Just as the rain started today I put the last touches to a paint job that really had to be done before the winter – some upstairs window frames that had peeled down to bare wood. It’s been hard work, shifting a big ladder around, leaning backwards out of the bathroom window – but it’s finished. Hooray! Unfortunately while I was up the ladder I noticed half a dozen other things that really need to be worked on, but I think the little window of good weather has closed now, so that’s it.
It’s been an unusual week. The Bloke’s parents have been visiting him and so I met them for the first time; it still causes anxiety, this, just as it does when you’re a teenager. I think it’s all ok, though. So, on Monday I made a cake for them – I’m not daft – and, in case they came to see my house, I cleared some of the front garden. I’ve not finished clearing my tiny patch at the front, with nine bags of clippings, weeds and trimmings taken to the compost bin. Job done, again; it looks much tidier but won’t, unfortunately, earn any money.
I also did some work on the book of poems from the adult literacy sessions I ran earlier in the year, and later in the week I finished them all – nine slim volumes. I think they look good, and the recipients should all get them soon. Another job done! But again, as there was no funding in the project for making the books, it won’t earn a penny.
While I was down at the end of the garden by the compost bins I noticed that this year my damson tree has actually produced a crop worth picking, so I plucked all the ones I could reach; jolly nice they were, too.
This is becoming a gardening blog! But I did all my end of month accounting on Tuesday, and on Wednesday I shortened a 67-page report to 36 pages. The target was 35 pages, and I would have worked on it more, but I’ve been told not to.
Thursday was the prison. As usual, this went well, with my group excelling themselves. It’s so rewarding when they say things like I was so worried that they would make me go to my IT class; I’d much rather be here. And of course people were pleased about the Koestler awards. The newsletter had all been printed and distributed, so I didn’t need to do anything except the staff distribution.
Friday was mostly spent filling and sanding and undercoating the windowsills, with much comedy ladder-moving and minor disasters in the bathroom – while leaning backwards out of the window I put my foot on the toothbrush holder and broke it, for a start. And yesterday was a day out with The Bloke’s Parents; we went to Slimbridge and met The Bloke’s Younger Brother, who is not very much like The Bloke. It was lovely weather, and we saw many, many ducks. I remember visiting Slimbridge with my kids years ago, and my daughter saying after a while, “Is there anything here apart from birds?” I admire what they are doing, but, well, they are just ducks (and geese and swans) when it comes down to it. I preferred the glimpses of otters, water voles and harvest mice, really. In the evening was a long and slightly dull GDA (Gloucestershire Drama Association) AGM, and that was it.
There are times when you just have to do things to preserve the fabric of the place where you live, but now the rain has started and I must get down to some proper work. But at least I’ve got some important jobs done.