Stoked up

It’s been a bit of a mixed week, really – one minute depressed and the next full of enthusiasm. On Monday I finished putting the prison newsletter together – it’s a good issue, I think, full of things for the guys to be proud of. That and emails took up most of the day, and in the evening I had to go to a meeting about the Gloucestershire One Act Play Festival; I look after the entries. On Tuesday The Son was home; I spent some time with him, did some prep for the GP surgery group, and reworked the GDA entry forms and rules. In the afternoon I had a good session at the hospital, and in the evening we went to see The Rum Diary. This was one of the finest examples I have come across of a misleading trailer – I expected it to be a delightful romantic comedy, but actually it was bitty and disappointing.

The Son pointed out that all he could get on the TV were rolling lines with a pleasing purplish hue. It worked when I gave it a thump on the top, but it was definitely on its way out. It is over 15 years old, after all, and the poor thing couldn’t be expected to go on for ever. Although I rarely watch it, I knew that this meant I would have to bite the bullet and spend lots of money on a new one – money I can’t really afford.

On Wednesday I wrote up my hospital stuff and did some prep for my young people’s Writing Squads. And I defrosted the freezer – probably the job I most dislike. In the evening The Bloke and I had planned to see The Help, which (if it’s like the book) is a heart-warming film showing that things can get better – but it was full, and we saw Immortals instead. This is absolute rubbish, but the gods were quite fetching; I started off feeling quite depressing but was cheered by Poseidon dressed in bling diving into the sea like Superman.

The prison on Thursday was really good. My guys had done some amazing writing, and put up with me savaging their work; they know I only do it to help them get better. I managed to get done everything I had planned – except that the print shop was busy and couldn’t get the newsletter printed. Bother. Prison work always has its frustrations. In the evening I answered emails and wrote up the prison stuff, and started the prep for a session next week, training hospice staff to use poetry with their patients.

On Friday I did lots of practice for my gig on Saturday, and finished the hospice prep, and worked with my little GP surgery group, who really seem to enjoy our sessions. And then I had an email telling me that I didn’t get the job I had the Skype interview for last week. Deep depression set in. I really wanted this work; I know I could have done it well… Oh well; nothing I can do about it.

And on Saturday I set off, still feeling a bit miserable, for Stoke. I had a gig in the library there – 45 minutes of poetry followed by a Q and A session. It’s great to have a session as long as this, because it means you can do a really wide variety of poems, and I did five that I’ve never done in public before, as well as some old favoutites. And what a lovely audience! They listened attentively and asked good questions, and said how much they had enjoyed it all. I felt much better after this!

And on Sunday The Bloke and I went out and I bought a new television. Lots of money – but when we (well, he) set it up, the first programme to come on was Frozen Planet, which we watched in HD – incredible! Every detail of the ice crystals, every downy hair on a baby penguin – all clear and with clean edges. My poor old TV did its job well for a long time; I just hope that the new one lasts as long. I can look forward to ironing evenings again, when I allow myself to watch TV for a bit. Technology is great! And now there are loads more emails, and lots of prep to do, for meetings and training sessions … I just need to keep myself stoked up, somehow.

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