Filling time

It’s been a very odd week. Since I first became a self-employed writer, this was the first week with no fixed work engagements at all – the week was mine to do with as I wished!

Except it wasn’t, of course; there is always stuff to be done, although I did manage to include quite a loot of R&R. On Monday I answered emails and updated the Poetry on Loan website ( ) and did an event evaluation. And I went to the gym and tested my muscles on some of the machines. The machines won by a mile, but it would have been a bit better if I had remembered to take a bottle of water. In the evening, The Bloke and I went to a secret film screening – we have season tickets at Cineworld, and this is one of the privileges. It was The secret life of Walter Mitty. When  the film was announced, half the audience groaned and the other half let out a pleased “Ooh!” I enjoyed it a lot, but I always like films with good scenery.

On Tuesday I did some more Poetry on Loan work, and some prep for a workshop this week in Dudley, and then I had my birthday present. Yes, my birthday was in May, but I really haven’t felt able to take the time for this present until now – a full body massage, complete with reflexology, a mini facial, and Indian head massage. I wasn’t too keen on the Indian head massage, but the rest was bliss, like being wrapped in loveliness – especially because the room was lovely and warm, quite unlike my office. Purrrr. I answered more emails, and ordered Christmas presents, and did some sewing for The Son. I still had no voice! It didn’t really come back until Thursday. How fortunate it was that I didn’t really need it this week.

Wednesday was a bit busier – more PoL work; general tidying; proofreading a book of pieces by the adult literacy group – and I sorted out three boxes of old papers from the garage; got them down to just one box and a half-full recycling bin. This was the start of the Big Office Clearout.

In the evening we saw Hunger Games; we had intended to see The Butler but it was sold out. Hunger Games is, of course, tosh, and so predictable!

Thursday meant a visit to the dentist, which is always good fun (no, really; my dentist and his assistant always make me laugh) – and I’ve just realised that this was another sort of filling time. Ho-ho. And I started clearing out all my prison stuff – stage two of the BOC. I had a good session at the hospital (hooray! my voice was back) and went to a Pilates class at the gym. This was really good; I didn’t think I would last out a complete hour but it went quickly. The aching muscles I had on Friday were as predictable as Hunger Games.

On Friday I did my weekly accounts, and some prep for a gig coming up soon, and more PoL stuff, and I went for a swim. I’m really beginning to get into this gym idea (I have a very good offer from Groupon at the moment), but of course normally I don’t know how I would find the time. I managed a bit of Christmas shopping (I love Christmas shopping!) and wrote a report on the work I did at the hospice. In the evening we were out again – three times in a week! This was to see a friend (Greg Aston), who is an excellent actor and singer, in a version of Jekyll and Hyde. He and most of the cast did very well, but the script and lyrics were appalling; I winced as I could foresee the trite or contrived rhymes coming up – as predictable as Hunger Games, yet again.

And the weekend has been a relaxation from all this enjoyment; we gave the huge butterfly plant its annual haircut, and shredded all the bits for composting, and did a bit more light shopping.

I could get used to filling my time like this, with much more emphasis on the lighter side – but I won’t. This week I really need my voice, and every day is filled already.

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