Cleared for action

Well, that’s the idea, anyway. This week has been slightly disrupted by various things, but I’ve got some more of the summer work (decorating and clearing) done.

So – on Monday I painted most of the back of the house, got 4 new tyres on my car (ouch!), picked blackcurrants from the garden (there are loads this year), and did some stuff for Poetry on Loan and for TADS. Tuesday was concerned mostly with stuff for the prison groups and the probation hostel work, and more painting. In the evening I saw The World’s End, which was terrific; probably the best film I’ve seen this year.

Wednesday was a bit different. The Daughter has been unwell for a while, and I took her for a skin biopsy. I went in with her to see the specialist; at last, there seems to be some idea of what is wrong with her and how it should be treated. We were a little alarmed by his suggestions of drugs usually used to treat malaria or leprosy, but to start with she has some steroids and is feeling a lot better. Phew. Then it was more painting (preparing and undercoating window frames), and emails and mail. Also, I typed up two more Gloucestershire poems, one about the battle re-enactment as part of the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, and one about the Fairford air display.

I wrote another poem on Thursday, as part of a project on the suffragettes. The theme was a law case in which it emerged that a woman’s handbag was not considered to be her property but that of her husband… Nowadays I don’t think many men would really want to know about women’s handbags. Anyway, the poem seemed to go down well with the project organisers, so that’s ok. I also spent some time on the phone with a guy who’s developing a radical project; I’m helping him to write the Arts Council funding bid, but the nature of the project is top secret, so I can’t tell you anything about it. We’ve just had another long conversation and now I think I have a better idea about it all.

On Thursday afternoon I worked with my group at the probation hostel. They spent some time discussing whether to put “a” in a particular line of poem; when groups do this, I know that they are on their way to being real poets. They did really well – except that one of them keeps texting through the sessions, and I don’t quite know how to get him to stop. Personally, I think this is appallingly rude, but it might just be the way things always are in his experience. Tricky one.
I went straight from the hostel to the prison for a book group meeting. We had some new people, and they all took part in an interesting discussion. And when I got home it was writeups and ironing. Not at the same time.

On Friday I worked at the hospital; this is always really rewarding, but it was especially so because of a very complimentary comment written about my work in the cancer support charity’s comments book. I glossed the window frames in the afternoon, and then The Son came home.

The weekend was fun! The Bloke and I went to the Isle of Wight on Saturday; fortunately the rain held off until about 4 pm, but unfortunately it seems that everything on the island closes at 4;30. We managed to get an earlier ferry back than planned, but it was still a long day. And on Sunday I typed up the probation hostel stuff, and went for lunch with the Son and The Daughter (for The Daughter’s birthday) – she looked so much better than she had done on Wednesday. In the evening I saw I’m So Excited, a Pedro Almovodar film; weird, rude and funny.

This week – more hospital stuff, more gardening, more decorating, more clearing, more work. Good job I’m feeling ready for action.

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