Patients

I’ve spent several sessions at the hospital this week. This is always inspiring; the patients are positive, human, humorous, interesting…I feel myself very lucky to have the privilege of working with such people. Out of all the hundreds I’ve worked with, only two have been bitter; most of  them have thought Why me? at some point, but then dismissed the thought as being pointless and unhelpful.

But on Monday there was no hospital – writeup from my work with the young people in Hereford; planning for a gig this week; writing a poem about Batsford Arboretum; and work with patients from the GP surgery. They produced some outstanding work; it’s a real treat to spend time with them. Oh, and I tried to get rid of the cat fleas from my house.

Tuesday was a hospital day; two women, one of whom said her husband had been her gladiator, and another who felt liberated by the news that her illness was terminal. Amazing people. And then I handled loads of emails, most of them boring and trivial, and paid some Poetry on Loan invoices.

Wednesday was end of the month, so time for accounting and reporting. Once that was done, I spent a lot of time on my Poetry on Loan funding bid, including phone calls to various Arts Council people who don’t understand their own guidance notes. Sigh. Most of the Arts Council staff seem to be excellent, but there are one or two… anyway, enough of that. In the evening I made my Christmas cakes, which I always enjoy doing, and spent more time on the funding bid.

On Thursday I sorted out the Tewkesbury Art and Drama Society finances, ready to hand everything over to our new treasurer; I’ve just been babysitting the money until he came on board. I cleaned my filthy office window (gosh! daylight!) and went to the hospital again, to work with an English literature professor, which was a bit scary, and another lovely lady.

In the evening I handed over the stuff to the new treasurer, and had a panicky phone call from The Daughter, who had tonsillitis and had lost her keys. There was no way she could get into her flat, or drive her car, so she came home for the night. I collected her from the station at Worcester, and dosed her up. In the morning her keys had been located, so I drove her into Birmingham to collect them and get everything else sorted out. On the way back I went to see the lovely Fergus; we’re planning a poetry show together. Lots of writeups, and more work on the funding bid…

…which is now finished and submitted. It will be three months before we hear anything. I’m really worried about it all now – have I put everything in that I should have done? Should I have left anything out? – but even I can’t worry solidly for three months.

Saturday was a day for household tasks – The Bloke made some repairs to the piano, and put a layer of insulating film on my office window to try and help with the cold, and I chopped down the butterfly plant and we shredded all the branches and leaves… and went to Winchcombe. Winchcombe is a very pretty little town; I wrote two poems about it for my Gloucestershire Poet Laureate collection.

On Sunday I did a lot of prison stuff, and idled about. And this morning I’ve been to a Ledbury Poetry Festival meeting; we’re trying to organise projects to work with GP surgeries in Herefordshire, but it’s really difficult to get going. Doctors are always so busy; perhaps too busy to sort things out for things which would really help their patients in non-medical ways… We’ll exercise patience, and keep trying.

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