Work and play

Spreading gravel is a very good way to use time; it’s excellent exercise (hard work) and after just half an hour you can see a real difference to a drive. I’ve done quite a bit of that this week, and I’m half way through the first bag of gravel, but I think I’m going to need three more big bags.

That’s not all, I’ve done, though. On Monday I finished writing the adjudication for the panto I saw on Friday night, did lots of prep and finished the book of poems written by the Ross group. Hooray! It’s come out well, I think.

On Tuesday I was at the school in Oxford. The kids were a bit difficult, but you can see why when you know even the tiniest bit about their home life. I took some compost in (we were talking about soil and worms) and also some of the stuff that I put in my compost bin. Out of the whole class, only two kids recognised celery among the compost material. What do their parents feed them on, I wonder? They go to bed late and get up early, and not surprisingly, by the end of the afternoon they are really tired. Anyway, they all wrote poems about worms.

In the evening I went to see 127 Hours with The Bloke – good movie! Afterwards we had a meal, and while we were eating a man came up and asked if I was a poet. He went on to say how much he and his wife had enjoyed my poetry at the Cheltenham slams for the last 5 or 6 years – they loved the one I did last year (Cox). This is such a lovely thing to happen, and it really made my day.

Wednesday was a home day – write-up from the school and lots of Poetry on Loan preparations. And I made a cake for The Bloke’s birthday, which was on Thursday. This was a real day off – we went to the indoor ski place in Manchester and had three taster sessions: skiing, luge and snowboarding. It was great fun but very hard work, and we were exhausted by the end. Obviously we are both really unfit – more gravel-spreading needed, I think.

On Friday I had my first session this year at the hospital, with the usual inspiring – even jolly – people. How do they do it? And in the afternoon I was with the doctors’ surgery patients. Some of their writing is stunningly good. Lots of write ups in the evening. On Saturday I went on a fossil-hunt – not with a hammer, I hasten to add – I just bought some at the museum in Cirencester, and in the evening we went to a classical music concert in Cheltenham. This was good, but when you think how many cds you could buy for the price of the tickets it does make you think twice about concert-going.

A busy week! Lots of work and lots of play, just how I like it. Let’s see if I can finish the first bag of gravel this week.

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