Working weekends

Working at weekends is normal for me, but this weekend it’s solid. I’m trying to catch up with emails, prison work, TRA work, PoL work – you name it, and I’m behind. Or at least I was, but shouldn’t be by this evening. Blame the Ledbury Poetry Festival – it took up much more of my time than I was expecting. My last event (Hugo Williams and Rhian Edwards) went well, and then there was a party; by the time I left (before most people) I was really tired, so no more work was done then.

Monday was fun! After a bit of prep for various meetings, it was off to Cheltenham for the schools’ singing event in the Town Hall; I had written the linking script, with the help of kids from 6 schools, who were to narrate the whole thing. The rehearsal for this is always chaotic; everyone is thinking Never again! But the performance was lovely; loads of parents listened to their kids singing really difficult songs. They did it beautifully – the kids, that is, not the parents. My narrators suffered from nerves, but got through it all, and the event was a huge success. I do enjoy working with Philippa and Nicola, from Chelt Festivals, and with Liz and Rachel, the two singers; everyone is professional, skilled and dedicated – and fun to be with, too.

Prison on Tuesday. There were two new guys in one of my groups, neither of whom had ever written a poem before, and at the end they said that they were really proud of what they had done. Aah! The afternoon group, however, had only one person; we did some fun stuff, but it was a shame for him, and a bit disappointing.

The evening was disappointing, too. I had done lots of prep for TADS’ next production (Ring Round the Moon) and we should have had a TADS meeting; but only 4 of us turned up, which meant it was inquorate.

The next day, Wednesday, was a bit of a holiday, really. I had to do some tidying – when I’m busy my house becomes a graphic illustration of the principle of entropy. It just becomes messier and messier, until eventually I can’t stand it and have to do something, despite all the work I should be doing. And then I went to see Nine Inch Nails in the O2 arena. Again, it was a little disappointing; the venue is just too big to get a good atmosphere, and people are constantly going in and out. I don’t understand it – they have paid good money for their tickets, and I would have thought that the best thing would be to go to the loo, get a drink, and go and listen; but no. And the band didn’t do all my favourite songs; and the couple behind me talked all through the quiet ones. But it’s likely to be the last time they tour. Next week I’m going to see the Lightning Seeds with my son; I reckon I am the only person in the country to see NIN and the Seeds within two weeks. I have varied tastes in music.

Prison again on Thursday, and lots of stuff done for the diary project and issue 4 of the newsletter. I came home and fell asleep in my car on the drive.

My son sent me two new songs, both of which are excellent (not that I’m prejudiced, in any way, obviously). And the week – the normal week, that is – was rounded off with a Poetry on Loan meeting in Birmingham. I think we will have a new focus for the next two years, but it’s not finally decided yet. But we have lots of events happening, and things are looking good.

And now it’s the weekend again, and apart from shopping and mowing, I have to get everything ready for a meeting in London on Monday; the prison on Tuesday and Wednesday (and there’s a lot of work for that); and I have TRA actions to do, and PoL actions, and I must, I really must, get all the emails answered. If I do really well, then this evening I will treat myself to some fun – ironing!

But the weekend is slipping away fast, so I must get back to work. Now, what’s next on my list?

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