At last, my incredibly busy period is over – well, nearly; I still have a lot to do today, but then I’ll have done all I needed to do in the last few weeks. Phew!
So, what have I been up to? Monday was the usual writeup and prep day – GP surgery writeup. GP surgery prep, prep for the school inBirmingham, and loads of emails. In the late afternoon I ran my last session with a GP surgery group; they were really sorry to see the end of the project, and have bullied me into saying I’ll make a book of their pieces.
On Tuesday I got my summer clothes out (hooray!), prepared and sent some invoices, and went off to the school inBirmingham. I’m working with some great kids there, but this project has been beset by problems. Never mind; they’ll put on a good show at the regional finals of the poetry slam they’ll be in, despite having had only half as many sessions as all the other schools. I wrote up what we’d done, and went to see Dark Shadow with The Bloke. It was utter tosh, but quite enjoyable.
By Wednesday the emails had built up again, so I handled these and did some Poetry on Loan work – we’re producing some rather splendid poetry posters to celebrate the Olympics – not that we’re allowed to mention the Olympics, orLondon, or 2012. I’ve probably just broken the copyright laws by putting all those things in one sentence. The whole Olympic copyright thing seems ludicrous to me; an infringement of free speech, even. My conscience made me sort out all the rubbish from The Son’s party, so that the recyclable stuff went in the right places; not a pleasant job, but I felt better for having done it. I finally wrote up the minutes for the last TADS meeting, did some practice for the slam I was to be in, did some prep for my young people’s writing squads, and gave blood. Much to my surprise, they accepted it – I’ve been anaemic for the last couple of donations I’ve tried to make. I obviously thrive on all this stress. I mowed all the grass and finished preparing the prison newsletter.
Thursday was the prison. I have to leave early on prison days, but on Thursday I woke at 4 and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I spent the morning like a zombie. My writing group worked well, though, and most of the copies of the newsletter were printed by the time I left. When I got home I wrote it all up and did some prep for the slam and theBirminghamschool, and answered the next herd of emails; it was quite a stampede.
Friday I was back in theBirminghamschool, to be met by yet another problem – one of the eight young people was at a funeral. This was a bit of a setback, but we managed to do some good work without him. I had to go straight from there to my other GP surgery group, and after a quick cup of tea, off to a slam in Stroud. I was first out of the hat, which almost always means that you’re out altogether, but I managed to get into the semi-final and in fact came third, so not too bad. I was tired when I got home, but wrote up the school session before falling asleep.
And Saturday was the young people’s writing squads inHereford. The younger groups went well – I was helped by one of the girls from the older group, and she did an excellent job. And we had a new girl in the teenagers’ group, who got on fine. I was delighted to find that some members of the older group have got together for social events!
Finally I reached The Bloke’s house. Poor him; I just fell asleep, so I wasn’t very good company. On Sunday we did some shopping and I came home to pack, after putting weedkiller on my drive. I know it’s not very environmentally friendly, but sometimes time just takes over.
And now – or at least soon – it’s time for a rest. It’s my birthday tomorrow, and apparently I’ll be 60, but that’s only in terms of elapsed years. I’m trying to spread a new saying – It’s only a fool who measures age in terms of elapsed years – because inside I’m about 23. I still need a rest, though.