A visit

There’s been more than one visit this week. On Monday The Son turned up, somewhat unexpectedly, and I spent quite a bit of time with him, and he helped me get my tape copier going. This was the start of the long process of transferring my huge cassette collection to MP3, and make them usable again. That’s if I ever get time to listen to them. Anyway, it was lovely to see him, and after he had gone I did a lot of prep – practice for my gigs, Poetry on Loan prep, prison work – and some ironing.

On Tuesday the sun turned up, somewhat unexpectedly, so I spent some time in the garden, savaging my vicious rambling rose; first time I’ve done this without getting scratched all over. The three layers of protective clothing must have helped. I answered loads of emails, and had a session in the hospital – lovely people again. Later in the week I had an email from the wife of one of the patients I worked with a couple of months ago. He has died, and she said that he left few instructions for his service, but he was insistent that the poem we wrote should be read out. Wow.

In the evening we saw Lawless – very violent, but well done.

On Wednesday I shopped for food (ready for the visit) , and made up the spare bed, and wrote up the hospital stuff, and worked on my annual report for the prison, and revised some poems, and cooked.

Thursday was a bit different – I had an interview with a local radio station about my work with the prisoners. I did some typing and more cooking, and went to collect my friend Jackie from the station. Jackie and I were at university together, so I guess she is my oldest friend, but she lives in New Zealand and I see her for about 24 hours each year, when she is allowed out by her family from her annual visit to them. It’s lovely – we resume chatting as if we had been together only the day before. We looked at expensive things in expensive shops and didn’t really buy anything. In the evening we ate and drank rather too much, but the next morning went for a long walk to work it off. We still had time before her train was due to leave, so we went for another walk round the lake in PittvillePark, and saw squirrels and water voles and cygnets and lots of ducks.

It was sad to say goodbye, and even sadder to collect a friend of mine from hospital. I had to wait for quite a while so I sat in my car and practised poems before I took him and his wife home. He is very, very ill, and I’m sure he would not have got to this state if he had accepted treatment earlier, instead of looking to alternative therapies for help. I think he regrets it too, now.

In the evening I did some preparation for my young people’s writing groups, and recorded a new poem, which will be on Radio Wildfire tonight. Ooh!

And – no weekend for me – on Saturday I worked with my three groups of young people; two hours for each group with only fifteen minutes in between them. It’s great! They are keen and good fun to work with (although each group contains its quota of the slightly strange), but afterwards I’m a bit tired… but I still managed to write up the day, write another poem, and do my annual prison accounts.

Sunday was end-of-month accounting day, and start on a job application – and then off to The Bloke’s for a relaxing afternoon.

I don’t know when I’ll next have a visit from anyone. Anyone free, at all? I’ll make you welcome!

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