Keeping the rain out

No, I know it hasn’t rained all that much this week, but the first thing I did was to get a new sun roof for my car. It was going very rusty near the seals, and when I realised that if you opened it, rust fell into the car, I knew something had to be done. Once I had acquired a new second-hand sun roof (new ones, if you can even get them, cost a fortune), it had to be painted and fitted. So I now have a sunroof that’s in better condition than all the rest of the car – and it’s letting the rain in. I’ll have to take it in to be fixed, and while it’s there they can have a look at the headlight connection that’s burned out again. I love my car. Not a very green thing to say, I know, but I do.

Had a good session at the prison with my writing group, with two excellent new members, attracted by the diary-writing project – so that worked! One of the new guys is Polish; I have learned a Polish swear word. Very useful.

I’ve produced a new book, this time with poems written by me and one of the prison staff. It’s been great fun to work on, and we’re pleased with the result.

The TADS meeting ended up with a decision to do Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus. It was left to me and another potential director to read it and decide between us who will direct. It’s a very funny play, but it doesn’t engage me quite enough for me to want to direct it, so I’ll be taking a back seat – probably just as well, with everything else that’s on my plate (because I often eat while sitting in the back of my car, obviously). It’s a shame, though, because I enjoy directing more than anything else. I think.

Hooray! I managed to arrange some meetings and training sessions this week. It’s always a bit of a logistical nightmare, juggling people and venues, and it’s a relief when it’s done. Phew. I did have a moment of crossness, though. One of the organisations I work with has a habit of using figures to suit itself, and they will persist in using a number that came from an evaluation report I wrote, even though I’ve said on several occasions that this figure is misleading, that we shouldn’t use it because to do so is dishonest, that the real number is very impressive anyway. But still they do, and everyone just seems to think I’m being a bit precious. I wrote a stiff email complaining; we’ll wait and see what happens.

I’ve done a few bits and pieces that have been hanging around: finished Loose Ends, my new one-act play; sent OTWAP and DGIAT off to publishers; wrote a final report for some work done for the Ledbury Festival; worked on a new poem – which I think will sadly be retired before anyone has heard it, because I just can’t get the ending right. Oh well, some you lose.

Following a good session in the hospital we had a meeting about how it will work in the future; my scheduled number of sessions is to be reduced. This is a good thing, because it means that our funding can spread over three years, and it will allow me to have a little more time away from it. Doctors, as the doctor on our steering group said, are titanium-lined, but I’m only a fluffy poet and after I’ve absorbed a lot of other people’s sadness it can get me down a little bit.

I’ve got a bit less on this week than usual, so I’ve started to decorate the dining room. I should really be painting outside window sills, but with a forecast of unremitting rain that’s not going to happen. So, the rain might start coming in through the windows, but I’m taking long-term steps to stop it coming in through the dining room walls. Think I’m joking? I’ve spent a couple of days on it so far and I’ve only just started filling the gaps. I plan to have it finished by Christmas. With any luck, Christmas this year.

My son was home this weekend, which was lovely; but it’s always a bit flat when he goes, and at the moment I feel as if it might as well be raining. But it isn’t, so perhaps I should mow the lawn before starting on prep for the prison next week, and the training and poetry slams the week afterwards, and the work on the advocacy leaflet…

If work is an umbrella, what is it keeping out? I sometimes wonder why I do so much.

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