Well, actually there were five or six of them at Prescott on Sunday, including the world’s fastest production car, which would cost a mere million pounds, were I to buy one. Which I’m not about to do. I had a lovely birthday, which included a trip to the Prescott hill climb event, and found to my surprise that lots of people had left happy birthday messages for me on Facebook. How kind! I’ve only just got all these, though, because I had Internet problems over the weekend and have only in the last few minutes got it all sorted; that’s why the blog is late, too. Sorry.
As for the rest of the week – well, just one trip to the school in Oxford, mostly for a planning meeting, but also to run an outdoor training session for staff, which went quite well.
And just one day at home, on Tuesday, when I did loads of prep, including an outline plan for each of the schools I’ll be working at with a trainee poet. He seems a bit surprised by my approach, because I start off by getting the kids to think. Oh, if only kids were helped to think more clearly! It does bother me sometimes that people don’t think logically about things; they draw unwarranted conclusions from little evidence, they assume causality when there is really only a correspondence, they don’t understand about probabilities… perhaps I am expecting too much, but I do think that lessons in logic would make a big difference. Ah well. This is the sort of thing I think about when I am mowing the lawn, which I also did on Tuesday.
Wednesday was a bit different. I was running a course for a mixed group of library staff and poets, on working with groups of vulnerable people. It was the first time the course had been run, and I’m always a bit anxious on these occasions, but it went well. We’ll need to make a few small changes next time we run it, but basically it was a good structure, and pretty well everyone enjoyed it and learned something. In the evening we had a TADS meeting, and after that I attacked the emails. Why are there always so many emails?
Thursday was the prison; as usual, a good day. The group worked well and enjoyed themselves, and my governor has asked me to do something special for the prison; it’s nice to be appreciated. In the evening I found that my email account had been hijacked; this has happened before, and I know because I was receiving a lot of undelivered message emails. It means that someone had found my password and used my email account to send out junk mail. I had to change the password – and this, I think, was the cause of my more recent Internet problems. Life is never easy. Just one password can mean a lot of difficulty.
On Friday I answered emails, did lots of writeups, and had loads of phone calls. I also had the pleasure of telling some poets that their poems had been selected to be used on Poetry on Loan postcards, and the unfortunate duty of telling some other that theirs hadn’t. They were all good, but we can only use six. In the afternoon I had my lovely doctor’s surgery group, and later I spent ages working on the book of poems from the Oxford school. It’s going to be terrific, complete with their charming drawings.
Saturday was my kids’ writing group in Hereford. They are so enthusiastic! They really want the sessions to continue, and they are worried that they will grow too old for them and not be allowed to come. I enjoy running these sessions, but really have to think about whether I want to continue them; By the time I’ve got to Hereford and back, it’s four hours, and I do about an hour of prep, so it means that they pay is really quite low. But it’s just one Saturday morning a month, and they are learning a lot and having fun…
On Saturday afternoon The Bloke came round and helped me sort out my super-duper folding ladder, and I chopped down the Virginia creeper which was threatening to pull the guttering down.
And on Sunday it was my birthday. I was spoilt rotten. It was lovely. Just one year older, then. We had planned to go out yesterday, too, but the weather wasn’t up too much so we just did a bit of shopping, and in the evening I had the penultimate rehearsal of Terry Doyle, my one-act play. It was pretty good; all the actors have to do now is really become their characters, rather than just say the words. It’ll be fine.
And now I have three weeks of unbelievable slog. I’ll never earn enough to own a Bugatti (and I don’t know if I would want one anyway), but gosh, what a fantastic job I have.