Not staying in

I’ve been out a lot in the evenings this week; lots of culture! It’s been interesting.

On Monday I did a lot of prep for the prison, and in the evening saw How like an angel, at Gloucester Cathedral. This was a mixture of gymnastics / acrobatics / dance, set to choral music, performed within the cathedral; the audience stood to watch. Some of it was very good, although the opening struck me as first-year drama exercises; I like the big, brave physical stuff best. The singing was lovely. The problem is that if you’ve ever seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, this was just second-rate, although the tickets were cheaper (but by no means cheap, for a one-hour performance). So, ok but not wonderful.

On Tuesday I did loads of prison work, and some gardening, and then went to see The amazing Spiderman.  Not quite so cultural as the previous night’s outing, but a lot of fun.

Emails on Wednesday, and a double session at the hospital. This was amazing; one woman, an inpatient, told me that she was exhilarated by what we had done; that it had made her day; that it had made it worth being in hospital for. Wow! I wrote it all up and did a bit more gardening.

Thursday was the prison; the last session of the poetry course I’ve been running with my group, and farewell to a guy I’ve been working with for a year and a half. He’s a good guy; I really hope it all goes well with him on the out. I managed to get everything done in preparation for this week’s visit from Matt Harvey, too; that sounds trivial, but getting a visitor in to a prison means no end of silly arrangements. In the evening I went to see The Sound of Music; I’m adjudicating this, so I can’t say much, but the singing was terrific – outstanding for an amateur group.

Friday was emails, phone calls, accounts, the prison writeup, and my very last session with the GP surgery people I’ve been working with for ages. It was quite sad, really; they’ve been so good, willing to stretch themselves and have a go at anything I’ve asked. My very last patient, though, was a guy I see one-to-one; he is desperately depressed, with no joy in anything and no hope at all for the future; not a happy note to end on.

And in the evening I was out again, this time to see an open-air production of The Rivals, in the RococoGardens. Again, this is one for adjudication, so I can’t say much, but I wish I could. Let’s just say that this was a stunning production.

And on Saturday – the sun shone! I went out for a little run – my first time for nearly a year – and did a bit more gardening, and went to the food festival in Gloucester with The Bloke, and watched Henry V on TV in the evening. And Sunday was spent wandering round the ruined Roman villa at Chedworth; I have a bit of a liking for mosaics, and there are some good ones there. But oh, it was lovely just to feel the sunshine on my back, and not feel that I should be working.

Not that I’m idle – I’ve still got a lot to do, but it’s manageable. And I won’t be staying in this week – I’ll be out there in the jungle with my machete. Time to start now!

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