Flowers and fire

Neither flowers nor fire refer to my work – although thinking about it, they easily could. It’s been a mixed week.

On Monday I did a lot of Artlift work, sorting out some things that had gone slightly wrong, and I had a swim. I went through all my lines for the play while I was swimming; a slightly odd thing to do, but it worked. Loads of emails to deal with, and The Son and his girlfriend called in in the afternoon, which was fun. In the evening we had a rehearsal, which went well. We seem to be making reasonable progress, although everyone needs to learn their lines more thoroughly.

Tuesday morning was prep and emails, and in the afternoon I went to Cirencester to run a taster session for the course I’m starting there in a couple of weeks. I think we’ll have enough people for it to run, which is excellent news, and what’s more they are nice people. I put together a lot of the props we’ll need for the play – lots and lots of ornaments, etc., and realised that we definitely didn’t have enough.

And in the evening I went to see The Interview. Take that, North Korea – we defy you! Despite what the critics said, I thought it was clever and very funny, although not many other people in the cinema seemed to be laughing. Perhaps it’s just me, then.

Wednesday was fun. I had to go to one of the Artlift sessions – the last one of the term. And I joined in, and made a tissue paper collage. It’s rubbish, obviously, but never mind. In the afternoon I handled lots of emails and made a poster to go up at the hospital to advertise our new book of poems, and in the evening I went to see the ex-treasurer of TADS to collect our latest chequebook. Have you ever tried to change the signatories on what they call a community account? It’s a nightmare, which explains why this poor woman is still getting our mail from the bank when she hasn’t been the treasurer for years. I started collating the information from the Artlift session I’d visited – it’s the first time I’ve done this so it took me a little while to work out what needed to be done. I’ll get it all finished this morning, I expect.

Yet more emails on Thursday, and more work on the play props (putting family photos in frames), and in the afternoon I went to the hospital where I worked with a lovely and articulate woman; I did the writeup when I got home, and then went to see Kingsman. I found this a little bit disappointing.

Friday, and time for my Longlevens group again. They really are terrific, and I’ll be sorry when the term ends. I did my weekly accounts, and made a cake for The Bloke for Valentine’s day, and did an application for a little bit of work that I’d really like to do. More work on my lines – actually, I’ve been through my lines every day and twice some days. This time I read the whole thing out loud to get a proper idea of how long it will take on stage.

Then there was a text from The Bloke. His father had been in a head-on collision and was in critical condition in hospital. It was late by then, after 11, and I thought of all the reasons I would use to persuade him not to drive up to the Highlands of Scotland (where his father lives) until tomorrow. But soon further information arrived. Although his father had been pulled from his burning car (“an inferno” is how it was described in the press later) by some passers-by, he had escaped with only bruised lungs and no other injuries, and would be in hospital for only a few days. Phew. And how brave of the three young men who pulled him out, despite being warned by other drivers not to go near the car in case it exploded.

So, Valentine’s day. I finished the cake, and put a whole lot of stuff on eBay, and went to The Bloke’s house. The Bloke gave me flowers. This is the first time he has given me flowers in the five years I have known him, so it’s worth noting.

We collected some bookshelves from the TADS person who has rebuilt them for the play, and that was it – I fell asleep, and slept for ages.

On Sunday morning we went to a car boot sale. I haven’t been to one of these for ages. The plan was to buy some very cheap stuff to go on to the bookshelves for the play, and we had a really successful outing. My living room is now littered with tat, which is perfect for what we need. The Bloke also hushed the intermittent beep coming from my freezer, which has been slowly torturing me for weeks now. He couldn’t silence it completely because he didn’t have the right tools with him, but at least it’s a lot quieter now.

This week should be quieter, too – no flowers, and I hope no fire.

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