Clean sweep

Monday was Taunton, running a training course. It went well, although neither I nor the other trainer had been involved in the course’s development, and we hadn’t seen it run before; it wasn’t quite how we would have done it. But most people found it useful, so that’s ok. I arrived ridiculously early, and had a coffee in a coffee shop just across from the library. It was a perfect coffee shop. I heard the guy who ran it talking about an assessment they had had – full marks for food and presentation, he said, “but we were marked down because we were enjoying ourselves too much.” Craziness.

Tuesday was a really bad day. I went all the way to the prison just to run the last of 6 sessions with a group. None of them was there. I found out later that one was in hospital, one had been moved to another wing, and three had been shipped out. I think that’s the first time a whole group has been swept away; usually there are a few stragglers. But a couple of the guys around told me that the guy taken to hospital had asked them to say that he had left some work on the computer. He had. It was nihilistic, desperate almost. His two best friends had been shipped out; he is ill; he’s worried about a parole hearing coming up… So I spent most of the rest of the day sorting out reports so that people will keep an eye on him when he comes back. Since then, I’ve been waiting for a call with bad news, but none has come so far, so I hope it will all be ok.

That evening I picked up The Son from his new flat in Swindon (dinky but very pleasant) and drove with him to his old flat in Brentford (large and desirable). He had shared it with another young man. I almost ran away when I saw the sink in the bathroom. But still, we blew up an airbed (his didn’t work) and I stayed there overnight, then caught the 8:06 into London for a meeting. I felt like an ordinary person, for a while, commuting on the train. It wouldn’t be so bad, I guess.

The meeting went well, and we made most of the arrangements for a project with a really tight deadline; it was especially pleasing to me to be able to offer some work to other people I know, who will do it really well.

And then back to Brentford, to clean out the old flat. My help was their only chance, I think, of getting their deposit back. By the time we left, the flat was shiny, except for the bits I couldn’t physically reach – The Son’s tall flatmate will have to do those (there were no chairs to stand on). It was hard work, and by the time I had dropped TS off in Swindon and got home, it was late and I was rather tired.

Fortunately, Thursday was a lot easier – some more tidying, clearing away decorating things; and prep and write-ups, then an afternoon at the hospital, working with inpatients. I found two interesting ladies. I did find it a bit strange, though, that one of them, sitting in hospital being treated with all the stuff that the NHS has to offer, runs a website on alternative therapies. Hmm.

In the evening, I swept through all my leftover emails – hooray!

Friday was a mixed day – finishing writing up the hospital stuff, writing up evaluations of the training course, more prep – and the dentist. I’ve got to have some major work done, removing a crown. I don’t worry about going to the dentist, like some people, but I do hate having my mouth open for ages, and I’m going to have to do this. Oh well. I blame my mother, for force-feeding me sugar when I was young.

My first session in the doctors’ surgery went well. Two very nervous ladies, who couldn’t quite work out why they were doing creative writing instead of taking pills, produced four group poems which got better and better. They even said at the end that they had enjoyed it!

Yesterday I washed the dining room curtains, in the bath. They were unbelieveably filthy – what happens to get them like that, I wonder? I cleaned the curtain rails, too, and the windows. And then it was off to a family reunion in Kinston-on-Thames, with my son and daughter. It was fun catching up with the relatives – we do this annually – but a long drive there and back. I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 2am – which would have been ok, except that someone started playing loud music at about 4:30. Why do people do this? Don’t they care, or do they just not think? I could have done with a clean sleep, but no.

And now I find myself pretty well up-to-date on what I have to do. Not that it’s all done, of course, but it’s more or less timetabled in, and things are looking pretty good. Amazing what a bit of Mr Muscle and a good vacuum cleaner can do, really.

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