Hotting up

Not the weather; that’s cooling down, unfortunately. I think that when I got up this morning there was a touch of autumn in the air. Oh well, it’s been good while it’s lasted, and all that.
No; it’s the other stuff that’s hotting up. Things that have been planned and prepared for for ages are all getting closer to reality now, and that’s affecting how I’m feeling today; it all became more and more obvious last week.
On Monday I did a bit of outdoor woodwork repair. I enjoy using filler; it’s a bit like playing with plasticine, except that what you end up with isn’t that uniform grey mess you always used to get with plasticine. I did some prep for a visit to the prison where I’ll be working, and had a session at the hospital; not bad. I mowed the back lawn and loaded up my car for the rehearsal – act 2 needs loads of props. The rehearsal went really well, but we realised that we have only four rehearsals left before the tech and dress. Gulp. But it’s fine; they are all doing well, and it’s going to be a great show. I handled some emails when I got back (they never go away, do they?), but only up to Saturday’s.
On Tuesday I went to prison. The prison where I’ll be working (whose name I won’t mention) is some way away from me, but it was a good journey, and well worth while. The governor who will be my main contact took plenty of time to go through with me the mechanics of how I can work, and we went to see some of the men who are likely to sign up for my course, and the room where I’ll be working. We also agreed to change things a bit. Some men were reluctant to sign up because one of the days in the course will be a family day; treasured events in prisons. I’ll be doing 7 days there instead of 9, which actually makes things a bit easier for me, too. Today I’ll need to plan what we’re going to be doing in those 7 days.
More filling when I got back; and I picked some plums, and wrote up the hospital work, and got up to Monday’s emails, and had a phone call from The Son. In the evening I went to see Hercules; I expected this to be entertaining tosh, and it was.
More filling on Wednesday – this was a significant repair job – and I packed for an overnight stay and tidied the whole house, and sanded and undercoated, and typed up two poems I had written at the weekend, and got very nearly up-to-date with the emails…
…and drove to my mum’s house in Cheshire. My mum has two houses, one where she has lived for many years, and a bungalow in Barton-on-Humber, near my brother and his kids and grandkids. Although my mum still drives short distances, she can’t face the drive from Cheshire to Barton, but she likes to have the car with her while she’s staying there. So, we had to get her and her car over there, and in the evening, that’s what we did. She spent most of the journey telling me that I was in the wrong lane, or had gone the wrong way, but when we arrived she actually said that I was a good driver. Wow.
I stayed with her overnight, and in the morning I was collected by a car hire company – Enterprise, who deserve a little publicity because I had excellent service from them. I drove the hire car back to the hire place near my mum’s in Cheshire; they took me to my mum’s, and then I drove home. It amounted to about 13 hours’ driving over the two days. I was glad to get back, and immediately did a bit more filling. I know how to relax. By now there were, of course, more emails to deal with, and a new rehearsal schedule to prepare and send out. Oh – I’m involved in the judging panel for a poet laureate at the moment, and I went through some of the entries while I was at my mum’s. Some are outstanding, and some are dire. I have to give comments. It’s not always easy.
Friday – oh, Friday was busy! Weekly accounts; painting; washing; weedkilling; house cleaning; plum-picking and freezing; a props list for the new props assistant we have for the play; weeding; updating the Poetry on Loan website. And a friend called in; someone I haven’t seen for ages. We had the usual discussions about how we all were; one of her daughters has had terrible health problems in the last year, and oh, they’ve been through an awful time. It was lovely to see her, and I do hope we can get together again soon. More emails, and I started recording all the marks and comments I had made about the potential laureates. In the evening I was to go and collect some props from someone who lives quite near. My car wouldn’t start. Rats. It seemed to be something electrical; the starter motor didn’t turn over at all, although all the electrical equipment seemed to be working. I dragged The Bloke away from something he was working on, and he came over and we jump started it; all fine, but when I stopped it and tried to start it again, nothing. So The Bloke, bless him, took me to get the props, and I finished the evening with some ironing.
On Saturday The Bloke came again to jump start the car, and I took it to my local garage, where it is now, being put right, I hope. The rest of the day was fun – The Son and Daughter and their respective Boyfriend and Girlfriend and I all went out to lunch. Any time spent with my kids means laughs; they’re a riot. They all came home for a little while afterwards (which was the reason for all the tidying and cleaning).
Yesterday The Bloke and I prepared a banner which will go up outside The Roses to advertise the play, and worked on another prop, which probably won’t be seen by anyone – but it’s still important that it is right. I did some typing up of the work done by the carers’ group (which seems an age ago now), and finished recording the laureate stuff.
And this week I will do more work on the play, and prep for the prison, and for the project in care homes, and for the adult literacy students, and the new GP surgery group… They are all just over the horizon and the ship is going at full speed, which is a pretty bad analogy because I’m no good on boats. As long as it rains, I’ll be fine, but if it all hots up again outside, I’ll want to be repairing and decorating and gardening. And I must do my prep.

1 thought on “Hotting up

  1. Hi Brenda, I’ve just read your activities for last week and I’m wacked. I think I’ll have to go and lie down. Just reading about you is exhausting. Hope all goes well, particularly the play and the new stuff. Bear in mind you need to relax, just occasionally.



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