Drawing blood

So, on Tuesday I went through emails. One asked for an executive summary of a big report, for Friday. The report isn’t due until about August 13th, so although I had done some preparation for it, I hadn’t really started writing it. I emailed back to say that I would do what I could, but I had lots of other things to do this week and I hadn’t written the report yet. The reply was to the effect that the person didn’t need the whole report, just the executive summary with the main outcomes, results and conclusions. I have mentioned this to several people, and they all understand immediately: the summary comes last; you can’t really write it until you’ve done the whole report. It seemed obvious to me but I wanted to check that I wasn’t alone in this. Anyway, I’ve done a really rough draft of the report this week, enough to write the exec summary, but working in this way means that I will have taken more time on it than I would have done otherwise. Still, there were very good reasons for wanting the summary, so it was the right thing to do.

I was determined still to meet my appointment for giving blood on Tuesday, though, despite the time pressures – it was my 50th donation, and I was given a gold (not real gold, obviously) badge and a nice pen, and I felt very pleased with myself. For no good reason, I suppose – it’s nothing special. I also worked wrote my interim prison report, which had to be done ready for a meeting on Thursday, and went to a TADS meeting.

Wednesday was more prison prep. One of the guys I work with is an exceptionally good poet, and he’s written enough poems for his second book, so I read through them to give my opinions. It’s always tricky, this – they are, after all, just my opinions, but everyone at the prison seems to value them highly. And after writing more of my report and doing some invoices, I was off to the Solihull Writers’ Circle for judging their poetry competition – more personal opinions – and performing some poems. They were a very pleasant group of people, and listened intently to what I had to say about poetry in general and their pieces in particular. It was easy to find something good to say about each poem, and there were three clear winners and a highly-commended. The poems had been sent to me with nom-de-plumes (noms-de-plumes?), so I didn’t know which of the people there had written which poem. The group has slightly more men than women, but all my first four were men. I hope the women weren’t upset. They all seemed to enjoy my poems too, and it was fun for me because I just did poems I like. I tried out my new slam poem and it seemed to go down well, so that was encouraging. An excellent evening that gave me a real boost. I wish I had more opportunities to perform my work; I do enjoy doing this.

Thursday was the prison. A good meeting with my group, and then a steering group meeting – but the Governor, who we really needed for making decisions – wasn’t there; she’s on long-term sick leave. I made some flyers to distribute around the prison to recruit new members to the group and found some distributors, and came home early to continue work on the report…

…which I finished on Friday, in time for the deadline. Hooray! I had to spend some time on Friday doing ordinary stuff – making a birthday cake for The Daughter, and wrapping her presents, and mowing the lawn. But the mower wouldn’t start. Regular followers of this blog will know that I have had endless problems with mowing equipment, and last year I bought a super-duper brand new ride-on lawnmower. Rats. I’ll have to get the man out. I got on with write-ups and minutes; and received an email saying I have an interview for the work I really want. It’s on Wednesday – fingers crossed.

Yesterday was end-of-month – spreadsheets, accounts, invoices and reports; all done. And I wrote another job application, this time for a job I’m really not sure I want – but hey, I have to earn a living somehow. I approached it with very little enthusiasm, but I did get it finished. And both The Son and The Daughter (who was very pleased with her presents and cake) are home, and today we are all going out for lunch. It will probably cost a lot – I think I’m a bit mean when it comes to paying for meals out – but having lunch out with my kids means far more to me than my gold badge or the applause from the people in Solihull.

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