The pattern of my life

Well, basically, there isn’t one – a pattern, I mean. Looking back at what I have done this week, it all seems totally random, yet my diary is planned meticulously.

I have cleared away some nettles in my garden. Nettles are a clear proof of the non-existence of a benevolent god, if you ask me. Unless you are a goat, or something that eats nettles. I had a bonfire, too; usually I really enjoy my bonfires, but I knew that this one wasn’t very well constructed, and sure enough, it didn’t burn well. Proof yet again that effort in advance always pays off.

I’ve spend quite a bit of time, on and off, typing in extracts from the diaries written during mmy Eight Days a Week project at the prison. This is taking far longer than I thought it would, largely because the diaries are much better than I thought they would be; it’s a question of finding bits to leave out, rather than scouting for sentences worth including. Which is a good thing, really.

On Monday I went to London for a meeting. It all went well, and on the train on the way home I finished my latest one-act play – which, of course, needs typing in. I’m quite pleased with it, though, but it will need ssome fine actors. I’ve got them lined up already, but I do need to get it typed quickly so that they can read it.

Tuesday and Wednesday were catch up days – prep and outstanding actions – and I did some more painting in my dining room. In fact, I have now finished the second third of the room, and I feel as if I’m on the home straight. If only it was the only room in the house that needed painting, I’d be all right. I also looked at holidays. People tell me I should take more holidays, and they are right; I would like to go away in February, to walk in high hills somewhere warm, and perhaps even have a swim if the sun is kind. But should I go, when there’s so much to be done in the house? I would just feel guilty, I think.

I also completed the first element of my ECDL – European Computer Driving Licence. I’ve been using computers since most people I know were in short trousers, but I have no formal qualifications at all, so when offered a chance to do this at low cost I thought I would have a go. And hey! I got 100%.  All downhill now, I expect.

Thursday was Liverpool. I stayed overnight with my mum, who as usual tried to fill me with as much food as possible, even though I didn’t get there till 10:30. I resisted bravely. The two meetings in Liverpool went really well, and I think everyone went away feeling quite enthused. We did finish a little later than I had hoped, though, which meant that I was a bit late for my first Greek class. The others in the group have all been studying Greek for a while, or have lived there; I’ve just been having a go on my own, with a good audio course; 100% is a distant dream.

And then I was on the radio, in the Radio 4 slam semi-final. For once, I didn’t squirm at the sound of my voice, which was pleasing. I didn’t record it though – what’s the point? I doubt if I would ever listen to it again.

Friday was very medical. At the hospital in the morning I worked with some interesting people. One couple were renovating a house, over the same period as the husband’s treatment for cancer; the parallels were clear, but I don’t know if they had seen them. And another lady spoke eloquently about the importance of being treated as a person, and not just a patient. Some staff still seem to find this difficult, although most do understand.

In the afternoon my two ladies at the doctors’ surgery surprised themselves. Despite their intentiions not  to write a single word on their own, they each wrote a short poem in the session, and were proud of what they had done. One said “It really takes your mind off things, this; that’s why I enjoy it so much.” Hooray! Only two sessions, and she has caught the bug! Ah. Probably not the expression to use in a doctors’ surgery.

And on Saturday, after getting my boot lid fixed, I went to Warwick to read Spanish poetry (I read the English translations – my good friend Don read the originals) for an event in a tapas bar, as part of Warwick Words.

So it’s all been an average week, really; travelling, teaching, performing, preparing, writing, decorating; no pattern to it at all. And I still have a garden full of nettles.

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