Small pleasures

I think that happiness has a lot to do with the enjoyment of small pleasures, and I’ve had a few of those this week.
On Monday I did my writeups and my end-of-month accounting, and handled emails from Thursday and Friday – just the usual stuff. But on Tuesday I went to Brockhampton Manor, where I’ll be running a workshop in December; I needed a look round to get ideas. It was fascinating; they’ve organised it very well, with a succession of rooms showing different periods of history. I was with the lovely Anne-Marie of Herefordshire Libraries, and we had lunch together before a fruitful meeting with the Ledbury Poetry Festival director. I did some prep, and got up to Sunday’s emails, and had a long phone call from The Son, and then we went to see Mr. Turner. This was not a pleasure at all, not even a small one. It has had rave reviews, but I didn’t like it at all – the characters were grotesque caricatures; each actor had found a mannerism and left it at that. And it was far too long. I’m afraid that Mike Leigh’s style of working doesn’t work for me; if only they had had a proper writer!
The next day I managed to get a small reduction in my house insurance – a small triumph! I have to pay a lot because a long time ago we had some subsidence. It’s all been fixed and the house is safer than it has ever been, but that doesn’t count with insurance companies. I answered Monday’s emails and went to work with my little group in Moreton, and it was a very little group – only one person turned up. I don’t know what’s happened to the others, but I do understand that people have complicated lives. Anyway, the one person enjoyed it. I did the writeup and finished Tuesday’s emails, and lit a big firework, which was very noisy and good fun. And at last, at last, I finished the book of pieces written by the carers’ group I worked with in July and sent it to the online publisher. Hooray! Quite a big pleasure, that one.
Thursday was good to start with – I finally sorted out the event in Birmingham for the Poetry on Loan poetry competition winner, and did some prep and paid some PoL invoices, and started the evaluation report for the Cinderford group, and had a wonderful session at the hospital. Some people face the most amazing challenges with such good humour that I feel humbled; this particular lady was full of pleasure at the session we had together and the resulting poem, too.
And then I set off for a book launch – my friend Fergus has a book out, and I was going to Worcester to be there and perform a poem or two. I was a few minutes later leaving than I had planned, but when I got onto the motorway, I just stopped. For two and a half hours. Nine emergency vehicles went racing past, so I knew it wasn’t good, and indeed there had been a bad accident, with a lorry and a van; the van passenger was killed. It could so easily have been me, and I had no cause for complaint about sitting there (except for my envy of the men who could leave their cars and make a discreet visit to the verge; difficult for me). I spent three and a half hours altogether driving to the next motorway junction and home again, and I was very sorry to have missed Fergus’ event.
And – oh, a perfect a little pleasure on Friday! Each year I buy a poinsettia at Christmas, and each year I try to keep them alive afterwards. Last time I kept it going until about August, but my 2013 poinsettia is not only alive, but is showing red bracts! This is quite an achievement for a total non-gardener, and I am disproportionately pleased. I did my accounts and the hospital writeup, and handled some emails, and finished the Cinderford report, and started doing some tidying and other household chores which have been on my list for months. Only started, mind.
On Saturday I updated the Poetry on Loan website and caught up with all the emails – hooray! And on Sunday, The Bloke and I went segwaying in Chepstow. This was terrific fun, and left me feeling invigorated and full of life. Quite a big pleasure, really.
Today was my last session with the group in Ross; shame, really, but they got a lot out of it, I think. And I have another little pleasure to look forward to this evening – although it does mean a round trip of about 175 miles. I’ll just put the radio on and enjoy it.

1 thought on “Small pleasures

  1. Hi Brenda,

    I agree with you about Mr Turner. I so much wanted to like it, but it could have all been done in under an hour in my view. How it won Cannes, I’ll never know and tipping it for an Oscar, strikes me as being off the planet.

    Take care.

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