I hate cold weather! I should just go into hibernation at the beginning of November, and not emerge until the end of February. I don’t work well when I’m cold, and I feel that this week I haven’t done as much as I should. On Monday I answered lots of emails, and ran my GP surgery group (who are getting better and better all the time). I did some prep for a gig, and saw a mouse in my kitchen – just sitting there staring at me. This meant war, so I ordered some mouse repellent devices from Amazon later that evening. They arrived on Wednesday morning (how do Amazon do it?); now we’ll see if they work. I couldn’t bring myself to kill the mice, so instead I plan to drive them outside. Where it’s cold. Hmm.

On Tuesday morning I had a meeting about some possible work with Gloucester prison. It’s very early days yet, and if it does come off it won’t be for months, but it’s looking promising. Late afternoon I set off for Market Drayton. I worked with a writers’ group there – a bit of performing poetry and a workshop. They were a delight to work with, laughing at all the right places in the poems and having a really good go at some poems of their own, even though some of them didn’t see themselves as poets at all. I got home late, and took a cup of tea up to bed. And spilt it, the whole mugfull, so I spent a while mopping it all up before I finally went to bed.

One of the people at Market Drayton had mentioned my website, and I had a look at it on Wednesday. It really needs updating, so this week I plan to get the changes sent to my Webmaster (i.e. The Son). I typed up a lot of stuff from the prison, and did some prison prep, paid some invoices, and in the evening went to see Argo, which was a superb film – one of the best I’ve seen this year.

Thursday was the prison, which all went well. I’ve been trying to persuade them to let me bring a photographer in to take photos for the new Writers in Prison Network website, and finally got agreement. Hooray! And as usual it was warm in the prison. There had been an accident on the M5, so my journey home took ages, but I managed to do my writeups and handle some outstanding actions, as well as sorting out poems for a potential joint venture – more about this if it all comes off!

On Friday I worked with some lovely people at the hospital. For a change the waiting room was warm. I didn’t want to come home. I did a bit of diy – sanding and varnishing the step from the kitchen to the utility room – but I’m not happy with the result and I think I’ll have to do it all again. I did the hospital writeup and phoned the gas people to try to get my fire reconnected; and did the prep for the next session with the GP surgery group. And of course emails. I’ve been using my rowing machine regularly, which does warm me up, but while I’m doing that the emails don’t get answered. What I need are emails with heating elements.

On Saturday I worked on a book of pieces from the prison. The Son was home briefly, which was fun, and in the afternoon I went to a football match with The Bloke – CheltenhamTown vs. Burton. I really enjoyed it; the seven layers of clothing, including an electrically-heated waistcoat, helped quite a lot with this, and the fact that my knees were up against the back of the man in front; he had a very warm back indeed. Or perhaps everyone’s back is that warm and it’s just that I don’t often press my knees up against random backs. Anyway, Cheltenham won 1-0, and I wrote a poem about it, which I’m quite pleased with.

On Sunday my Gloucestershire perambulations continued with a jaunt to SudeleyCastle. Actually, not to the castle – that was closed, as was the adventure playground; and there were only four sculptures rather than the trail I had been promised. The birds were fun, though, and the silence was very restful. Later I did some prison typing, and shivered.

And it’s still cold now. I’ve given up and put the heating on, despite the cost. I do envy those people who feel warm all the time – but still, grumbling about it does no good whatsoever, so I’ll stop whingeing and finish.

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