Summer gym

Regular readers of this blog may (or may not) have noticed that of late there have been no mentions of running, or swimming, or going to the gym. That’s because in summer I have a different gym – my garden. My garden is huge, much more than I can cope with, and I don’t feel justified in spending time on physical activity that I might actually enjoy, like running or swimming, when there is so much to be done in the garden.

I was out in the garden immediately after blogging last week. Then there was the usual prep; and I made some changes to me two new slam poems; and mowed the back lawn and fed the tomatoes and did some weeding, before going to rehearsal in the evening, which went well, except for the absence of one of the actors. He is required to walk with a stick in the play; he has actually sprained his ankle and is on crutches. Life imitates art.

On Tuesday I took my car in for plastic surgery – well, a bit of rust repair and paintwork, really; but I had to be without it for nearly four days,. Fortunately The Bloke could lend me his for part of the time, although I was wary of going any distance; I’d have hated to have damaged it. So, I was more or less stuck at home, and I finished clearing the front garden, and got rid of some brambles, and sorted out the borders alongside the drive, and picked some blackcurrants. Today I’ve been working in a school, and I did all the prep for that on Tuesday; it took ages. After a bit more gardening, I dealt with the emails, and in the evening saw Maleficent, which was an ok fantasy; nothing special.

On Wednesday I did some practice for a slam, and lots more gardening – is this getting tedious? It was much more tedious actually doing it! I did some prep for some work this week, and worked with my GP surgery group – except it wasn’t much of a group because only one of them turned up. I did some planting (the nice bit of gardening, I think), and paid some Poetry on Loan invoices, and answered loads of emails.

On Thursday I made a lot of phone calls and did some Poetry on Loan work, and spent the afternoon at the hospital, which went ok. More gardening. More emails. More prep…

…and on Friday I got my car back! It looks lovely again. The slam was getting closer, so I did quite a bit of practice; I hadn’t decided which poems to do, so I was practising a lot of them. I picked more blackcurrants, and prepared them for the freezer, and prepared for the Ledbury Poetry Festival events I’ll be managing next weekend, and for a school in Devon I’m working with soon. This is proving to be very difficult; we might or might not have a theme, which some or all of the pupils might or might not have some knowledge of… I may have to redo the whole plan. And, of course, there were accounts and emails to polish off.

On Saturday I finished a new short poem, and in the afternoon went off to look at folding bicycles; I might get one. It would make a change from gardening. But they had hardly any in the first place we tried so we looked again on Sunday; I think I’ve narrowed it down to one of two. The big decision is whether to go for an electrically-assisted one.

The Bloke and I had a pleasant afternoon in the Rococo Gardens, and then it was off to the slam – the Worcester LitFest slam, that is. I did one of the new poems in the first round, and expected to be knocked out straight away – but I won my heat, and in fact had the highest score in the first round! I won the semi-final, too; and the final.

And the day in a school went well, with the beginnings of some powerful poems, which is what we were aiming for. My limping actor was back on duty for the rehearsal tonight, and that’s going ok.

So, all in all, it’s been a pleasant week. I haven’t been able to go out and do much; I’ve got a lot of gardening done (which is pleasant at least in retrospect), and I won a slam. And I’ve nearly found an alternative summer gym.

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