It was full on back to work this week, what with all the emails. I did some unpacking on Wednesday, but I still haven’t finished it – other things have to take priority. I went through the emails and answered the urgent ones, and looked at the Artlift emails, and did my end-of-month accounting – but I had to take advantage of the good weather for some outdoor decorating, so I went up the ladder and did some filling on the dormers at the front of the cottage, which were looking very scabby. I mowed the front jungle, and handled the emails up to Tuesday (the pervious Tuesday, that is) and made some changes to the Artlift website. This unfortunately led to a real mess-up; Squarespace does not make it easy to handle tables, and I’ve had to call in our IT guy to help out. Whoops.
On Thursday I had an interview at Cheltenham Hospital for an article in their in-house magazine about the work I do there, and then had a good session with two lovely people. I’m going to be doing a talk on behalf of Artlift, and I spent a long time on the phone with the lady who is organising the event in Oxfordshire, sorting out what I’ll be doing; it’s all a bit short notice. I wrote up the hospital stuff and went to a Ledbury Poetry Festival meeting. We have a great programme this year, and – hooray! – we have a new chairman. I answered more of the leftover emails; up to Sunday now.
On Friday I went into Ledbury twice – once for the schools songs event – I had worked with two of the schools to write the words for their songs and I really wanted to see how they turned out. My two schools were, I thought, the best, but then I would think that, wouldn’t I? It was a lovely event, anyway. I did some Artlift stuff and painted half of the dormers. This really bugged me; I hate leaving a job incomplete. While I was up the ladder painting the most difficult dormer (it’s over the porch) I realised that lots of wasps were buzzing round me, which is a bit disconcerting when you’re at the top of a ladder. It looks like we have a wasps’ nest over the bathroom; something else to deal with. Back to Ledbury for the launch event, and an event with three poets. I do sometimes listen to poets and wonder what the point of it is; what’s the point of a particular poem. The good thing is that it allows time for my mind to wander, and I got ideas for several poems which I have written over the weekend.
More emails, and a mountain of ironing.
On Saturday I paid my income tax bill. Gulp. Not that I mind paying it; it’s what I owe for what I get for living here, and that’s fine. I looked at a possible funding source for Artlift (probably not worth pursuing), and did some slam practice, and finished painting the dormers, which made me feel much better, and got up to Thursday’s emails. I still haven’t done Friday’s but I should get those polished off today. And then I slept.
On Sunday I had quite a lazy day, with just an outing to buy decorating supplies – but in the evening it was the Ledbury slam. I won this once before, in 2001, and slam etiquette dictates that you don’t enter a slam that you have won recently – but I thought that 14 years was a long enough gap. The competition was tough, with some excellent poets that I hadn’t heard before, and as usual I was out of the hat first. Sigh. Still, I’ve come to expect it now. But I won my heat, and I came second in the semi-final, and I was in the final against Spoz. And I won. Hooray! It’s always a good feeling. So, a busy week, but with a lovely ending. Now, if only I can get done this week all the jobs on my list, then I’ll be really happy. As if.