son. Although I’m not sure if I should let him use it for fancy dress – it’s a vital costume for my play, Once this was a poet. Which is now officially entered in the first round of the All England One Act Play Competition, and has a definite booking at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Hooray!

The week started with a jelly bath. I was given this; you pour crystals into the bath and it says it becomes like jelly, but actually you get thousands of jellyish beads. It made the water a very attractive shade of blue – much like the one on my website, in fact – and was kind of fun, but not worth repeating.

So – what have I actually done this week, apart from having strange baths? I’ve found some props for Pygmalion, for a start. And phoned lots of people as part of an evaluation of a project; most of them talked about policy links and advocacy and national offers, but one was very down to earth and came up with some hard-nosed and specific ideas. Well done, that man! Phoning people cold is always a pain, and I doubt if I’ll get in touch with all of them, but I’m well on the way to enough. So that’s ok.

And I’ve bought most of my Christmas presents, which is a relief. It’s slightly disappointing, though. People I know send me links to websites showing the things they want for Christmas, and while it’s easy to order stuff with just a few mouse clicks, I actually enjoy a bit of real Christmas shopping, with the bustle and the lights, and the freezing cold, and the heavy bags and the expensive car parking and… well, never mind.

I have mentioned The Novel in this blog. Some time ago, I was given the name of an agent who specialises in children’s and young people’s books. I have hesitated to get in touch with her, because – well, because as long as no-one else read The Novel I could go on thinking it was ok; as soon as it is exposed to an expert eye that might be the end of it. Anyway, she liked the idea (which I outlined in a paragraph) and wants me to send her the first three chapters. Gulp! I need to write a proper synopsis to go with them – my next job for this evening, I think. And then we’ll see. She said she probably wouldn’t be able to read my stuff until after Christmas, though, so there’s no point worrying too much yet.

Two days at the prison were fine. We finished the first issue of the newsletter; next week a copy will be given to every prisoner! There was a slight problem, when there were complaints that the message from the Christian chaplaincy was too, er, Christian, but these were overcome with a sort of ecumenical paragraph at the top. Phew. And my poetry writing group goes from strength to strength – we gained a new member this week, who astonished himself by writing his first ever poem. No overnight stay this week – I had to come home for a TADS meeting on Wednesday evening. It was a bad trip. First, I got a key stuck in one of the prison doors; then slipped on the ice in the car park and bruised my knee; and then the motorway was blocked and my journey home took an hour longer than usual. Thursday was fine, though, and I was home in time for rehearsal.

And on Friday I tried to catch up – the usual slough of emails; more phone calls; writing up other stuff; and long phone calls from my son.

I had hoped to go to Stroud this evening to a gig to see two mates of mine, Matt Harvey and Peter Wyton, but I really can’t. The postponed obligatory visit to my mother tomorrow means that I’ll lose the whole day, and I still have so much to do. Whinge, whinge. I’ll just stay in as usual.

A fairly ordinary week, all in all. The best bit was probably measuring the gorilla suit.

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