Future prospects

How far should you look into the future? If I look just a little way, everything seems to be fine, but this week I’ve had to start thinking about 2012 and beyond, and it all looks a bit tough.

On Monday I went to the school in Oxford for my first session with the kids and some planning. The kids were fine, except that they were sitting in unstreamed groups; fortunately there were four adults in the room, one to each table, but otherwise it would have been really difficult. I must remember this for next time. With streamed groups, you can leave the highest and perhaps the second highest to work alone for a little while, and so give more help to the others. I’m sure unstreamed groups are great for some purposes, but not mine. Anyway, it all worked out ok and they did some good stuff. I think this project will be pretty good, and it will keep me off the streets (on Tuesdays, at least) until June.

In the evening I went to see The Social Network – a good film, although really a bit sad.

Ross on Tuesday; I had an extra one in the group this week, and they were terrific. It looks as if some more work for the Ledbury Poetry Festival (who are funding this project) will come in – but for how long? Funding cuts will hit Ledbury as much as everywhere else.

But in the afternoon I got my car back, and did lots and lots of write-ups, and sent out the entry forms for the GDA one act play festival, which is to be held next June. It seems a long way off now, but it’ll soon come round.

On Wednesday I did lots of stuff for the prison, and spent some time in the hospital. Again, the person I worked with was quite profoundly affected by what we did together. I am more and more convinced that this is work of significant importance to many of the individuals involved. It’s funded for 2011, but I have to write a bid now for 2012 onwards. And it does seem a long way off, but somehow I must predict the future and get it in, or all I do at the hospital will stop, and that would be such a shame.

Thursday was the usual good day at the prison – better than usual, in fact, because my group stayed with me for an extra three-quarters of an hour. We talked about Remembrance Day, and they each wrote a short but powerful poem; and we kept the two-minutes’ silence. The afternoon was busy, and it took me ages in the evening to write it all up.

On Friday I worked on the hospital bid and did lots of prep, and worked with my Tewkesbury doctors’ surgery group. We recorded them reading some poems for a video presentation I have to prepare. They were all a bit nervous, but did a great job – even the one guy who until a couple of weeks ago wouldn’t read out anything! It works, writing with people who are depressed or anxious; it really works.

Yesterday I had a day off! Well, mostly. I did spend some time typing up my new play, but we took a little trip to Wotton-under-Edge, just because when I saw it recently it looked fun; it has an independent cinema (“The Electric Cinema”) which is kinda cute. We just wandered round for a while, and bought a few things; it was a nice way to spend an afternoon.

And now I must finish my preparations for the course I’m running tomorrow. It’s a great course, this one; everyone always enjoys it and learns a lot. But I think it’s probably the last time I’ll be running it. There are no prospects for any more of these in the near future, and who knows what the far future will bring?

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