At last I can think about Christmas

It’s been a funny old week; very bitty, although dominated by my funding bid. Don’t get me wrong: Arts Council funding is public money, and it is only right and proper that they should make sure that it will be spent wisely, so it’s a good thing that writing the funding bid makes you think very carefully about what you are going to do. But it has taken a long time. I didn’t work on it at all on Monday; I had a lot of emails to catch up on, and I wrapped some presents. I spent a lot of time on it on Tuesday, and had a good swim, and in the evening, after a flying visit from The Son, went to see Paddington, which was delightful. I thought I had finished the bid, but overnight I thought of some changes I needed to make…
So on Wednesday I reworked the budget and the timetable. After a quick trip to the dentist I met some of my Artlift colleagues for lunch, which was fun, and sent out the changed version of my play to the cast and crew, and finished the bid again, and answered some more emails. In the evening we went to see Black Sea, which had some enormous plot holes but was well done.
And again I thought of changes I needed to make to the bid. But on Thursday I had other stuff to do – a long call to Jonathan of Writing West Midlands, and preparation for some interviews with the Ledbury Poetry Festival; and I brought my Christmas tree indoors. In the afternoon I went to Ledbury, where we were interviewing for the next Herefordshire Poet in Residence, and when I got back I checked through all the Poetry on Loan bank statements, and sorted out our last few events. And I answered some more emails, of course, and wrapped some presents and marzipanned the Christmas cakes.
Friday was busy! I did my weekly accounts, and answered emails, and cleared up loads of stuff from the garden. My next door neighbour had kindly cleared lots of ivy from my garden, and trimmed a tree that had been nearly killed by the stuff. The leafy bits alone filled three and a half compost bins and my garden waste bin, and there was loads of woody stuff to be burned. I caught up with the emails – hooray! – and handled the snail mail, and paid my income tax bill, and made and froze some pastry, and tidied a bit, and iced the cakes and put the decorations up, and wrapped more presents.
And on Saturday I did it – I finally finished the funding bid. Now all that has to be done is for our Treasurer to check through it and submit it – and then we just have to wait for three months to see if it’s been accepted. I sent a cake to The Bloke’s mum and dad up in Scotland, and built a bonfire. It wouldn’t catch fire. I had done it differently from my usual bonfires, and now I think I will have to take it all down and start again – but I’ve hurt my back with all the work in the garden, and I’ve got so much to do before Christmas, and I don’t think the bonfire is going to happen for several days now.
By the time I got to The Bloke’s house on Saturday all I could do was sleep. Sunday was a lazy day too, although I managed to make a few more changes to my play and work on the book of hospital pieces.
And now I have to get everything tidied and cleaned, as well as answering a whole lot of emails and doing some work that didn’t get done because of the funding bid. But it is beginning to feel a bit like Christmas.

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