Yes, no, and disturbed sleep

So – Monday wasn’t my usual quiet day at home. I drove to a school south of Oxford for an interview; I had to run a 20-minute workshop for a group of kids I’d never seen before, and then be questioned by them…and in the evening I had a phone call to say I’d got the work! This means that I’m ok until June next year – yes! – and the work will be good too. More work would be very useful, but I can pay the bills at least. In the evening I did all the things I would normally do on a Monday – write-ups and prep and meeting minutes.

Tuesday was my first day with a group in Ross; not patients this time, but older people. We only had four, but some had already told me that they wouldn’t be starting the first week, so I wasn’t too concerned. One of them was really disappointed to hear that we would be doing poetry, but by the end of the session she said she had enjoyed it and was looking forward to next week (yes!). They are a good group and very pleasant people, so I’m looking forward to it too.

I drove straight from Ross back to Oxford – we had a planning session for the project in the afternoon. I’ll be working with an outdoors person, which will be fun. And straight from there to pick up The Bloke; we went to see Burke and Hare. This was ok, but I felt that they could have made much more of it. Simon Pegg should have written the script, I think.

Wednesday was emails and prep and write-ups and the hospital, where I worked with an 83-year-old woman who is finding it very difficult coming to terms with her terminal illness. The will to live is very strong. She was very pleased to have been able to talk about it and have it all put into words.

In the evening, The Bloke and I went briefly to a rehearsal of Treasure Island. It was fun hearing all the people reading my script, but the reason for going was to show off Cap’n Flint, the remote control parrot made by The Bloke for the production. Everyone was, quite rightly, very impressed. All we have to do now is add her feathers. (Cap’n Flint the parrot was, of course, female.)

Thursday was the prison. Good session with my group, as always; frustration because it was a steering group meeting and my governor did not attend, so we couldn’t make any useful decisions. It was good to learn, though, that my residency was one of the two used as examples of good practice in an ACE report. Yes! (Again.) And I got the poetry books completed and printed, and posters ready to put up next week for my new big project, so quite a productive day.

I felt a bit tired when I got home so thought I would have a doze for half an hour. Two and a half hours later I woke up – and I don’t think I’ve really recovered from this yet. Perhaps it’s the clock change that’s upset my sleeping patterns. Anyway, I managed to write up the prison stuff and make final preparations for another interview on Friday.

I really wanted this work. I was the first (of four) to be interviewed that day; again, I had to run a workshop (30 minutes this time) for a group of kids I hadn’t met before. It was a completely different workshop from the one on Monday, and it was all a bit risky. But it worked, and it was probably one of the best workshops I have ever done. The agent running the interviews said it was inspiring, and I thought I had a good chance of getting the work… but she phoned in the evening to say no. Although they thought the workshop was excellent, and the interview was fine, another applicant had a  different approach to the project which they preferred. “It could so easily have been you,” she said. “I do realise that’s frustrating to hear.” Oh well. In my experience, when one piece of work doesn’t come your way, another one does. I was a bit disappointed, but I’m quite happy about it now.

And back to the doctors’ surgery in the afternoon. They try so hard, my patients, and they really are getting better and better – not just their writing, but in themselves too. One of the guys would never read out any of his work – he always pushed his book over to me so I could read it out for him. Last week I got him to read a little piece; this week he agreed to record a couple of poems for a presentation thing, and he read out the pieces he had written for homework. This is a transformation, really.

By the evening I was feeling slightly shattered. I started to get changed to go to The Bloke’s house, only to find that I am too fat for many of my clothes. This is really bad news. I am over 9 stone, for the first time since my daughter was born, and I have to lose it. I’ll be including my weight as part of the blog, just to make sure that I take it all seriously. Once round at The Bloke’s, I fell asleep, as I did also on Saturday evening. Will I fall asleep this evening? No! I’m determined to do the ironing, and sleep would make that difficult.


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