Hooray! It’s been summer this week, and I’ve spent some time outdoors. I’ve been out for a kind of run (I’m not very fast) almost every day. I’ve sorted out a paint problem on my front door frame, cleared all the weeds from the patio, planted some plants, replaced some loose rendering on the garage, spread some gravel on the thin patches in the drive, cleared the borders down most of one side of my back garden (it’s a very long garden) – which meant being covered in nettle stings, because I stupidly wore shorts and a bikini top to do it; and started repairing my front wall. I also had a bonfire, but that was yesterday, and as there was heavy rainfall in the morning it didn’t really work very well.

In between that, I’ve got the prison book all ready to go to Lulu, and I’ll get that done later today. I started the summer with four books to make – not including my own, which I really must get on with – and by the end of today two will be finished.

And – I’ve done some Poetry on Loan stuff, prepared for my Ross group, been to a Ledbury Poetry Festival board meeting, and mended my prison rucksack, which gets a lot of heavy wear, and done two sessions at the hospital. They are such lovely people. One cried. I used to get very worried when this happened, but I’ve been told so often now that these are good tears that it’s kind of ok. I had a letter from the husband of a woman I wrote a poem with; she died last year, and he says he often reads the poem to remind him of happier times. Gosh.

I’ve dealt with loads of emails – but now they are stacked up again, and I’m going to have to clear them today. Sigh.

In the prison on Thursday, with two new men in my group. This is always a concern – will they fit in? Will they enjoy it? – but both got along fine, and started taking part straight away.

And I made a cake. The Bloke’s father came down to see him yesterday, so I made a cake for them. I love making cakes, although it’s not something you can do outdoors – although when I was on holiday in America many years ago, I did eat some cake baked on an open fire, and jolly nice it was too. I don’t think my bonfire would have been up to it, though.

Lots of good things, then; but there’s something missing. I need something to look forward to – a trip somewhere, anywhere; anywhere where I can be outdoors all the time and feel the sunshine. Any ideas?

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