I said it was back to full-time working this week, and I was right. It was one of those weeks when I have so much to do I get stuck knowing where to start. So, I just set to to get on with it all.
On Monday I wrote up the young people’s group stuff and caught up with all the emails, which took some time, and wrote the TADS minutes and did some Artlift work. I’ve spent a lot of time this week trying to fix up dates for a WW1 project I’m working on with Gloucestershire libraries. I’m doing two sessions with each of three schools, which means that for each I have to find two dates that are ok for me, the school, the library and a local history bod. It’s been a real pain of an admin task; not much poetry in it at all. Had to be done, though, and I did some of it almost every day. I’m hoping that it should all be sorted by the end of today, with any luck.
On Tuesday I did the prep for my Longlevens group, and some more work for Artlift, and had a really good session at the hospital. After I’d read the lady her poem, she hugged me. And I wrote the minutes for last week’s Ledbury Poetry Festival meetings, which was a mammoth task. In the evening we saw John Wick; not the best movie and not recommended.
I wrote up the hospital stuff on Wednesday, and picked up some books at the library for my WW1 project, and spent ages on Artlift stuff, mostly trying to phone people who have been referred for one of our courses. In the afternoon I went to Birmingham for a Writing West Midlands meeting, when all the young people’s group leaders get together – always worth going to. After the meeting I ran up the hill to catch the train and arrived in time; the train, of course, was late, so I could have strolled. I called in at The Daughter’s house to take her Christmas presents (!) from my mum and stayed for a cup of tea, but I needed to get home to carry on working.
Oceans of emails awaited, and I caught up with them all on Thursday. I proofread the Ledbury Festival brochure (tut, tut – using “fun” as an adjective! I know I’ll have to give up with this one, but I don’t want to). More Artlift stuff and some invoicing, and prep for my little job on Saturday, and some updates of the Poetry on Loan website. We’ve had our first lump of money from the Arts Council for our next two years now, so we can really start planning, although we still haven’t had our last lot from the last two years, which means I can’t give myself my final payment. I’ll get it eventually though.
On Friday I had only two people in my group at Longlevens, which meant that they had to work really hard – and they did! I delivered all the material needed for Artlift evaluation to the university, and then did something I’m not sure whether to admit. You have to understand that when I was a teenager, I was in love with Paul McCartney. I never saw the Beatles live, and I don’t think I would have liked it because of all the screaming. And now he’s doing a tour. Yes, dear reader, I have bought a ticket, as an early birthday present to myself.
And I mowed the lawns, and handled the emails, which grow like grass in the spring. I rounded off the day with a huge pile of ironing.
Saturday I was on the road. I was judging the Shropshire Young Poet Laureate event at Much Wenlock; it all went well, with confident performances from the three young poets, and I think we have chosen the right one. The Bloke drove me there, and spent the time when I was busy walking round the town. It has a reputation as a very pretty place, and indeed it is, but in the Cotswolds we are falling over pretty places, and much Wenlock isn’t really Much, although they do have a good poetry festival.
On the way back The Bloke and I were discussing an idea for a new slam poem, and I wrote most of it at 2 am the next morning – always a good time to write slam poems, I find. I need to tidy it up a bit, and then decide whether to perform it in the slam I’m in this coming Saturday. I’m not sure if it will be ready by then, but we’ll see.
And on Sunday I started putting together my book of Gloucestershire poems. I think it’s going to be quite nice, although I think that the residents of some Gloucestershire towns will be seeking vengeance on me.