Success and failure

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
“And treat those two impostors just the same…”

…which is, I think, the first time I have ever quoted If in a non-ironic way.. That’s been this week.

But to start with, the last of my four big meetings this month was on Monday – and I’ve already written the minutes – hooray! A small triumph. And a shorter but (in my view) no less important meeting in the evening, with TADS.

On Tuesday I took my new car to the garage. What? they cried: She only got it last week! Yes, but it’s done 60,000 miles and needed a new cambelt, so I took it to the wonderful Autostation. We had a good discussion about Hyundai coupés (one of the guys who works there has one) and it even cost less than I expected. Stuck at home, I answered all my emails, and did the prep for everything else I had to do during the week. As a reward, I went to see Four Lions in the evening with The Bloke. It was an excellent movie, that managed very cleverly to be both funny and chilling at the same time.

On Wednesday I did some revision for my scuba diving exam, and worked with my ladies group in Hereford. They were amazing; one had written an outstandingly good poem for homework, and they all did good stuff in the session too. A bit of slam practice, and off to diving. I got 100% in the exam; a triumph. Not one I claim much credit for – I’ve always been good at passing exams, and I see this as a talent I was born with, just like people who can run fast. Just lucky with the genes in this respect. I even managed to succeed in the diving skill I had failed with before, so now I’m safely through the first part of the course – just the open water dives (in a freezing quarry in Leicestershire) to go.

Thursday was the prison and my great group of guys who get better and better each week. The play we are writing is coming on a treat. I tried a new route home in the evening, but driving slowly behind a lorry through the sort of scenery I’m not too keen on (hills close by each side, so you feel enclosed all the time) wasn’t really any better than sitting in a jam on the motorway. In the evening I did lost of write-ups and more slam practice.

My doctors’ surgery session on Friday was a bit frantic – three separate sessions in less than two and a half hours – but it’s great that I’m getting more referrals. Some people definitely get more out of these sessions than others, though. After mowing the grass there was more work to do in the evening – TADS minutes and write-ups and slam practice.

Saturday – ah, at last, beautiful weather, the sort of weather I was made for! I did some prep for this week, and then went for a bike ride with The Bloke. It was fun – I haven’t ridden my bike for years, and I’ve forgotten how exhilarating it can be to freewheel down an incline.

You’ve probably gathered that a slam was coming up; in Nailsworth, for a change. Well, I did my new poem and got knocked out in the first round. I don’t mind this; it happens, and often with new poems – a slight disappointment, rather than a disaster. What I did mind was that some of the poems other people did were just awful. The Bloke was there with me, and honestly it’s embarrassing to have brought someone to hear such dreadful stuff. Really, there were only two or three good people there, and one of those does comic monologues rather than poems – he does them very well, I would add, but it’s just not poetry. This probably sounds a bit petty, but I can’t help comparing the stuff I heard at the slam to the stuff written by the prisoners and the members of the women’s group; I know which I think is better. Anyway, I’m sure that most people really enjoyed the evening, so that’s quite enough from me…

..Especially as the lovely weather continued, which meant that nothing else really mattered very much. I went to the directors’ meeting for the GDA One Act Play Festival on Sunday, and that was it. It’s easy not to mind at all about Triumph or Disaster when the sun is shining.

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