When I look back over what I’ve done each week, I sometimes think that my life is patternless, structureless. I don’t go to the same place of work each day, and although some things are fixed each week, they are relatively few. This week the focus has been on tidying and cleaning my house – but I’ve done a lot of work as well.
Monday was a bits and pieces day – sorting my car insurance, phoning the Arts Council about the new Poetry on Loan funding bid, lots of emails, phone calls from my kids, loads of prison prep, and – I gave blood. For once it was really straightforward and quick.
And Tuesday – well, it was a bits and pieces day. I took my car to be serviced, amended my most recent play, tidied the whole house (and it’s a big house), finished the book of pieces from one of my GP surgery groups, was booked for a gig in Walsall (I have to do an hour of funny poems!), typed up some new poems, did some Poetry on Loan stuff, applied for some work, and went to see Anna Karenina. This was well done, but had in my view a basic flaw. In real life, members of couples tend to have similar levels of attractiveness – occasionally you see a couple who look really ill-matched, but this is rare. But in the film of Anna Karenina, all the woman were gorgeous, and all the men plain, or strange; I really couldn’t believe in any of these couplings, and that spoiled the whole film for me. All it needed was better casting.
On Wednesday I did a lot of work in preparation for my new prison project, and spent some time at the hospital. I met someone I knew there, which is always a little upsetting, but then worked with a lovely lady who is missing her dog. People who don’t have pets often don’t realise their importance to those who do; her little dog meant the world to this lady, and she was delighted to have a poem about him.
Thursday was a prison day. All went well; my group are doing some good work, and I got a lot of bits and pieces done in the afternoon. More emails in the evening.
On Friday I cleaned the whole house. This included the removal of dozens of spiders’ webs, although most f those were back again by Saturday. So many spiders this year! I had to go to the building society, where the woman who dealt with me made the whole thing a pleasure. Why can’t all service organisations be like this? I sent the first batch of Gloucestershire poems to the library service; they will be displayed in a number of libraries in the Stroud area, but not elsewhere in the county, it seems. I wonder why? And I prepared for my young people’s writing groups, which start again this Saturday after a summer break.
On Saturday I started work on my prison end-of-year report, and saw The Daughter, who came home to stay overnight before a charity walk on Sunday. And on Sunday I reworked another play.
What have I achieved this week, then? Lots of boring household things that needed to be done, sure; lots of work prep. But I think the biggest thing this week has been writing a poem about a dog. At least I made one person very happy, for a while.