So, I cleared my car out, and cleaned it inside, and washed it. It felt like laying out a dead body. The fact is that the very low sum of money I have been offered for it in part-exchange means that almost certainly it is going to the scrapyard. I feel I have betrayed it. But – I had prepared myself, and was all ready to go and swap it for the new one today. Fortunately I phoned them to say I would be a little late; the new car isn’t ready. So I have had to change my insurance (again), and then I’ll have to change it again tomorrow ready to collect it (I hope) on Tuesday. Pain! I’ve written my old car a funny little poem. Not that it understands, obviously.
Apart from that, though, it’s been a good week. Lots of prep on Monday, and I dealt with a backlog of real mail. On Tuesday I drove to Manchester for two meetings, and then in the evening to Lichfield, where I ran a poetry workshop. The meetings went well (although I am left with two big lots of minutes to write), and the people at the workshop really seemed to appreciate it.
On Wednesday I ran a library staff training session in Warwick, all about promoting contemporary poetry. I love running this course. As often happens, one of the people there who never reads poetry, was converted, and plans to go off and read more now. She said that listening to me read the poems has given her a new way of looking at them. Result! One of the participants, however, wrote only one thing on her evaluation form: Irrelevant. Now, if several people had put this, I would be worried, but it seems there are always one or two people who are not prepared to put anything into training sessions; not surprisingly, they don’t get anything out of them, either.
I also managed to get hold of the people at Arts Council England in Manchester to talk about the Poetry on Loan bid, which was turned down. Apparently it not only met all their requirements but exceeded them, and was turned down only because they had so many applications at that time. It seems that it is well worth while resubmitting the bid. Hooray! I don’t have time to do this now, but I’ll get on to it in a month or so. Things are looking a little brighter for Poetry on Loan.
My diving course wasn’t quite so good. I completely failed at one of the diving skills, I think because I was trying too hard. Next time I’ll get it right. I hope.
Thursday was, as usual, prison day. What a great group of guys I’ve got! I asked each of them to sing a verse of a song, just as a practise in abandoning their inhibitions, and they all did.
Oh, and there was an election. I don’t need to write about this, do I? I can’t help feeling that although I will suffer from them, we do need cuts in spending. I can point to lots of examples of sheer wastefulness, which always annoys me, but somehow it’s not those that get cut. Anyway, I’m not going to go on about politics. I’ve never told anyone how I vote, and I’m not going to change now.
I’ve written a new slam poem! These only come along about twice a year, so I’m always pleased when (a) I get and idea for one and (b) it turns into a poem. I’ll be trying it out at a slam in a few weeks time.
On Friday I did loads and loads of bits and pieces, leaving just a number of really big pieces of work outstanding. Goodness knows when I’ll do these. My two little groups at the doctors’ surgery were terrific – they worked so hard!
And that’s it. Lots of good things, just culminating in a bit of an anti-climax. Never mind. It gives me a few more days with my poor old car.