Happy Valentine’s Day, by the way!

It hasn’t all been dramatics this week, and there’ll be a lot more during the coming week, but passions have been raised – not mine, particularly; I just try to spread oil on the troubled whatsits.

So – last weekend I did some gardening – dug up an old rose that had reverted to its wild origins and planted a new one, weeded the drive and put some more gravel down. And I wrote a letter to my endearing, eccentric aunt, who sends me typed (as in on a typewriter) letters occasionally. And I answered emails, did some prep, and did some work on books of prisoners’ writing. I did some prep for the course I’ll be running this week, too, which included learning how to make paper aeroplanes (there is a reason for this, honestly. It wasn’t just for fun.) We went to see Hereafter; it was a bit daft, but harmless.

Monday was just prep all day, on and on; I do so much prep! Some people don’t do any and just wing it, but I can’t do this. And I spread some more gravel and washed my car.

The Oxford school on Tuesday was great, at least in the morning – we went for a little walk to a nearby pond, and I introduced the kids to haiku. They really liked the idea of these, and every kid except one wrote one with me. We now have a nice collection of haiku about the pond in all four seasons. As usual, the afternoon was hectic; I think we introduced too many ideas in one go this week, and they just couldn’t cope.

In the evening we saw Sanctum. Don’t see this if you are claustrophobic – or, indeed, if you worry too much about plot detail. Good underwater shots, though.

The work I do in the GP surgery is part of a big project called ArtLift, and periodically we all get together to talk about what we have done and have some training; one of these conferences was on Wednesday. It’s always good to hear from others how well their projects are going; to make it even better, I learned that there is funding for my work in the Tewkesbury surgery to continue for a further year. Hooray! When I told the practice manager this on Friday, she said, “Oh! I’m so pleased! It’s really making a difference.” Preliminary results of the extensive evaluation show that this is true – patients involved feel better, and their visits to their GPs are reduced by about 30%, which means a real saving for the NHS.

Anyway, Thursday was the prison; all good. The perfect bound copy of the group’s book had arrived, and they were all very chuffed with it.

The Son was home on Thursday night and Friday morning, and without prompting he said that the drive was looking good. My hard work with the gravel is paying off! GP surgery in the afternoon, and in the evening I went to see an amateur production of David Copperfield, as an adjudicator. The other adjudicator wrote this one up, mostly because I can’t stand Dickens and although I think I can be objective, I didn’t want any possibility of my dislike colouring the adjudication. I still don’t like Dickens; his women are either dolls or men in skirts, coincidences are stretched to their limits; almost all the characters are caricatures. Grr.

And throughout the week, there have been emails about TADS’ forthcoming production. Feelings have run high; misunderstandings have led to upset; it’s all been a bit full of the wrong sort of drama. On Sunday we had tech and dress rehearsals, and they actually went pretty well, despite everything else that was going on. It will all be fine, and I’m sure everyone will soon forget the difficulties. I just hope we sell some more tickets – it will be a good show, and it’s so much more fun with a decent audience.

But meanwhile, I have loads of work to do, and I need to forget dramatics for a while and just get on with it.

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