A bit odd

I felt a bit odd this week – headachey, sick; not really ill, but not well, either. Not like me. I was fine at the beginning of the week, even though that included a long session with The Son going through solicitor’s letters about his new flat purchase. I think it must have been all the food…

…which was eaten because my friend Jackie (pronounced Jekkie, now) came to visit. Jekkie (have you ever heard a New Zealand accent?) stays with her parents when she comes over, but escapes to spend a day with me. I picked her up from the station in Cheltenham and we went for a walk in the park, and talked, and went home, and talked and ate flapjacks (haven’t made these for years!), and talked, and went out for a very pleasant meal in the evening with The Bloke (it’s ok – they approved of each other), and then we talked for a bit. I met Jekkie in my first year at University; she’s the oldest friend whom I still see, and we get on so well.

On Tuesday I had my last Ross group. They were wonderful! They said that the sessions had really made them feel better, and helped them enjoy poetry; they even gave me a box of chox (Thornton’s Continental – one of my favourites) to say thank you. Jekkie came with me and had a stroll round Ross while I was working. We had a lovely lunch (more food) in Ledbury, and then I took her back to the station. It was too short a time, and too full of eating, but what can you do? Next time she comes over, we’re going to go to Athens for a few days, we’ve decided.

So, that was like a little holiday. There were huge piles of emails to deal with by Tuesday afternoon, but I went to see Wall Street with The Bloke in the evening anyway.

Wednesday morning was at home. I had to write up the Ross stuff and prepare an evaluation report, and I worked hard on the one-act version of Treasure Island. I really felt under a lot of pressure to do this, and at one point thought it wouldn’t be possible. But in the afternoon I had to leave it to go to Ledbury for a meeting about our community programme. I should have stayed for another meeting there later on, but by now I was really feeling odd, and I went home and slept. The next day I didn’t go to the prison; sleep seemed the right thing to do. Later I felt better; time to get stuck in to the end of Treasure Island – or Treasure Islet, as I like to call it, because it’s a much smaller version. And I finished it! The idea was first put to me on Sunday 3rd October, and by 21st October it was done. Not bad going. I’ve stuck as closely as I can to the book, and the structure is different in some places from the full-length play we had started with, but I think it all holds together, despite being only about 35 minutes long. Mind you, I haven’t had any comments from the director yet; she might think it’s awful.

On Friday I caught up with stuff postponed because of Jekkie’s visit, my feeling off-colour and writing Treasure Islet, and had a good session at the hospital, and on Saturday had a great day at The Roses. Tewkesbury’s lovely theatre had an open day, which was really well attended, and I was looking after the Poetry Corner. Loads of people contributed a line or two to poems on a flipchart, and I worked with about 10 people to produce individual poems. A good day!

Yesterday we went to the sculpture exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral. The most amazing thing about this is that so many varied sculptures have been assembled and placed carefully around the cathedral. Some of them are stunning; some kind of ok, and some – well, to my untutored eye, some of them looked like a mess of stuff thrown together with no skill at all. But anyway, it’s worth going to see. Later we went to Broadway Tower, with more fresh air than anyone could ever really want. And in the evening The Bloke finished making cds of the prison radio play. He’s done the re-mixing, and designed and made the inserts. They are about a hundred times better than I could ever do. I don’t feel odd any more; just totally inadequate.

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