End of term

It all gets a bit end-of-termish at this time of year, doesn’t it? Especially with all the lovely snow. Yes, I know the snow is a bit of a pain when it comes to travel, but how can you not delight in its clean stillness, the scrunch it makes underfoot, the fun of just playing in it?

I started the week working in a school in Swindon. I ran lightning workshops with three classes of Year 8s. They were great kids, and almost every one of them wrote a poem, and we chose three from each class to go into a slam, but the school itself was hopelessly disorganised. This might just be because their whole timetable was disrupted because of all the end-of-term events, of course. My friend Jonny repeated the process with three more classes on the Tuesday and the final two on Wednesday morning, and on Wednesday afternoon we ran a slam with all eight classes together. It was great – the kids really enjoyed it. Poetry made fun, just as it should be.

It was end of term for my Ross group, as well – our last session together. They were great; they worked hard and enjoyed themselves, and we came up with all we need for a book of the pieces they’ve written. More work for me in putting it together, but never mind. They gave me a box of chocolates!

In the afternoon I had my last session at the hospital for this year. The continuation of this work into 2012 looks more promising than it did, although I won’t get a final decision until March. I did some prep for the prison, and went to see Monsters with The Bloke. I really enjoyed it; ok, there were flaws in the plot, and the monsters were a bit rubbish, but it was different, and a hundred times better than Skyline.

Thursday was my last day at the prison this year. The group were all brilliant, of course, but my main focus of the day was to get the newsletter checked, agreed, printed and distributed. I had to make some corrections after getting an interviewee to check her piece, and after getting a couple of copies printed went in search of a governor. The No. 1 Governor and his deputy were not there, and without permission from one of them it can’t be published. So that was that, I thought – but I tracked down another governor who agreed to do it. This was such a relief; if this hadn’t happened it would have had to wait for three weeks. When I left, they hadn’t started the big print run, but the promised to do it on Monday and get it distributed. Hooray! And one of the guys in my group reached the last eight of a big national competition, which was great for him.

In the evening I had to go to a TADS meeting. Preparations are going well for our next big production, although there is still loads to do. But we did agree to put on my new one act play, Terry Doyle, next year. It’s not completely finished yet – there is a good draft, but it needs some additions and changes – but now I have an incentive to get on with it over Christmas.

On Friday I finished things off – reports and evaluation and invoices. And I did the household job I like least – defrosting the fridge and freezer. I don’t know why I hate doing this so much, but I do – which means I put off doing it, so it’s worse when I do get round to it. But at least it’s done now, and I can close the freezer door once more.

So now it’s really the end of term. I don’t have to go out anywhere to work for two weeks, although I’ve got a lot to do at home – making books, mostly. So when The Son came home to hire a van to take stuff to his new flat, a game of snowballs seemed perfectly appropriate. Incidentally, if any of you has noticed the changes to the website (and the errors still in it), The Son is to be thanked and blamed – he made all the changes (which I like) and put them in before I’d checked everything, so some problems are still there. Normal service will be resumed soon, together with a big update of the content of the website.

I bought a tree on Friday, and brought it in and decorated the house yesterday, and wrapped some presents. It’s the end of term, and Christmas is coming.

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