Admin and bonfires

I’ve spent a lot of this week sitting at my desk doing admin work for Artlift; not very interesting, but pleasing to get a lot done.

In between bouts of spreadsheets and detail, it’s been a bit up and down. On Tuesday I went to the last session of an Artlift group in Cheltenham, who were very lively and encouraging. I used some pastels to create a Rothko picture; nobody laughed at it, which I took as encouragement. In the afternoon I had my group in Cirencester; I don’t think I’ve ever had a group that asked such challenging questions, which makes every session really interesting. In the evening we saw Chappie, which was ok but a bit disappointing.

On Wednesday I found that the Arts Council are asking for a lot of information – in fact, a letter from every one of the 14 library authorities involved in Poetry on Loan – before they will finally give us our grant money. They have never asked for this before, and it’s not going to be an easy thing to get, but I started things going. I did a session at the hospital in the afternoon, which wasn’t so good. Sometimes it’s really hard to find people who want to do something a little different, and I don’t blame them. Later I did the writeup and more Artlift work.

By Thursday I was really behind with my own emails, but I caught up as far as Wednesday’s, as well as doing yet more Artlift work and prep for a session I’m running this afternoon. And I went to give blood. Last time I went they wouldn’t take it because I was a bit low on iron; this time they wouldn’t take it because I shouldn’t have been given an appointment until four months after the last one. Sigh. Rejected again.

I also heard that this year there won’t be a slam in Lydney. I’ve been running these little slams for ten years now. Although we have never had big audiences, all the people who have come along have had a really good time. But the venue is for sale and not accepting bookings, and this year the organisers have decided to give it a rest. Shame – I always enjoy these little slams.

On Thursday evening we had the TADS AGM and monthly meeting. We’re planning some fundraising events, and we need lots of people to come along and help us raise enough money so that we can put on a play in The Roses again next year. 17th April, Watson Hall. You know you want to. It will probably be the last chance to see my play, The poodle tree, quite apart from the fact that we will have two really good bands.

I’ve started writing a new play! Whether it will come to anything, I don’t know, but I think it has potential. We’ll see.

I tried to watch the eclipse on Friday but it was too cloudy. But then it could never be as good as the 1999 one. Yes, nostalgia for Eclipses I Have Known. But anyway, I caught up with all my emails, and did some more Artlift work, and later in the afternoon I had a bonfire and finally got rid of all the stuff that’s been lying around on my lawn since just before Christmas. It was a good bonfire, that burnt down to a nice tidy mound of ash. I wrote the TADS AGM minutes in the evening, and finished the minutes for the ordinary meeting on Saturday morning.

In the afternoon I bought a strimmer. I’ve been thinking about doing this for ages; it usually takes me about three years to decide on a purchase such as this, because the one I wanted was quite expensive. The Bloke put it together for me (the instructions were all in pictures, and really unhelpful).Today I’ll try it out for the first time. It had better be good.

On Sunday we went to the International Bird of Prey Centre. The flight display was impressive, and some of the little owls were really cute, and some of the big birds were handsome. But I came away feeling uneasy, especially about the condor, who was locked in a smallish enclosure, when he should have been soaring over the Andes. I’ve been to wildlife parks where birds have huge enclosures and felt ok about them, but I won’t be going back to this one.

I did manage to do some more work on the book of pieces from a group I worked with last year, and I should get it off to the publishers this week. Hooray!

And that’s it, really. I’m busy today and tomorrow, but I should have time to finish some things off this week, and perhaps even do some decorating… we’ll see. No more bonfires for a while, though.

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