All hours

It’s been a busy week, with several more to come. When it’s like this, I just seem to be working all the hours there are – not that I’m complaining.

On and off all week I’ve been preparing content for the new Poetry on Loan website. I really hope it will go live today – poetryonloan.org.uk – but anyway it should be sometime this week. The library authorities have been sending me stuff, but some of them have had to be chased up, and I’ve had to massage nearly all of what they’ve sent into a consistent format. I did quite a lot of this on Monday, and wrote up the writing squad sessions, and did a lot of prep, and dealt with a whole load of emails. But I also ran a little group that was once a GP surgery group and is now associated with the Roses in Tewkesbury, and dug up the last of my potatoes and gathered and cooked some pears.

Tuesday was the adult literacy group in Hereford, which was terrific. It was such a lovely day and I really wanted to spend it in the garden, but I had to do some more prep. In the evening I saw White House down; predictable thriller but well done.

More website stuff on Wednesday, and a session in the oncology unit. I worked with two people: a woman who had had a terrible time, and a man who was nearly 80 and is living life to the full. Inspiring, both of them. I phoned a school where I was supposed to be working tomorrow; I thought it was strange that I hadn’t heard from them. No, they said, no record of it on the calendar; we don’t know anything about it. Sigh. A day’s income gone – but at least it will give me a chance to catch up with everything.

In the evening I was a judge at the Shropshire Young Poet Laureate event, up in Wem (and isn’t that a strange place name?). Four young poets had been shortlisted, and had the nerve-wracking experience of being interviewed on stage, and then performing four poems. They varied a lot, but one had terrific engagement with the audience, and she had to be chosen. A good evening – but on the way a lorry had broken down on the motorway, so it took ages, and on the way home they had closed the M6, so it took ages.

On Thursday I was at the probation hostel again. The two guys I’m working with there are really keen, and surprise themselves each week. In the evening I was at the prison, for a good reading group session, with lively discussion.

And on Friday – well, I did my accounts, handled emails, sent some proposals for Ledbury Poetry Festival events, made some long phone calls, wrote up the hospital, probation hostel and prison sessions, gathered more pears and put them outside for people to take, mowed the front and back lawns, and sorted out clothes for the weekend…

…which was a weekend away! The Bloke was helping an ex-colleague who lives in Crediton. I spent the day shopping in Exeter. I haven’t been clothes shopping for ages, and it was good fun – successful too. On Sunday we came home and I did a bit of work, and washed my car, and took down my house sign. It’s a lovely round wooden sign, but the varnish has all flaked off and it’s split almost completely through. I’ll try to repair it, although I don’t know how I’ll find the time, but I think it might be a lost cause. Shame. At the moment I live in an unmarked house.

And now I must dash because there’s still so much to do. I’d really like to finish by 10 pm so that I can do some ironing…

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