I’ve been getting excited this week, and a bit nervous, for various reasons. I was up the ladder again, for a start, filling and undercoating a window frame. I’ve found that when I’ve had enough of being up the ladder, my leg starts wobbling. It’s strange – I always used to have wobbly knees when I was nervous about performing, but now they have come to signify real danger rather than just imaginary worries.
I went through the whole talk I was giving on Tuesday, and it seemed ok; and I wrote the minutes of last week’s TADS meeting, and ran the rehearsal. This is getting exciting now – we don’t have all that many rehearsals, and the publicity is going out. The acting is terrific, but I’m just worried about all the other stuff. I always tell the cast that I worry so they don’t need to. When I got home I handled the emails up to Sunday, and ordered a case for my Tomtom. I have a reason for needing this; it wasn’t just an indulgence.
And on Tuesday it was off to the Coach House Writers. I was giving a talk – one and a half hours! It seemed like a marathon. Part of it was about the Tewkesbury band commission, but the first bit was about my life as a writer. This included (of course) lots of poems, all of which I learned so I didn’t have to read them, even though some of them I haven’t performed for years. I was a bit nervous, but I didn’t need to be. They were a lovely audience, who laughed in all the right places and even shed a tear or two at the sad bits. They asked one or two interesting questions, and of course one person asked, as somebody always does, how I remember it all, as if I have some magic memory trick. I work at it, I said. But it was a lovely morning, and I was pleased that they had invited me.
I called in in Tewkesbury on my way home to pick up a prop I had seen in a charity shop (no expense spared on our productions!), and in the afternoon went to work in the hospital. It was still lovely outside so I did a bit of gardening, and then wrote up the hospital stuff and did the report for my work with the carers in Birmingham.
On Wednesday I handled some more emails, and then came the exciting bit. The composer for the band project has started work, and is looking carefully at the words I’ve written. He is incredibly respectful, asking if he can leave out an “and” in one place, and he asked for some extra words. Writing these was fun. He sent me some of the music and it’s terrific, just the style I had hoped for.
In the afternoon I ran a taster session for some work I’ll be doing in Moreton-in-Marsh. Quite a few people came, and I think several of them will join the main group, starting in September. In the evening we went to see Boyhood, an unusual movie filmed over 12 years, “and shown in real time”, The Bloke said. It was a bit long, really, but very interesting.
Thursday and Friday were really busy! I took my car in for a service and MOT, glossed the window frame, mowed the front lawn, answered emails, posted some books, sent invoices, sent some Poetry on Loan postcards to an authority that had run out, cleared some nettles (ouch), picked some plums, sorted the snail mail, did my end of month accounts, paid some invoices, sent loads of TADS emails and made a hundred phone calls (ok, that’s an exaggeration), and finished the Quartet sound plan.
On Friday I started on some downstairs window frames, only to find that the weatherboards were badly rotted. I’m doing what I can to repair them, but there’s a limit to what you can do with a craft knife and filler; I might need to get them replaced. I prepared for my meeting at the building society, and sorted out final arrangements for my trip with my mum next week – more on this later.
And I got my car back from its service. I know that my local garage does a good job and charges reasonably, but £796.85? Really? I spent a boring hour at the building society sorting out my accounts, and caught up with the emails (almost), and paid some Poetry on Loan invoices. I had long phone calls, too, with the Son, The Bloke, my mum, The Daughter… almost everyone I know.
And I prepared some pictures to be used as set dressing for Quartet. I really enjoyed this, because it’s the sort of thing I’m not supposed to be good at; I’m actually quite pleased with the results. And what better way to round off the week than with some ironing and sewing?
Saturday was a day off. I had given The Bloke a 4×4 off road experience for his birthday, and he did this on Saturday. I wished I had got myself one, too, because I just had to sit and wait for three hours. It was ok, though, and he enjoyed it.
And on Sunday I stocked up with wood filler at Wilkinson’s (theirs is the best wood filler, and I’ve used more wood filler than most people), and off to Bibury with the folding bikes. Riding round Bibury was great fun; not very exciting, and no cause for nerves at all. We saw trout and some strange model sheep, and loads of tourists. And I came home and wrote a poem about it.
Not a bad week, then, and lots to look forward to!

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