It’s been an ordinary sort of week, really, except for one thing. Monday was quite busy – loads of emails, and then a session with staff from a Hospice, getting them to think creatively about what their work means to them.; in the evening I worked with one of my GP surgery groups. There were only two of them, but they worked very hard. I did some writeups later.
On Tuesday I took my car in for a service. Somehow I’d missed a service – I’m usually punctilious about this, but I think that my injury disrupted things a bit. Anyway, this one was really expensive, and more work needs to be done. Ah well. I did a lot of prep at home, and devised a feedback questionnaire for poets who work with Poetry on Loan, and did some gardening. I now have tubs full of pretty flowers, and some hanging baskets, and a bit more of my front garden has been de-jungled. In the evening I went to see Behind the candelabra, which was good – very well acted.
On Wednesday I had a long phone call from The Son, and worked on the book of pieces written by my Ross GP group, and ran another GP group session in Tewkesbury, which went very well. Lots of writeups in the evening, and some research for my prison book group session.
Thursday was not a good day. I was supposed to go to a meeting in Gloucester, but due to a mix-up in the arrangements I didn’t go to the right place; it was all a bit of a waste of time. But I went from there to work in CheltenhamHospital. I spent time with two lovely women, and came away, as I usually do, feeling sad and positive at the same time. I dealt with more emails, and in the evening went to see a live relay broadcast of The audience. This was good. But as we left the cinema I noticed a voicemail had been left on my phone. I rang the person back – someone I had known when I was at school – and was given the sad news that Tony, my first real boyfriend, had died the day before. When I say my first real boyfriend – well, this wasn’t just a short thing. I started going out with him when I was 13, and we were together for eight-and-a-half years. We’ve spoken on the phone about once a year for the last, I don’t know, twenty years, and exchanged email birthday wishes. I didn’t hear from him on my birthday this year, and assumed he was off on a long cruise or something; but in fact he was very ill. He had specifically asked our mutual friend to contact me if he didn’t get better. He was, of course, too young to die – 64; and it started me thinking about lost dreams and alternative lives. Unfortunately I won’t be able to go to his funeral. Goodbye, Tony x.
And on Friday, of course, life went on. I had a meeting in Birmingham about the funding bid that the other prison writers and I want to put in; I answered emails; I did some gardening; I had a long phone call with The Daughter; I finished prep for the prison book group.
On Saturday I worked with my three young people’s groups in Hereford. They always cheer me up – so much enthusiasm and good humour. The older ones gave me a bunch of flowers as a late birthday present, and the middle group brought in cakes, because it’s our last session before the summer break. One of the cakes was iced with a B, and was made specially for me, so I had to eat it – it was delicious!
And yesterday I went to a Rick Wakeman concert. The tickets were ridiculously expensive, but The Bloke paid for them – he has always liked Rick Wakeman, and I went to keep him company. I’m afraid I found the music banal, derivative, and flabby; it didn’t speak to me at all. I really enjoyed one part of an arrangement of Eleanor Rigby in the style of Prokofiev, but that was only because it was a good imitation and I really like Prokofiev. And we were seated in such a place that the drums drowned out much of the rest of the sound, so even The Bloke was disappointed. Shame.
But life can’t always be good. It’s no good sighing over lost dreams.