Outdoors

I love the warm weather! I know a lot of people don’t like it when it’s humid, but it doesn’t really bother me; as long as it’s warm, I’m happy. I’ve tried to spend as much time as possible outdoors this week, but work has a habit of getting in the way.
On Monday evening I mowed the big lawn and caught up with most of the emails, and ran a rehearsal; everyone seemed to be lacking in energy. What’s the matter with you people? A bit of sunshine and you flake out!
On Tuesday I had the carers’ group in Birmingham again, and oh, they are doing so well. They are all really sorry that there is only one session left, and so am I; four sessions seems such a short time. I came home and did some gardening; my tomatoes and cucumbers are coming on really well, thank you. I was so proud of my first ever baby cucumber! And I mowed the small lawn, and planted some plants, and nearly caught up with the emails (again). In the evening we went to see a Secret Screening; The Bloke and I have Unlimited cards for Cineworld, and occasionally they put on a secret screening just for us (and other cardholders, obviously); we don’t know what the film is going to be until it starts. Usually they are films which won’t be released for a month, so we were a little disappointed to find that it was Dawn of the planet of the apes, but it was well done and I enjoyed it more than I had expected. Don’t know what it would have been without Andy Serkis, though.
On Wednesday I wrote a poem, and had a very good session at the hospital, and collected a carpet we will be using for the play from its storage place in a barn outhouse, and sent lots of emails and applied for some work; and cleared some moss from the lawn and did some re-seeding, and cleared part of a border, and did the hospital writeup and nearly caught up with the emails (there’s a pattern forming here). And I wrote the minutes for the Ledbury Poetry Festival meeting that we’d had on Monday; it was a busy meeting so there was a lot to write.
I finished the minutes on Thursday, and then gulped a bit and went up the ladder – the same one I fell off last year. I put engineering bricks behind its feet to make it a bit more secure, and although I felt a little anxious, I went up it to prepare some window edges for painting. And came down, without any injury. The carpet had to be cleaned, and I spread it on my drive and, for the first time in my life, used Shake ‘n’ Vac – and yes, I did do the little dance, after making sure no-one was watching – and only for a few seconds. I had to mend a hole in it, too, which was also a bit of a song and dance. And I broke the pattern, and caught up with the emails! I undercoated the window sides, and did a bit more gardening, and then I went to try out a bike that was for sale on eBay, and not too far away from me. It was ok, although it needed a bit of work. I did bid for it, but in the end it went way out of my price range for a second-hand bike. And I finished the evening with some invoicing.
The trouble with wanting to do jobs outside is that real work, the sort that earns me money, takes a back seat; or rather, I do it until late into the night. But how could I resist? It was fine weather again on Friday, so after doing my accounts for the week, and making phone calls and sending emails. and practising for my gig on Saturday, and preparing for a big session I have next week, and answering emails, I glossed my window bits (and I didn’t even wobble on the ladder!). And then I repaired the carpet again, because my first attempt hadn’t really worked. And ordered two new compost bins. They arrived today; this means I have 6, which might just be enough. One of them is out of use because a family of slow worms live in it; they like the warm weather too, and bask near the surface. A bit more gardening came next, and then I designed a poster to publicise the work I’ll be doing in a prison in August.
I spent quite a bit of time going through the big talk I’ll be giving; I’d just written what I wanted to say, and – oh joy! – it came to almost exactly the right length. It still needs a bit of tweaking, but I think it’ll be ok; one less thing to worry about (and why is that not one fewer thing to worry about?)
Saturday was a full day, not that the others were empty. I was taking part in a poetry performance day at Mitcheldean; I’d gathered some other poets together and they all did a grand job – and I sold 5 books! And then I went and, gulp again, spent some money on a new folding bike. It wasn’t that much, really, and it’s the first brand new bike I’ve had since I was 14, so I decided I could justify it; actually it wasn’t all that much more than the second-hand one I’d been to see, and it’s nicer to ride.
And – hooray! Sunday was a day off. The Bloke and I rode our bikes a little way, and I discovered that I definitely need a gel saddle cover. And we went to the Much Marcle steam rally. We’ve been to this before, and it was the same collection of delightful eccentrics; totally pointless, but in a very amiable way.
Today is the start of an incredibly busy week; I’ll hardly be outside at all, and I really don’t know how I’m going to get everything done. I spent the day in Hereford, having some training for a new project I’ll be working on soon, with older people in care homes. I got home just in time to water the plants and go off to rehearsal. The cast are great actors, and it will be wonderful show – if, if they finish learning their lines. Grrr. But I think we all just wanted to be outdoors.

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