On the up

This week started badly; I overwrote the file with all my Tewkesbury band pieces with a new file containing the latest piece. I’m sure most people know that awful sinking feeling… but all was not lost; fortunately I had sent the previous file to the composer last week, so it was recoverable. Phew. I did the writeup for my young writers, and typed in a couple of poems, and paid some Poetry on Loan invoices, and gave blood – hooray! First time I’ve done this since my accident. And I finished the big Arts Council report, which was a weight off my mind. In the evening we saw The love punch,  which was an enjoyable romp, and then I just fell asleep as if I’d been knocked on the head.

On Wednesday the emails were lurking, so I saw them off, and had a long phone call with The Son. I did some prep for the next TADS meeting and for a course I’m running tomorrow, and spent some time at the hospital, with a very chatty lady – but people do wait there for ages, and they are glad of a diversion. The TADS meeting was in the evening; short and useful.

On Thursday I went for a run, and read a little play sent to me by a young guy I’m mentoring, and prepared for work with yet another group of young writers, and sent off the Arts Council report. There was a bit of Poetry on Loan work to do, and I wrote the minutes of the TADS meeting. It was a lovely day, so I did a bit of gardening – replanting some baby poppy and tomato plants – and I mowed both the lawns. Prep for my follow-on group, mail, and proofreading the prison book – it does look really good, and the libraries want 20 copies of it! And I finished the day by writing the next song for the Tewkesbury band project; I’ve only got one more to do now.

On Friday I did my usual accounts, and had a call from the Birmingham council finance people. All the library authorities in the West Midlands take part in poetry on Loan, and they all pay an annual subscription, which varies according to the size of the authority. The invoices for these went out last May, and on Friday, Birmingham finally decided that they would pay the bill. How could it take so long? Why do they do this? But at least it’s done now, although I won’t really count on this until the money is in the bank.

We had an Artlift meeting today; we have one every couple of months and it’s always good to find out how everyone is doing. We’ve all been working on this project for seven years now, and apparently the research side of it now has the biggest set of arts and health records in the world – coo!

I went to the gym for a little while, and came home and answered emails. One of the emails was great news. A month or so ago, I wrote to the governor of a particular prison suggesting that they might like me to be their writer in residence. He wrote back very, very quickly, and put me in touch with the Friends organisation that funds activities like this. I sent them a costed proposal for a year’s residency and for a three month pilot; they emailed back with encouraging noises but said it would be several months before they would meet to consider it – but on Friday they said yes to the trial! This is excellent news – I have a prison to work in again.

I did some prep for today’s rehearsal, and worked till well after 10 pm answering emails; and wrote a poem.

On Saturday I managed only a short run, and some more emails, and went to work with a young writers group in Edgbaston. They were terrific! And in the evening I went out for a meal with The Daughter and her boyfriend, which was lovely.

And yesterday I spent money. I went out and bought an electric scarifier. This seemed a ridiculous indulgence, but it cost only a little more than a tank full of petrol, and will save me hours of back-breaking work trying to get rid of the moss that makes up most of the lawns.

This really was a week that got progressively better. I wonder what this week will be like?

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