The end of an era

I am one of the world’s great completer-finishers. Whenever I start a project, after only my first day on it, I begin to think, Oh good, only x more days to go – and this is true however much I am enjoying it. I started work on my North West project nearly four and a half years ago, initially working two days a week, but more recently one day a week. This week I have written a summary of the whole period, and that’s it; it’s over. I’ve worked with some great people in north west library services, and enjoyed nearly all of the work, and it’s strange to think that I won’t be doing it any more. My work here is done.

So, that took most of Monday and Tuesday, but I also did the hospital write-up and handled loads of emails, and did all my prep for the prison and working with the nurses at the hospital and for the new term at the doctors’ surgery. Oh, and I went wall-climbing on Monday evening (fun, but very hard work) and to see Scott Pilgrim on Tuesday, both with The Bloke. Scott Pilgrim was a strange film, and one I wouldn’t have gone to see if I didn’t have a Cineworld season ticket, but it was really entertaining.

On Wednesday I finished making the book of pieces from the last term at the doctors’ surgery, and sorted out some new work – again with patients at a surgery, but this time in association with the Ledbury Poetry Festival. I’m taking this over from someone who sadly can’t complete it because her husband is ill. I’m glad to be able to help out, but wish it was in happier circumstances. And in the evening we went diving at the local swimming pool. If I carry on like this, I’ll either be fit or very tired.

Prison on Thursday, with my excellent group, and then to see Ockham’s Razor performing The Mill. This wasn’t at all what we were expecting; it was experimental physical theatre, rather than the more extreme sort of circus skill show that we thought it would be. The tickets cost £15 each; the show lasted 50 minutes; it really wasn’t worth the money – generally a disappointment, but, as The Bloke said, you have to kiss a lot of frogs.

And on Friday – well, I worked with two patients at the hospital in the morning, and four nurses at lunchtime, then two little groups of patients at the doctors’ surgery in the afternoon. It was terrific – all these people involved in writing poetry! Some of them had never written a poem before, and they surprised themselves with their abilities; this always gives me a real kick. And what’s more, an old friend phoned me with an offer of work. An excellent day all round.

On Saturday I finished an application for more work and did lots of bits and pieces (yet more emails), and on Sunday went to the Dean Forest railway to enjoy steam and sunshine.

So – lots of things starting, and the end of one big project. One day, I would like to be able to say – that’s it; everything’s finished, but I don’t think that day will ever come. Just as well, really.

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