Actions and delays

Last week was prep; this week was getting on with it. I did a lot on the prison newsletter after last week’s blog, for a start. This is time-consuming work, because this issue will include lots of extracts from the diaries; it’s important that each person who submitted a diary has at least one extract published. It’s not finished yet (although it should have been by now) but it’s looking good. I spent a bit more time messing around with Publisher to create a flyer for the TADS’ production, apparently needed urgently, but now, apparently, not. It could have waited, then, but never mind – at least it’s done and ready.

On Monday I drove to Taunton for a steering group meeting. I chair this meeting, and it was the first; it needed a lot of input from me. Unfortunately there had been a bad accident on the M5, and I arrived at 1:15 – 15  minutes after we were scheduled to finish. Fortunately I had been able to get in touch with somebody else at the meeting, and they had done part of the meeting (and had lunch) while they were waiting for me. It’s frustrating when this kind of thing happens, but of course much, much worse for the people in the accident. I learned later that no-one was badly hurt, which was good news.

I’ve finished painting the dining room now, except for a big French door / window leading into another room, but that will have to wait. At least the furniture is back in place, although not all the bits and pieces.

Tuesday was the prison, and almost a whole day spent showing my job-share partners around and getting security things sorted out for them. It all had to be done, but it did mean a delay in getting on with everything else. But at least when I got home I managed to clear all the outstanding emails.

I was at home most of Wednesday, making arrangements for a TRA project, writing up stuff from the prison, making preparations for the course I was running the next day – and then off to Bournemouth! My hotel was near the sea, and I went down and had a look at it after I arrived (at about 10 pm) and then again the next morning. It always makes me feel good to be near the sea. The course, run in Poole, went really well, too, with some excellent feedback from the participants, and I managed to get to my Greek lesson only half an hour late. That went well, too!

On Friday I hit the email system. My son told me on the phone that 2 million emails are sent every second. I want to know who gets the 100,000 that don’t come to me. But I also managed to write up the minutes from the meeting on Monday, and prepare for my Cheltenham Literature Festival gig the next day, and do more prep for next week – and then I worked with my ladies at the doctors’ surgery. If only they could realise how well they are doing. We had a new lady this week, still deeply grieving after the death of her husband, but for a couple of hours she hardly cried and even smiled and chuckled a few times, as well as writing some poetry, so that must be good news.

I was performing on Saturday! I love gigs; far less stressful than slams, although still stressful enough to get the adrenaline going. It was on an open-air stage. At the beginning of my set I had an audience of one; by the end, 12 more people had come, and stayed – hooray! Meanwhile, a local handyman had come and fixed my kitchen tap; he did a good job, but much to my surprise washed up as well. He can come again.

And I finished two big pieces of work that have been hanging over me for weeks – I’ve created a new training course for library front-line staff, and written some blurbs to go on a poster publicising Poetry on Loan’s recommended poetry book selection. It gave me real pleaseure to cross these off my actions list.

And I’ve actioned the huge heap of mail which has been toppling around. I sometimes think that a postal strike would be a good thing – except of course that it would all arrive eventually. But I’ve planned a big workshop that I’ll be running next Saturday, and had long phone calls with my mum and The Son (who needed cookery advice).

And now it’s gone half-past eight, and I’ve still got to do more work on the newsletter, and my prison end-of-year report still has not been done, and I have outstanding actions for Poetry on Loan and The Reading Agency. To action! I can’t afford any delays at all this week – it’s going to be one of the busiest weeks ever. Good thing I love my work.

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