My first black eye

I’ve never had a black eye before, and to be honest, I wish I had got the one I had this week in a fight. Actually, Flippy, my poor old cat, did it by catching her claw in the skin under my eye, but I’ve had to explain it repeatedly this week. It’s nearly gone now. I was right last week, though. Flippy got worse and worse, and in the end I couldn’t bear to see her in distress any longer, and called the emergency vet service. In the early hours of Monday morning, Flippy was put to sleep, quite peacefully. It’s very sad; I still expect to see her every time I come in the house. It’s good to remember that the day before she went out of the house for the first time for ages and enjoyed a stroll in the sunshine, and was hand-fed on prawns in the evening.

This put a bit of a blight on the ArtLift meeting on Monday; these are usually very positive meetings with a group of people all working in the same area, but I was a bit tearful.

The next day I was working with a group of 13 and 14 year olds in Sutton Coldfield. They all looked pretty bored to start with at the idea of working on Chaucer – and who can blame them? – but by the end of our short session most of them were getting quite enthusiastic. The teacher seemed pleased, anyway, so generally a good morning, although a long way to travel. In the evening I went to see Green Zone. I’m afraid I can’t recommend this – I felt battered by the end of it, and managed to fall asleep during a long chase sequence, probably as a means of self-protection.

A meeting with the Ledbury Poetry Festival gave the go-ahead to some work with adult literacy students – with the loss of Poetry on Loan I need all the work I can get, but this is something I will enjoy doing anyway.

By the end of Wednesday, I had prepared all my prison’s entries for the Koestler awards – this took a lot of work, including making two books of prisoners’ work, but is well worth doing. And on Thursday I got the signatures I needed from prison staff, finished all the forms, and got the entries – 11 of them – sent off. Now it’s just a case of keeping fingers crossed. The Greek lesson in the evening was fun, and has encouraged me to keep going.

I’ve made a bit more progress on clearing away junk this week, including many pairs of shoes – I won’t say exactly how many, because this is really embarrassing; but a lot. Next step is the garage. Hmm.

Friday was emails and phone calls, and emails and phone calls – not my favourite way of spending a day, but it has to be done.

And the weekend has been great fun! Cirque du Soleil in Manchester yesterday; not the best show of theirs that I’ve seen, but the ending was everything I could have hoped for – one long wow moment. And today I’ve been swimming – I need to get a bit fitter ready for the PADI scuba diving course I’ll be starting soon.

Of course all this fun means that I’ve got loads to catch up with next week. But at least the week won’t include having to explain a black eye, or burying a dead cat. RIP Flippy.

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