Talk to me!

Last week, 101 people looked at my blog – far more than have ever looked before in a week – but not a single one left a message. Who are all these people? Why won’t you talk to me? I would really like to know what’s going on. Ah well. You have the right to remain silent.

It’s The Daughter’s birthday today – happy birthday, The Daughter!

So, what have I done this week? I wrote a little poem on Tuesday, which has been submitted for inclusion in an anthology of sports poems. Not much hope, though. And I did some prep for my last day at the school, and for another training course. In the evening I tried to go and see Inception with The Bloke, but it was full, so we bought some presents for The Daughter instead.

My last trip to the school on Wednesday went well. We did some performance exercises and practised for the performance of what we’ve been working on for two other classes. The boys didn’t seem nervous, although I was; but it all went well. They remembered what they had to do and in what order, with no mishaps. Well done them! And their teacher said, “Brenda has got the boys using words I never thought they would use in ways I never thought they would use them.” I’m pretty certain she meant this in a good way. This has been a really interesting project, and I’ve learned a lot about young people with autism. I’m fairly certain they’ve enjoyed it – apparently they have been heard reciting the poems and singing the songs out of class, which is a good sign.

In the evening we tried to see Inception again, but it was full – this must be one of the most popular movies I’ve come across – so we went to see my friend Paul’s art exhibition instead. They were interesting paintings, and very much him. I haven’t been to an art exhibition for years.

Thursday was a day of phone calls: a long one from my manager at The Reading Agency; a long one from The Son; a long one from my mum… In between I answered lots of emails and applied for a job, which I would really, really like to get – I won’t say any more about it until (or rather if) I hear further. I finally got round to writing up my last session at the doctors’ surgery and handling the admin that goes with it; wrote a summary of the feedback from the course on Monday; prepared for my trip to Solihull this week; and picked and froze gooseberries from the garden. I don’t know what I am going to do with all the gooseberries – there are still loads on the bush.

The Solihull thing is fun. I’ve been asked to judge a competition run by a writers’ group. This could have been really difficult, but fortunately there were three clear winners with a highly commended one, and I can say something nice about all of them. I’ve got to give them a little talk about the competition entries, and read some poems. I’m getting paid about a quarter as much as I would usually ask, but as I understand it they are paying it themselves, with no funding or assistance, and so this makes it a bit special.

I spent more time preparing for this on Friday, and for the course on Monday, which I was a bit nervous about, and typed a new poem called Handbagged. I think I’ll try this out at Solihull. And I wrote most of the minutes for the North West meeting last week.

On Saturday we went to see Inception and finally got in. I had a headache, but it disappeared – there is no room in your head for anything else watching this film, which is very, very clever. I felt as if my brain had been to the gym by the end. Highly recommended. And on Sunday, after a long phone call with my brother, I drove down to Sussex with The Bloke, who dropped me off at my hotel in Guildford ready for the course. It felt a bit lonely, but I knuckled down and finished the minutes and did some work for the prison. And had another phone call with my brother. The family calls have all been about things that are really difficult to handle and a bit upsetting – family financial matters – but I think we have come up with a solution.

The course – yesterday – went well. I do enjoy running training courses, and the feedback was all very good indeed. It was a long day but a highly successful one; they all participated well and really got stuck in. At least they talked to me.

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