Looking down

After all the positive glow within last week’s blog, it could only go downhill this week. I mowed the grass again, and the mower had problems. I’m just hoping it will be ok this week. Still, I made a quick sale on the old one, so that was good, and did more gardening – pruning and clearing.

The prison days were a bit different this week. I had two drama practitioners in doing a drama workshop. Seven prisoners had put their names down; 5 turned up, one of whom wasn’t on the list and who stayed for only half of the first morning. Still, the other guys worked hard and by the end of the two days we were ready to give a prepared reading for some other prisoners who were in en education class. The participants could be proud of themselves; although, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed by the practitioners, who had a very low-energy approach and didn’t seem to want to make it fun.

Excellent rehearsal for Once this was a poet on Wednesday! I had planned to go through it twice, but there was no need; they were really, really good, even after six weeks without a performance. It was looking very hopeful for the weekend.

On Thursday I went to the hospital for a project meeting, and for a session in the wards. As usual, I spent time with a lovely, positive lady, who after having breast cancer five years ago started running to raise money for cancer charities – despite the fact that she hates running and always has! And now she is ill again, and still being positive.

Friday was a home day, with lots of Poetry on Loan work done and prep for some training I’ll be doing at the end of the month. I found it difficult to concentrate, though, knowing that the next day was the All England Theatre Festival quarter-finals, and a chance for OTWAP to proceed to higher things. One of the venues at Edinburgh emailed to say we hadn’t got a place. It’s not surprising – they have six times as many applicants as slots – but a disappointment, nevertheless.

And then it was Saturday. We all got to Pewsey ok, so that was my first worry overcome. They gave a fantastic performance, probably the best they’ve ever done it. And the rest is difficult to say without the whiff of sour grapes – but it really isn’t. If we had been beaten by an outstanding production, I would have gone home satisfied; but actually we were beaten by an inattentive and apparently ignorant adjudicator, who seemed not to notice what was going on in any of the plays she saw, and put us two marks behind the winner (which was well acted and directed). Everyone there thought we should have won. The people organising the event said You were f****** robbed. Even the cast and crew of the winning play told us they couldn’t understand the decision. And my guys were so good! But anyway, it’s over now, and I suppose I’ll have a couple more free Saturdays.

So that’s it. I’m disappointed today, but I have to get on with stuff. No good looking down, or back, or any of that rubbish; I must be like the lady in the hospital who has far, far more to complain about than I have, and just get on with it!

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