A good week

It’s been a good week! Doctors are wonderful – you only have to make an appointment to see one and immediately your condition starts to improve. Or perhaps it was trying the strong painkillers again, or the TENS machine, or walking about more without the crutch, or the new cushion, or getting some good nights’ sleep, or the quantities of caramel in the Easter egg that The Daughter gave me – anyway, things have definitely changed for the better.

So, on Monday I went to the dentist and did some shopping, and answered lots of emails, and prepared for my GP surgery writing groups, and did the writeups for the young peoples’ groups. And talked to the doctor. Early on Tuesday morning I wrote the first draft of a new slam poem, which I’m quite pleased with. It was refined during the week, and has now reached its (for now, at least) final version.

Later in the day I got hold of an adult literacy tutor and have nearly arranged to work with two of her groups, as part of the Ledbury Poetry Festival’s community programme. These tutors are always difficult to get hold of, and getting an answer at all seems to be a major achievement. I had lunch out! This is a really unusual thing for me, and it was lovely – soup with Anne-Marie, before our useful meeting with the Poetry Festival’s Director. I did a bit of work on My Book of Pomes, and finally got round to sorting through the mail that has been left on the table for three months. In the evening I went to see Oblivion, with The Bloke; this wasn’t our first choice (the other one was sold out), but it was fun, despite the plot holes.

Wednesday was  busy – a GP surgery group in Ross in the morning, and another in Tewkesbury in the afternoon. I love working with these people. They overcome all their fears and anxieties and give it all they’ve got, and in some cases write some really good stuff, too. On chap in the afternoon said, “I really wasn’t sure about this idea, you know, but it’s actually working!” Hooray! I felt quite bad when I got home, but did the writeups and some more work on The Book, and dealt with yet more emails.

On Thursday morning I had a cold bath. No, not the start of some strange toughening-up regime; there’s something wrong with my water heating, and I need to get them out to look at it as soon as possible – first job for today! I went to work at the hospital and met a lovely woman who liked talking. And my new cushion arrived! It’s a self-inflating wedge, and has made a big difference – the giant polo-shaped cushion I’ve been using for three months is just too firm now, and this is better. I slept for a bit, and collected my prescription for some more strong painkillers. They seem to be ok if I take just one a day. In the evening I went to see an exhibition of paintings by my friend Paul McKee. They were just the sort of thing I like. If only I could afford to buy one. More prep, more work on The Book.

And on Friday, I woke up feeling that I had some energy. This is the first time I have felt like this for over three months. At last, I could believe that one day I will be back to my normal self! I did some practice for a slam on Saturday, and my accounts, and in the afternoon did a creative session with the staff of the hospice where I’ve been working. It was terrific! They did really well, and even though I’d had two hours’ driving and an hour on my feet, I still managed to do some vacuuming when I got home. At last it’s clean! Well, the downstairs, anyway, and only the floors, but it’s a start. I did some Poetry on Loan work, and finished work on the Book.

On Saturday I cooked! The Bloke has done all the cooking for months, and at last I could do my bit. I received a quote from poet Alison Brackenbury for the back cover of The Book, and it’s now gone off to Lulu for its final printing. At last! Preparing a collected edition of my poems has been on my list of jobs for about three years, and now it’s done. The new slam poem crept in as the last poem in the book. It’s available from me for only £10 (plus postage and packing), which works out at about 4p per poem, so it’s excellent value. It’s £12 if you buy it online. In the evening I tried out the new poem at a slam. I didn’t get anywhere – there were some terrific young poets in the slam – but several people said that they really liked the poem, so that was ok. And in the evening The Son was home, and he’s always good fun.

And finally, to complete the wonders of the week, on Sunday I went out for a walk without my crutch. Ok, it was only about seven minutes, but I did it, and I felt ok afterwards. It all still hurts, of course – both my foot and my bum – but this week has seen a real change, and if it all continues, then things will be better all round. I’m feeling positive. Today I might even wash the kitchen floor…Now, that really would be a breakthrough.

And I‘ve noticed that this post contains the words At last at leats three times, and has far too many exclamation marks. But hey, sometimes you need exclamation marks – it’s been a good week!

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