Too much stuff

This week, The Son came home unexpectedly for a couple of hours, which meant I was put two hours behind in my work, but that doesn’t matter. However, he did look round my office, and said, “This office is crazy!” I tried to explain that I have one rucksack or briefcase for every project I’m working on at a given time (plus a big bag extra for the prison), but he’s right – it is crazy. I have too much stuff – but not just work stuff, too much stuff everywhere. One day I’ll start having the time to sort it all out; I aim to get at least one room cleared over Christmas, but I wish I could do more.

This has been a too-much-stuff week. On Monday I was at home, but as well as all the usual write-ups and prep I had to book a rental van for The Son’s move, sort out a birthday present outing for The Bloke, work on a publicity flyer for TADS, and write some Christmas cards. I did get a lot of prison work done, though.

On Tuesday I not only ran my workshop in Ross (which went really well), but did two sessions at the hospital, with the usual selection of people. One of them was very religious, the sort of religion that says that if you pray enough and have enough faith then the Lord will get you through cancer; I can’t help thinking this is a bit hard on the people who don’t survive – as if it’s all their fault. Hmm. In the evening, we saw The American – a fine movie; very much a vehicle for George Clooney, but I see nothing wrong in that.

What was really noteworthy about Tuesday, though, was the scenery – everything covered in white frost. The trip to Ross was stunningly beautiful.

Wednesday was the day The Son came home. He was having a photo shoot for the local paper to get publicity for his song on iTunes. They went out in the garden, with the frosty trees, and he wore his Santa hat. As you would, for a photo shoot. I stayed indoors, and did prep for my session with the nurses, and lots of prison work. In the evening I went to an ArtLift meeting, briefly, and then tried to run a rehearsal, but with nearly all the cast missing it was a bit of a washout. Oh dear.

Thursday at the prison was really busy; we were trying to get the newsletter finished, but the people who needed to check it weren’t there. It’s touch and go whether we’ll have it published before Christmas. I met The Daughter at lunchtime. She works in the same town as the prison, but in two years we’ve only managed to meet for lunch twice. It was fun, and because The Daughter is quite stunning to look at we got extra big portions – the waitress said that the chef has a crush on her. And in the evening I finished writing my Christmas cards.

On Friday I had a session at the hospital and one with the nurses. These nurses really are astonishing. They have never written before, but each time I work with them they come up with some amazing pieces, and all very different. For just an hour every few weeks they can shut off their work and home lives and so something just for their own satisfaction, and they can certainly be satisfied with what they do. Then shopping, spreadsheets, write-ups, prep for the school and prep for the Ross group; and finally I wrote two Christmas poems for The Bloke. Aaah!

Work continued on Saturday with a Ledbury Poetry Festival board meeting. The Chairman, who has done a magnificent job, is handing over to a new chap, who I’m sure will be just as good, but several other Board members are being replaced and change is always a worry, especially as the possibility of funding cuts is hanging over us. On the bright side, it looks like we’ll have a great programme for next year. More work, and then over to The Bloke’s for a bit of R&R. We went to a Christmas market in Cirencester on Sunday and I bought a fantastic set of secateurs. Now all I need is some time and slightly warmer weather and I can get out in the garden and clear away lots of dead shrubs. If only the secateurs worked as well on my work and other stuff as they do on dead wood.

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