What a busy week! And a mixture of house stuff and work, which is always good. On Monday I got my little motorbike ready for its MOT. I hardly ever ride it, and it seems a shame for it to be just sitting in the garage, so I have to sell it. I took it for a ride in the morning and all went well; in the afternoon, as I left for the MOT, I came off it in my drive – it got stuck in a bit of loose gravel. This really wrenched my arms, and on the way it was very windy and a bit scary riding over the exposed motorway bridges. It passed, but my slightly unsettling experiences were good for me, helping to convince me that really it has to go. But perhaps it would be better to sell it in the spring…? I managed to mow both lawns; I hope that this will be the last time this season. Apart from these things, I answered lots of emails, taxed my car, did lots of prep for the prison and my GP surgery group and my kids’ groups, and worked on a book of pieces for an ex-prisoner…
…which I finished on Tuesday. It took longer than expected, so I didn’t do much else except some practice for my gig on Friday and more prison work. In the evening I saw Midnight in Paris. It was entertaining, but I didn’t like the leading actor, although I have no good reason for this. It was fun, though.
Wednesday saw yet more prison work – loads of it – and preparation for the event on Friday, and some time at the hospital, with a lady who has been very ill but is still full of life.
On Thursday I went to the prison, and had the usual great session with my group. They really are amazing; they get better all the time. I’ve started a new project in the prison; I want as many people as possible to write about places they know or dream about – should make another good book!
As I left I had a call from an arts organisation I work with, asking me to write a message for their Christmas card. I had some good ideas on the way home, and my proposals will go in when I’ve finished writing this blog. In the evening I wrote up the prison stuff and answered yet more emails; they never stop. Still, one of them was to tell me that one of my prisoners has won a prize for his writing – I can look forward to telling him this week.
On Friday I did a bit of prep and my accounts, and went to the GP surgery. I had a new lady in the group that day; she has never written anything before but joined in quickly. In the evening, I left home in plenty of time to get to the Poetry on Loan event I was running and appearing in in Birmingham, but the traffic was awful and I arrived only 10 minutes before it was due to start. Fortunately everyone else was calm and unflustered, and the evening – five very different poets – went very well; lots of people said how much they had enjoyed it. I was really tired when I got home, but did some ironing.
No rest on Saturday – I was off to Hereford to run my young people’s writing groups. The morning session was fully of very chatty little girls, who all had a great time writing plays. In the afternoon I had three 15-year-old boys and a 12-year-old girl. This was their first session, and they were all rather quiet and serious – a great contrast to the morning group. But they each wrote two poems they were pleased with, and they started to relax a bit towards the end.
Still no rest – straight off in the evening to Stroud, for a play that I had to adjudicate. I can say nothing about it, of course, until I have written the adjudication and sent it off.
And then, hooray, a bit of r&r on Sunday – The Bloke and I went to the West Midlands Safari Park. I fed a giraffe, and a camel put its head through my sunroof so it was staring me straight in the eye. I wonder what it was thinking? We finished the day with a ride on the water splash.
So, a busy week, and another one to come. I have an interview tomorrow, and I must prepare, and write up the things I did at the end of last week, and prepare for this week’s workshops… Good thing I like being busy!