On show

My life has been a bit on show this week. I’ve spent quite a lot of it up on some scaffolding, and up a ladder on top of the scaffolding, at the front of my house. The temptation to drop paint on people below is one I have bravely resisted, despite all the comments such as When you’ve finished, I’ve got some work that needs doing at my place… To be fair, my neighbour across the road stopped to admire my handiwork, although all I was doing was filling and applying white paint and back paint. Still, the panels are no longer loose and it does look a lot better. That took up a lot of the earlier part of the week, together with emails and typing up new poems ( yes! I’ve been writing!), and writing an evaluation of the work I’ve done with the palliative care nurses. Their book is going to be extraordinary.

On Tuesday evening we went to see Apollo 18. I really enjoyed this, although The Bloke was a bit more critical.

I finished the wall on Wednesday, and spent some time at the hospital. It wasn’t so good this week; sometimes there just aren’t many people there and so the odds against finding some who would enjoy working on a poem are greater. But I mowed both lawns and picked up some windfall pears (so many pears this year! I understand that it’s a great year for what they call orchard fruits). And I had a call from Wincey Willis (who you might remember as a weather girl, but who I know as a poet) asking me to do a radio interview about the young people’s writing groups I run in Hereford. This should happen next Saturday, as long as I can get a decent signal for my phone.

Thursday was the annual Writers in Prison Network conference, held in a converted farmhouse in Wales. During the day we do useful stuff, but in the evening everyone does a turn. No-one wanted to start, so I went first with three poems. Afterwards one of the new writers said she had really enjoyed my stuff although she doesn’t like poetry. Hooray! That’s exactly what I want to do when I perform – appeal to the people who think they don’t like poetry. So – result, as far as I was concerned. Some of the others did some very serious stuff, but it was a good evening; great to be with a whole bunch of intelligent writers who all care about people in prisons.

Back home on Friday, to meet a guy from one of my writing groups who wanted some help and advice. I always feel flattered when people ask me for help, and I’ll always do what I can. But then I couldn’t concentrate on anything much, because I had a gig in the evening. This was very strange. It was at a really tiny festival, called the Pyramid Party, held in a field near Tewkesbury. It was quite sweet! Just a handful of tents with a big campfire in the middle. I was concerned at first because there was no lighting and I thought I would never find the people who were running the poetry event (I have terrible night vision, despite eating loads of carrots) but they found me. I was due on at 10:50 pm, which is late enough anyway, but as is the nature of these things I didn’t go on until much later. My 20-minute set went down well. It was a very small audience, but hey, it’s the quality that matters. I didn’t get home until late.

The Bloke and I went to Didcot on Sunday, to see the railway centre there – five locos in steam. We both quite like this sort of thing, but not too much, which means that we can make fun of it a bit, so it was an enjoyable afternoon. And I did a bit of work on the prison book.

I’ll be on show again this evening, in a slam, but for now the show is over and it’s back to work in my little office. So much to do!

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