Money, money, money

No, I didn’t watch Mamma Mia when it was on TV last weekend – not all of it, anyway; although I do like to see this film because I was in Skiathos while they were filming it there. It’s just that it’s been a really expensive week. I got three new tyres on Monday – £250! I could probably have got them cheaper but I don’t think it pays, in the long run, to get really cheap tyres. I also finished my adjudication – a bit of a mammoth one, because there was a huge cast, and I do like to mention everyone by name. I did a bit of Poetry on Loan stuff, and in the evening had the first rehearsal of my new play, Terry Doyle. They were brilliant! Much better than I could have hoped for. I have an excellent cast, and I think it’s going to be good.

On Tuesday I went out for what I call a run, but is probably more like a stroll with some jogging bits. And I finished the prison newsletter, and went to the hospital. I met a wonderful woman there, a carer, who was so positive and spoke so poetically that it almost brought tears to my eyes. She said when we had finished that she would like to have the poem read out at the funeral, if that was ok. Gosh, what an honour. And a bit later she gave me a little Mars egg, to say thank you. Which reminds me – I haven’t eaten it yet. That can be a treat if I get everything done today.

In the evening we went to see The Eagle. This was a load of tosh, basically, but very enjoyable. I just like films about the Romans.

On Wednesday my car had a service and MOT – £338! Not only that, but the people at the garage mentioned, very cautiously and politely, that they had realised I hadn’t paid for the hire of a van my son used for his move last December; another £98. And there is a nail in the one un-replaced tyre. Grr. I did loads of prep, and completed a huge vetting form I have to fill in for the prison (even though I’ve been working there for nearly three years), and wrote up the stuff from the hospital.

In the evening we went diving. We haven’t been for ages, but we are booked for a day’s diving in Devon in May, and thought we should brush up on our skills. It was fun, but I got cramp, as I often do.

Prison on Thursday, and we just managed to get the play recorded before the guys were taken away. I was pleased to find that I have 16 guys on the waiting list for my next course, but slightly dismayed by the thought that I have to choose a smaller number . But we got the newsletter printed and distributed, and I sorted out some prizes for guys who had won them, and so a good day overall.

In the evening I had to go to a meeting about the one act play festival. We have 9 entries, which is just about enough, although we would have liked more.

And I had an email from someone asking me to do a workshop in a prison nearer where I live, “although we have no money,” she said. Oh dear. I hate it when people ask me to do things for nothing. I am so keen on running workshops in prisons, but honestly, this is how I make my living, and by the time I’ve paid for petrol and parking it would actually cost me quite a bit to do it. It’s not good for other writers, either, if we work for no pay. I don’t know what to do about this.

Friday was another run, followed by a spillage – coffee all over my desk. I haven’t tested my cd rewriter yet, to see if it still works. I had to send out some emails about the one act play festival, and then loads of prison writeup stuff, and a plan for a Poetry on Loan training course, and my accounts.

I thought that was enough proper work for one week, so I mowed both the lawns and had a sort-out – I threw out 18 t-shirts! I still have enough t-shirts left to last me for the rest of my life, but still, this means that I can close a drawer that was overflowing before.

On Saturday I ran again, only this time it was getting a bit more like a run, and did some gardening, before going to Cheltenham with The Bloke to buy The Son some birthday presents. And me a new t-shirt. Only one, though.

On Sunday we went to Abergavenny. Just because we could. When I used to work in Hereford, I would often see a sign to Abergavenny, and think that one day I would just leave what I was doing and go there, just for fun. It’s not a bad place. And in the evening we saw Unlimited – not a bad film, but not as engaging as I had hoped.

Oh. And we paid the balance for our forthcoming holiday. I have spent so much money this week!

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