Under the woodpile

I cleared my woodpile up this week, and it’s amazing what you find under something that hasn’t been touched for years. Apart from pencils and a gonk, much of the wood had turned itself to compost; it had done something useful even though left completely to its own devices. I have an intray like this. I put things in it and clear it out about every six months. Usually what’s left in there just isn’t important any more – just leaving it helps me focus on priorities. I’m going to have to do a lot of focusing on priorities for the next few weeks, which are going to be incredibly busy.

Apart from the woodpile, I finished clearing the big patio last week, and now it’s all weed-free (for a day or so, anyway) and sanded. I like finishing things, but at the moment nothing is being finished.

On Tuesday I wrote my quarterly prison report, answered loads of emails (which never finish), and went to the hospital. This was amazing, as it sometimes is, with a man who will be a much better person because of his illness; we were both really moved by writing a poem. And I paid some invoices for Poetry on Loan and reworked the PoL training course plan..

Wednesday was mostly prep – for the school and the PoL meeting – and quite a lot of gardening.

On Thursday I was at the school again, working with a storyteller. Now, I have said some bad things about storytellers in the past, but this one was terrific – she held the kids spellbound, and that’s not easy. The afternoon was taken up with planning for our last few activities with the school, which should be fun.

The Poetry on Loan meeting on Friday went well, and I got home in time to make a big bonfire, which went equally well. And I made a list of things I need to do before my holiday. I like these lists, which always make the holiday seem a bit nearer.

I managed to do some inside clearing, and threw out yet more clothes. Still not enough, though, and the clothes don’t seem to do anything useful when they are left alone. And I got ready for the little adventure of this weekend, which was a scuba dive in Brixham on Sunday. We stayed nearby overnight and arrived at the beach on time, to see sparkly waves and none of the threatened rain. The dive – our first sea dive – was fine. I didn’t get too cold, for a start. But the visibility was very poor, and I hurt my leg; not badly, but badly enough not to do the second dive. But this didn’t matter – we went on a little jaunt to Exmouth, which was great fun – a flock of kite-surfers entertained us, together with two squirrels who came right up and nibbled at our fingers, and the sand underfoot felt lovely. There was an interesting newspaper placard, too: “ Bin Laden Exmouth connection”. We didn’t see the newspaper article it referred to, but that was a good thing, leaving the possible connection to be explained only in our imaginations. Perhaps he left his stronghold every July for a fortnight in Exmouth; or had a fondness for Exmouth mussels, or has an auntie living there…

Today I’ve been on the first day of a course called Philosophy for Children. Feeling philosophical, then, I won’t go an about the problems I had with the AA last week, or the sheer wall of work that confronts me now. I’ll just try to leave any problems under the woodpile, where, with any luck, they will turn into good, rich compost. We’ll see.

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