It’s been a most unusual week, but I’ll write more about that later, perhaps.

I’ve had the first meeting for a new project, working with multi-lingual groups of carers in Gloucester to introduce the idea of reading groups. It’s going to be tricky, this one, because some of the participants won’t speak English at all – I’ll have interpreters, apparently, but even so I’m not sure how it will go. Should be interesting!

I’ve been doing a lot of research into historical events in different areas of Gloucestershire, for a project with the Cheltenham LitFest – we’ll be developing plays with junior school children based on the events. At last I have finished the first stage of research, and know roughly what events I think we should use to base the plays on. I’ve put all my research into a summary ready for a meeting next Tuesday.

I’ve spent most of my work-at-home time this week on an evaluation of all the training I’ve been doing in the South West; it’s nearly finished, now, but I’m waiting for a bit of info from someone else before it’s complete.

But the porch is finally finished – hooray! I’ve put all the painting stuff away while I plan the next decorative venture.

On Wednesday my house was full of young men, servicing the boiler and checking the electrics. I knew what they would say – both are old – and I might replace the boiler, but it’s a lot of money.

I had a good day at the prison. I’ll be working there until at least May 2011, and possibly beyond that. Everybody was delighted with the diary books, so 75 more copies will soon be on their way. And I worked with two groups who were new to me to get them to write poems on the theme of the Holocaust, ready for Holocaust Memorial Day next week.

Friday was the best day, though. I was at the hospital in the morning. I met one guy who is putting up with all the problems of chemotherapy, knowing that when it’s finished he will buy himself a Harley Davidson; and a woman who has had 6 bouts of cancer and is now on palliative care. She works with other cancer patients to help them through it. I have never met a brighter, happier person, and she was a real inspiration. I also worked with three nurses – we’ve been trying to get staff involved in this project for 2 years, and at last it’s happening. They all wrote poems, and we agreed to have more sessions, and at the end, one said, “So can we refer patients to you, then?” Hooray! They understand! They get the point, and see how it all works! I could say My work here is done at this point, but in fact I’ve got two more years to go, which is great.

But the end of the week was dominated by the play, Habeas Corpus, performed by TADS in The Roses theatre in Tewkesbury. Despite terrible problems with casting and rehearsals, it all turned out really well, and I had great fun, with the follow spot and opening and closing the curtains as my only responsibility.

Now it’s all over, and very soon I’ll be starting on a new play, and opening the curtains on the next part of my life.

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