I’d like to think that I’ve spread new light around the world through a beautifully-crafted and insightful poem, but the truth is that I’ve sorted out the plants on my kitchen window sill. Before I saw the world through dense undergrowth, but now I can actually see a window. When I’ve cleaned the window, I’ll be able to see through it, too.
You’ve probably gathered that this has been largely a week of house and garden stuff. Almost every day this week, I’ve picked some gooseberries and blackcurrants from my bushes and prepared them for freezing. Soon there will be plums, and then a glut of pears. I didn’t have any pears last year, but this seems to be how pear trees go.
I have done some other stuff too, though. On Monday I did some gardening, and some prep for the session at the probation hostel, and tried to sort out a change of signatories for the TADS bank account. This is an unbelievably complex process when you are in a group that meets only once a month. I know they have to take precautions against money laundering, but really? A little group like ours? They only need to look at our banking business to know that we are not international drug smugglers. I answered lots of emails and wrote a poem for the project about suffragettes, after doing some research; and I worked on a book of poems written by the adult literacy group. This is all ready to go now, and I’ll be putting it on Lulu today.
On Tuesday I worked in the hospital, which was as inspiring as always, and wrote up all I’d done and paid some Poetry on Loan invoices. In the evening I saw Wolverine, but only because the film I wanted to see was fully booked. It was drivel, but actually not as bad as I’d feared.
On Wednesday I worked on the wording for the mystery Arts Council bid, and worked in the hospital again. I met an amazing woman there, who was really funny despite her less-than-good prognosis, but couldn’t find anyone else to work with. It’s like that, sometimes; people just don’t feel up to talking (not surprising, really), or they’re taken away for appointments when we’re in the middle of talking… Never mind; I’ll try again this week. I answered lots of emails.
On Thursday I was at the probation hostel. Only two men came – one of the regular group had left the hostel the day before, and nobody had told the other one about the change of time. Sigh. But the remaining two did really well; some imaginative ideas.
I had psyched myself up for going up the big ladder to finish painting the back of the house. I managed to get the ladder into position (not easy), but realised that when I was up the ladder there was nowhere for the paint; the angle between the ladder and the wall was too narrow for anything but the tiniest pot. So I painted the kitchen wall instead, and mowed the grass, and handled emails, and made some ice cream – banana custard ice cream, if you’re interested, just because The Son had said he would like some.
I’ve received the first batch of Poetry on Loan poetry postcards from the lovely Greg, a photographer and designer. This time we commissioned original photos, rather than use our usual designer who uses stock images. This was a bit of a risk, but they are terrific; he’s done a great job. I can’t wait to see them all finished.
And Friday was such a good day! I was hurting a bit earlier in the week, but on Friday I was full of energy. I tidied and cleaned the whole house, did the kitchen gardening, handled loads of emails, prepared and undercoated the kitchen window frames, worked on the book of pieces by the GP surgery group, sorted out two bags of clothes to go to the charity shop and lots of things to be sold on eBay, and did the ironing!
On Saturday I took photos of all the eBay stuff, and went with The Bloke to Minchinhampton and Tetbury – just to look round and write poems for the Poet Laureate project. Minchinhampton was like something from a Western when the good guy and the bad guy are about to have a shoot-out; Tetbury was Wetbury, and closed by 4:30. On a Saturday! In August! Still, I wrote three poems, one for each town and one for Minchinhampton Common, which was lovely. And The Bloke came up with a good way of hanging the paint pot from the ladder, so this week I might actually be able to finish the painting.
And yesterday we went to the National Space Centre. I really enjoyed the section on the space race, with a timeline putting everything into context. The moon programme was so important to me when I was younger that I found all this quite moving. The rest was ok, although some of the hand-on things weren’t working well. Three hours was enough.
And now I’ve really entered my lean period. Not much work and not much pay – but a chance, I hope, to get on with clearing my house out and attacking the garden with my machete and flamethrower. I might even shed new light on the shed…