You’ll never work another day in your life

Someone – an amazing lady I met at Cheltenham Hospital – said this to me this week: if you work at something you love doing, then you’ll never work another day in your life. She was right, of course. A labour of love is no labour at all, so I’ve been not working a lot this week. The odd hour off from not working is quite nice, though.
On Monday I dealt with emails, and prepared for the group I would be with in the afternoon, and for the patients group at Moreton hospital, and for the young writers in Pershore. The afternoon group went well; they had an open event to attract new members, and it looks like they will get two or three more. It was good to see some old friends again. I took a break by mowing the back lawn and putting the ironing away, and did some Poetry on Loan stuff. I listened twice to the final version of the prison play, just to make sure it was all ok, and did some more ironing. I haven’t put that lot of ironing away yet, and it’s a week later.
On Tuesday I had my next home visit for the Cheltenham Literature Festival project, Behind Closed Doors, to a lady who is, if anything, even busier than I am. She was great fun, and I’m quite pleased with the poem I wrote for her later that evening. I put the prison book on the online publisher, Lulu, which always takes a bit of time, prepared for a gig this week and practised some of the words for the Images of Tewkesbury brass band event. In the afternoon, I went to the care home. This went really well. Jonny Fluffypunk’s poem about his shed provoked lots of memories and thoughts from the two gentlemen present. I did the writeup when I got home, and in the evening saw The hundred step journey; a nice, undemanding movie. Then wrote the Behind Closed Doors poem.
I had my third visit to Hereford hospital on Wednesday; where I worked with two interesting people, and went straight to the Moreton hospital to work with my group there. They seem to be getting a lot of it – one lady said that after the last session she was looking at things with new eyes. I typed up the BCD poem, and went to a band rehearsal; this was a bit tricky, because I have been practising my words with a midi version of the music which includes the voices, and of course there weren’t any at the rehearsal. We sorted out a few problems with where all the words go, though. It was actually quite touching; the band clapped my words! Wow. Later, I managed to sort the emails up until Monday’s.
And on Thursday, I reached Tuesday – with the emails, that is. I sent some PoL emails, and went to Cheltenham hospital where I met the amazing woman I mentioned earlier; she was inspiring. I took the costumes for Quartet back to the school we had hired them from and did some shopping. The Poetry on Loan competition is in its final stages now, and I worked out the shortlist from the marks I had had from the judges; then did the Hereford hospital writeup. The people running the Behind Closed Doors project wanted the two poems in my handwriting, so I wrote them out as neatly as I could. I’m sure they won’t want them like this when they see them, though. More band practice, the Cheltenham hospital writeup, and emails up to Wednesday, and practise for the gig this week.
On Friday I was supposed to have my boiler serviced, so I stayed in and waited. And waited. In the end I phoned them. They apologised and said they should have phoned to say they weren’t coming…
Anyway, I did my accounts, and emailed the PoL authorities who haven’t paid their subscriptions yet (invoices sent in April), and updated the PoL website, and prepared for my young people’s group and for a new group I’m starting this afternoon in Cinderford, and for the care home; and I sent a proof copy of the prison book to the prison to be checked. More practice, and emails – up-to-date at last! I spent some time checking trains for my friend Jackie, who lives in new Zealand and visits me for 24 hours once a year, and finished, at last, typing up pieces for the carers’ group book, and started putting them in sequence. And I did my marks for the PoL competition shortlist.
Weekends? Hah! I spent the morning with the Pershore Young Writers – a large and very lively group; crowd control was necessary. But afterwards I met the mum of one of the group on the High Street, and she said how much her daughter had enjoyed it; apparently she hadn’t stopped talking about it.
And then I had some time off. In the afternoon, The Bloke and I went to see the sculpture exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral. I liked some of them, but a lot of them either left me cold, or were repulsive. Ah well. On Sunday we went to a VW car show in Berkeley, and repotted my large rubber plant, and I proofread the prison book and started putting it right; and ended the week with another band rehearsal – much better this time. Some of the pieces are really challenging for the band, though.
So, a busy week – but do you know what? The lady was right. I’ve loved every minute of it.

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