Road closed

My road is closed. It’s only a very narrow road, so when any work is to be done on it (relaying electricity cables for an extension to the school opposite my house, on this occasion), that’s it. It’s a bit of a nuisance having to park elsewhere and not in my drive, but it won’t last long. It just all seems a bit strange.

This week has been no more strange than usual, though. I drove to Dorchester on Monday for the last Board meeting of the South West project I’m working on. Their report was almost exactly the same length as the one I wrote for the similar North West project; the people in the North West wanted the report kept just as it was, to preserve the richness (they said); the South West one has to be reduced to less than half its current length. Never mind; it’s work I can do easily enough. I had an opportunity to get feedback on the interview I had for the job I didn’t quite get; nothing wrong with the interview at all, they said; just a hairsbreadth between you and the person who got the job; almost a toss-up; some of the interview panel preferred you. Apparently they had 50 well-qualified applicants. I haven’t been shortlisted for the other job I applied for – 32 exceptionally well-qualified applicants. It was slightly annoying, though, that the email saying I hadn’t got an interview didn’t arrive until late in the afternoon of the day before the interview date – a date I had been keeping clear, just in case. It just seems a bit discourteous when people do this. Perhaps they feel they don’t have to worry about courtesy when they get so many good applicants for jobs. Hmm.

The next day was lovely – a workshop for teenagers working for an Arts Award, in Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery. The kids were very quiet and not at all forthcoming to start with, but once I got them playing silly games as part of the performance workshop, it was a lot livelier. Every one of them wrote a poem and performed it. Hooray! In the afternoon I worked on the prison newsletter, and went out for a meal in the evening.

I spent pretty well all of Wednesday working on prison stuff, except for a brief attack on the rose-bay willow herb growing outside my front wall – I had to cut it all back to make room for the bins to squash in next to the diggers in the road. We saw Salt in the evening – a totally ludicrous movie but good fun.

Prison day Thursday. Had a great session with my writing group and recruited three new members, and spent most of the afternoon working on the newsletter. It’s nearly ready but we couldn’t finish it because an outside customer came into the print shop, and they take priority.

On Friday I updated all the Ledbury Poetry Festival policy documents. I know how to have fun. But the man came on time to fix my boiler and – hooray again! – I have hot water again now. And I rewrote the executive summary of the South West report to bring it down from five pages to two, and wrote another job application, and attended the Ledbury Poetry Festival AGM, and did the ironing, so a pretty productive day. I even did my food shopping. Every day I make a list of the jobs I hope to do that day; Friday was on of the very rare days when I finish all of them. Gosh, three hoorays! in one week.

And on Saturday I went to Swindon to look at a flat The Son is thinking of buying, with some help from me. It seemed fine; it’s up to him, now, to think about whether to go ahead. These decisions are difficult enough at any time in your life, but the first time is always harder, I think.

And off to Evesham Country Park in the afternoon for a bit of fun and some light retail, and to Barry Island (it was a lovely day and I wanted to see the sea!) on Sunday. I don’t think I’ll go there again. It could be a lovely little resort, but it’s really run-down, and its only claim to fame, apparently, is that some parts of Gavin and Stacey were filmed there. We paddled in the murky water, and walked from one end of the bay to the other, and had a little guided tour round the coastguard building, which was a new experience, and had an ice cream, and a ride on a simulator in the funfair, and came home. It was one of those days that you just have to enjoy for what they are.

It hasn’t been a very creative week, but quite productive, and I can’t be creative all the time. This week I must try to concentrate, despite the digging noises from the road outside, and get as much done as I can. I’ll start with a list. Step 1: don’t forget where you have parked the car.

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