And how often do I get one of those? Monday was, as it often is, a day at home for write-ups and prep. I even had time to write a long reply to The Bloke’s father, who sometimes sends me some of his writing to look at and comment on, and write a piece for the hospital newsletter about my work with the nurses there.
On Tuesday I set off for an ArtLift meeting in the depths of Gloucestershire – but of course, there was the snow. On my way I received a text telling me it had been cancelled. An unexpected day for catching up! Excellent news! So I finished off the bid for future work at the hospital, did my end-of-month accounting, and went to the hospital. I even got round to backing up my system – something I’ve been planning to do since last January. At last I feel a little more secure. In the evening we went to see The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest. It was ok, but not as good as the previous two, we thought.
Wednesday was rather unusual. I’m lending The Son some money to buy a flat. Suddenly we had a completion date, so I spent most of the day accumulating funds, closing accounts and transferring money. And I got the Christmas cards and decorations down from the loft. I never feel completely happy about going up in the loft when I’m on my own, largely because of various tv comedies showing people with their legs stuck through holes in the ceiling, but no mishaps occurred. I did some prison prep, and I must have done something else as well, but I don’t know what.
No prison this week – I’ve got loads of prison stuff to catch up with, so some weeks I have to stay at home and get it done in peace. I didn’t do this on Thursday, though – I spent the whole day at the hospital, and met, as usual, some amazing people. One chap had had a tumour the size of a pineapple, although without the green spiky leaves, he said. Many of the patients have an amazing sense of humour. I did some late night Christmas shopping in Cheltenham, which was surprisingly not very busy. Where are all the people? In previous years I’ve had to push my way through the crowds. In the evening I wrote up all the hospital stuff.
This left Friday clear to work on prison stuff. I’ve spent hours on the newsletter. Next time my new team of an editor (with no IT skills) and a journalist are going to have to do a lot more of the sort of stuff I had to do. And I pickled some red cabbage and made mince pies for The Bloke and dosed my Christmas cakes with alcohol.
Over the weekend I more or less finished the prison newsletter, and did some prep for sessions this week at Ross and the prison, and bought some filler for my kitchen step (wooden step, big crack…), and generally lazed around. But I did go to PCWorld, and for the first time experienced an Xbox. Oh dear. I now understand what all the kids in schools have been telling me. Now I’ve used the Xbox Kinetik I won’t be happy again. It’s truly amazing; a camera watches what you do, and the avatar on the screen has all your movements; it waves its arms when you do, and jumps and swerves with you… Wow. Trouble is, I would need a new tv (I hardly ever watch mine, and it’s ancient) as well as the Xbox and the kit, so I’ll have to do without. Probably for the best. Just because this was a quiet week, it doesn’t mean that many of them will be like this.