Getting about

It’s been a busy week. I know, it’s always a busy week, but this one has been even more so than usual, with lots of travelling.

The week started in Birmingham, with  a Poetry on Loan meeting. This went well; lots of good ideas and helpful feedback. Most people had events during October (peak poetry month) and were feeling pleased, so it was all rather lovely. I still seem to be left with lots of work to do, though – including a new Arts Council funding bid, which I’m not looking forward to – but then, that’s what they pay me for.

And in the evening there was a TADS meeting; quite a strange one, with three new people. We always like new people, and one of them (the wonderful Pat, from the hospital) has stepped straight into a part in our current production.  A meeting of course means minutes to write, which I did yesterday. They don’t take long. I took two plays by our other playwright to read. Oh dear. He’s a good writer, but his plays are always – well, whatever the opposite of uplifting is. There are never any nice characters, and usually at least one gratuitous death. I wish I could tell him I like them, but I can’t.

Prison on Tuesday was a bit odd. I went to run my poetry group, only to find that the classroom was occupied; they had changed the timetabling, and nobody had bothered to tell me. The whole day was a bit chaotic, in fact, with my job-share partner starting with a project that was the prison’s responsibility and hopelessly disorganised. But – hoooray! – all the newsletters had been printed and I found guys to distribute them, and they look good. And my group did really well, too.

And I drove straight to Plymouth. It took about four and a half hours. The guy at the hotel started telling me about the front door key, but I knew I wasn’t going anywhere, except bed. It wasn’t a great hotel, but it was cheap, and I just needed somewhere to sleep, so I didn’t mind.

The next day I ran a course. It’s one I’ve run three times before, and people always find it useful and fun. This one wasn’t quite so good, mostly because the participants’ experience was very mixed. The feedback comments are quite contradictory – what was seen as a good point by some people was a drawback to others. Generally it was ok, though, and the roads back weren’t too bad.

Thursday would have been a quiet day, if it hadn’t been for the serious dental work I had done in the morning (do I want a gold crown on my back tooth or a tooth-coloured one?) and the breast X-ray in the afternoon. THis is a really strange experience; bits of you are mauled around and squashed in a vice, as if it’s a perfectly normal thing to happen. And then there was my Greek lesson. I was tired and had a headache, and not at my best.

And I was still out and about on Friday – at the hospital in the morning, with as usual very positive people fighting awful illnesses with courage and determination (puts my headache to shame); and at the doctors’ surgery in the afternoon. I’m very pleased with the progress made by the one lady who turned up; she seems much, much more cheerful than she did at the start. Excellent! Oh – but I found I had double-booked myself for the week after next, and will have to spend some time on Monday rearranging things.

And the weekend arrives. Time to go out and have fun! Unless you have loads and loads of emails to answer and action, writing up to do, and prep to, er, prepare for next week, as I have. I’m gritting my teeth (the ones that are left, that is), straightening my shoulders (which are aching from being hunched over a keyboard), and ploughing on. I shall not cease until all my outstanding stuff is cleared! Getting about? I’ve got about half-way through my jobs for today. But whatever happens, I’ll be watching the Dr Who special – The Son would never forgive me if I missed it.

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