Worn out

Not me! I’m not worn out. But it’s been a week of meetings, really, and they can get you down, and a minor domestic problem.

On Monday I did a lot of prep for meetings, and then had a slightly strange meeting with The Son – my first ever face time call! I always knew when I were a lad that one day we would have phone calls with vision, and now it’s come to mobiles. I’m not sure I like the idea, really – it’s hard enough to get exactly the right tone of voice for a phone call, without having to worry about what I look like.

It was the first meeting of the ex-GP surgery group I work with in Tewkesbury. I didn’t stay long because it was supposed to be for them to talk about fundraising. I shot off to a meeting in Birmingham about the Writing Squads – the young people’s groups I work with in Hereford. There are Writing Squads all over the West Midlands, and it’s good to get together occasionally with the other lead and assistant writers.

When I got home there were loads of emails to deal with, each one like a tiny meeting.

Tuesday was a big meeting – the Artlift trustees, all gathered together for the first time in a lovely art centre place deep in deepest Gloucestershire. I was there to run a little creative ice-breaking activity, to take the notes, and as a stand-in for the project manager in case she suddenly went into labour. She didn’t, and it all went well.

In the evening I went to see About time,  which was an older person’s version of all Richard Curtis’ other films, with time travel. It was a nice, gentle movie, with a  few laughs.

On Wednesday I packed and sent the last few eBay items, and answered more emails, and supplied some contact addresses for Koestler. Apparently if the Koestler organisation send prizes and certificates for people in prison to a prison that has been closed, they don’t get forwarded to the prisoner in his/her new prison – that would be much too sensible! They just get returned to sender. I was able to help them out by supplying some forwarding addresses. I’m not going to let my guys go without their well-deserved certificates and prizes. And I picked more pears, and wrote up the Artlift meeting notes, and went to the hospital, where I found a lovely woman to work with, and did some invoicing, and ordered a new toner cartridge for my printer. I know these wear out, but they never seem to last as long as you think they will, and a new cartridge costs almost as much as a new printer. I’ve tried the cheap replacement ones and they’re no good.

On Thursday I was at the probation hostel, and hooray! there were three really keen guys for me to work with. It all went splendidly; they burst out into spontaneous applause at our first group poem, which was excellent – but I left my flipchart there, and I just hope that they keep it safe because that is the only copy of this poem.

And my fridge freezer packed up. I knew it had gone in the morning, but I couldn’t do anything about it then. Poor old thing – it must have been 15 years old at least, and its doors were rusty and the seals were iffy, so I knew it was only a matter of time. I managed to put everything from the freezer compartment into the big freezer, and found a bag of ice to keep the fridge stuff cold. But I spent ages online looking for a new one that would fit the tiny gap and that was frost-free; regular readers of this blog will know how much I hate defrosting the fridge freezer. Good old Co-op! They had one, not quite as big as the old one but near enough, and they would deliver on Saturday. Excellent! Although of course they are not cheap, and I’d much rather have spent the money on something a bit more exciting. But I’m lucky; I could afford to buy a new one, so this was just a nuisance rather than a disaster.

And I finished clearing the garden. Well, except for the end bit – what I think of as my woodland area; that will have to look after itself, I’m afraid.

I did the writeup for the probation hostel, and prepared for my prison poetry session, and did my week’s accounts, and handled more emails; and it was 11 pm and I was fed up with working. Perhaps I am wearing out; or perhaps I just should have stopped earlier.

On Friday I sorted out lots of content for the new Poetry on Loan website, which will, I hope, be live very soon, and prepared for sessions tomorrow with an adult literacy group, and in the evening went to the prison. It was a good session, with some very lively discussion, but unfortunately one of the key guys won’t be coming any more because he will be working outside the prison. When I left it was dark – a foretaste of all the dark evenings ahead.

The new fridge freezer arrived on Saturday morning as promised, and I had to leave it to settle in before turning it on and putting anything in it. I like the idea that a new one needs to settle in, as if it’s a bit unhappy about being moved.

For some reason I was hurting quite a lot on Saturday, and I went to The Bloke’s and did nothing. On Sunday we visited the Corinium museum in Cirencester, partly because we haven’t been there before and it’s a good thing to do when it’s raining, and partly to see an exhibition of paintings by the lovely Paul McKee. They are full of colour and energy; he shows no signs of feeling worn out at all. But what I like most in the museum is the Roman mosaics. I wonder if I could do the playroom floor in mosaic…

Today I feel fine, and ready for a really busy week. But on Wednesday I am to have my eyes tested. My old ones are definitely getting worn out, so I think I’m going to have to get some glasses for reading. A bad sign…

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