Too many days off

If it weren’t for having time off, I’d have no problems. At one point last week, I found myself thinking Oh no, I’ve got another day off for my birthday – which is really no way to think.

But of course, Monday was a bank holiday, and I spent some of it with The Bloke, buying bedding plants, as if I’ve got time to plant them. But I did catch up with the emails up to Wednesday of the week before, and found I’d sold nearly all my stuff on eBay…

…which I had to pack up and send the next day. When I also heard beeping; as if to take over the duties of the freezer, the batteries in both my smoke alarms had run out – but they are a long way away from my office, so much less of a nuisance (I did put new batteries in both later in the week, before you start to worry, Dear Reader). More emails, and my Cirencester group, which is very, very lively, but great fun to work with. In the evening I saw Spooks¸ which stopped me worrying about work for a while, and what more can you ask from a spy thriller?

On Wednesday I dealt with yet more emails and did a lot of Artlift work, phoning potential participants and making arrangements for a trip we’re going on. And I prepared for my work with my follow-on group for today. I took some compost down to the compost bins, which isn’t really newsworthy except that I found a slow worm in the bin. I already have a family of slow worms living in one compost bin, and now it seems I have another. I’m building up a little colony.

And in the evening I gave myself a treat. I went to see the heart-throb of my youth, Paul McCartney, playing in a huge arena in Birmingham. I managed to get in one of the arena car parks (expensive but not too bad), and then – wow. He really was good. He is, I think, 72 now, and he sang and played for nearly three hours. It was all really expensive and I didn’t buy a programme (£20? you must be kidding), but worth it. There were even fireworks. Afterwards it was a bit of a nightmare; it took an hour to get out of the car park and then I got stuck in the traffic round the roadworks, so I didn’t get home until nearly 2 am.

The next morning I went to Croome to record some poems for a lovely project I’m working on there, and finally, finally got up-to-date with all the emails; and then we set off for Hatfield. Yes, Hatfield. Where else would you go for a birthday?

We stayed overnight, ready to go and feed the lemurs at the Paradise Wildlife Park; this was actually a birthday present from me for The Bloke, and we just happened to be going on my birthday – or so I thought. When we got there I found that he had arranged for us to feed their snow leopard. This was lovely – in the park before it was open to the public; right up close to the big cats, and then feeding Panja, who took the pieces of meat (ugh) very gently from our hands, giving them a final lick clean. We fed the lemurs as well, although that was a bit disappointing because it was raining and we had to do it indoors; they’re not so lively indoors. It took us a long time to get home, but it was a lovely birthday, and I hardly worried about work at all.

When I got home I did a lot of Artlift stuff, and the next day I wrote a poem and planted out some tomatoes and lettuces, to replace the ones eaten by the horrible snails.

On Sunday I did some Poetry on Loan work, paying invoices mostly, and caught up with the emails again, and did my end-of-month accounting, and prep for this week, and some sewing.

And now it’s Monday again, and I still have an impossible list of jobs. If only I hadn’t taken any days off…

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