…beside the seaside, and I was this week.
It started in Swindon – no, not beside the seaside, but a good place for buying petrol (why is it cheaper there than nearly everywhere else?) I was running a course, and it went really well; set me up nicely for a drive to Lyme Regis. I was staying in a very pleasant although rather expensive B&B (Hotel 1) – I couldn’t get in a cheaper one. Almost as soon as I arrived, I went for a walk down to the sea, and found some steps leading down into the water. I was just about to go a bit further down, when in the moonlight I saw a giant wave approaching from far out. I watched it break over the place on the steps where I had planned to go.
For the next two days I was helping people, in the library, to write stories for the BBC My Story website. I didn’t have many, but they were all delighted with their achievements, which was gratifying. And the second morning I had a late start, and this time managed to get up close and personal with the sea – I went for a paddle. A man was in swimming, briefly; I would have joined him if I had taken my wetsuit, but I hadn’t. The forecast was for really bad weather, but in fact the sun was pleasant and warm.
The evening before that I went to the dinky little cinema in Lyme, and saw The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, a strange and fantastic movie. I believed every moment of it.
Thursday was prison day. I got 5 proof copies of the 8 days diary book printed, and almost immediately found a dozen errors; glad I didn’t go for a big print run straight off. The newsletter was put to bed, too, although it didn’t get printed because, suddenly, the print shop was closed. These things happen in prisons. In the afternoon I helped a guy write a love poem to his girlfriend – I love doing these, and can always be sidetracked from anything else I should be doing. Emergency love poet!
The Greek lesson on Thursday evening was fun, but I think I need to do more real practice, so I emailed the teacher and asked for some sentences to translate. I expected, say, five. I received twenty. Serves me right for asking.
By now, of course, a towering heap of emails was threatening to engulf my whole computer; I’ve just got through them all today. On Friday I was at the doctors’ surgery, with only one lady, who I think is benefitting quite a lot. And Saturday (no rest for me) took me to Solihull, where I was running a poetry workshop. At the end, one lady said, “Oh, I feel we’re just getting going! I’m all ready to do more.” This is a fantastic thing to hear at the end of a workshop. It wasn’t quite as good as paddling in the sea; and Solihull is pretty far away from any beaches I know, but – I do like to be useful, as well.
And last night there were fireworks. I love fireworks.
So far today I have prepared for Monday’s activities; now I have to prepare for Tuesday and Wednesday, and then, if I’m really good, I might be allowed to do some ironing. But I should probably sleep, and dream of beaches.