It wasn’t a particularly exciting week, until yesterday… but I’ll come to that later. On Monday I handled loads and loads of emails. Too many emails. And I typed up the work from my GP surgery group, and from the prison, and ran a rehearsal for Quartet, which went really well.

On Tuesday I edited a newsletter – something I do voluntarily each month because I couldn’t bear all the mistakes it used to have. And at last we had good weather. This meant that I could do something about my bonfire heap. It’s been sitting getting soaked all through the winter; it would never burn in that state, so I spread it all out to dry out a bit. I finished the prison typing, and did some prep for a young writers’ group I would be with on Saturday. Time to go through the snail mail; and when I’d actioned all that I worked on the prison book. In the afternoon I did a session at the hospital; I found two lovely people to work with. Yet more emails, and in the evening I went to see Captain America: the winter soldier. Apart from the huge holes in the plot, it was entertaining enough.

On Wednesday I wrote up the hospital stuff and did some weeding, and in the afternoon worked with the GP surgery group. Their little play is now finished! This week we’ll try to record it. They’ve done really well on this. I drove straight from there to Ledbury, where I had three meetings to do with the Poetry Festival; lots of admin stuff. And then there were more emails. Sigh.

I spent quite a bit of time on Thursday on Poetry on Loan stuff – updating the website, mostly, but also on the recommended books leaflet, which is now with the designer. We’ve got a great list of books to promote. In the evening I went to a meeting in Birmingham – all the leaders and assistant leaders of the young people’s writing groups. It’s always good to meet up; we all come away with lots of new ideas. I finished off with some prep for the next Quartet rehearsal.

On Friday morning I was feeling really stressed. There are loads of things I can’t get sorted out until I have replies from other people, and I can do nothing but wait. And there are lots of things I have to do – so many that I found it difficult to prioritise. But worst of all was the Tewkesbury band project. I have to write nine pieces about the history of Tewkesbury; we were all meeting on Sunday, and I hadn’t written anything. So I went out in the garden and put the bonfire back together, and in the afternoon went to see The Mousetrap, which is on its 60th anniversary tour. This was undemanding, stagey and good fun, and I felt much better afterwards. I rounded off the day with a bonfire, which burnt well, and has at last removed the mouldering heap from my garden. I stayed up late and answered all the emails, and on Saturday morning I wrote my first Tewkesbury band piece. Hooray! And I went to Stratford to work with a young writers group, standing in for their lead writer. They were teenagers, full of the usual angst, but willing to have a go at anything. Later that day I wrote another piece for the band project.

On Sunday we went to Prinknash bird and deer park, mostly because it was nice day and we haven’t been there before. Very gentle.

But then came the excitement – the first meeting for the Tewkesbury band project. It was great hearing the band rehearse, although it made me a bit sad because it brought back memories of my dad, who played in brass bands all his life. But the composer and the choir co-ordinator and I got together for the first time, which was great. None of us knew each other before, but we really got on well, and were all thinking along the same lines for the project. Strangely, the composer looks very much like The Son – but then, quite a lot of people do. I came home and wrote my third piece. This is going to be a terrific project, I think! Now I can’t wait to get on and write some more, but I have so many other things I must do first. None of them is as exciting, but duty calls. And emails.

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