Slog and delight

Thirty years ago today, The Daughter was born, and I think I haven’t stopped since. I’ve tried to phone her this morning but she didn’t answer; I expect I’ll speak to her some time today. Most of it hasn’t been a slog, though; a lot of it has been an absolute delight. This week has been a mixture.

The week started badly, when the washing line fell down. I had to get the step ladder out and do a bit of shrub-surfing to tie it on again, and I’m not confident that my arms’-length knot is going to hold. I picked some blackcurrants (I’ve got so many this year!), and prepared for a meeting on Tuesday, and answered emails, and sent off the poems for the ramblers that I wrote last week. More prep for another meeting, and then into Cheltenham, where I was one of a group judging poems entered for a competition for Gloucestershire hospital staff. I think that for some of the entrants, it was the first poem they had written, so well done them for courage. It took quite a bit of discussion to decide on the top three. And I made some ice cream. I really shouldn’t do this, because I only eat it and it’s really fattening.

The lady for whom I had written a poem at the ramblers’ evening got in touch and asked me to write a poem for her daughter’s wedding, which was on Saturday. I spent some time talking to her, and half the night writing the poem; she was absolutely delighted with it. Hooray! And I made a card for The Daughter’s birthday, because I just hadn’t been able to buy one that was just right. And then, of course, there were the emails – the bane of my life, the perpetual daily treadmill.

On Tuesday I met the lovely Jonny Fluffypunk in Stroud to plan a training session we’re going to run together. I think it’s going to be good. I banked some cheques, came home and handled all the outstanding emails. Hooray again! I did a bit of gardening (I don’t mind a bit of gardening, but more than about an hour and I get a backache), and paid all the outstanding Poetry on Loan invoices. After a long phone call with The Son, I went to see Ant-Man, which was better than I had expected it to be.

Wednesday morning was mostly Poetry on Loan stuff, and some planning for a kids’ workshop I’m doing this week. In the afternoon I had a review meeting for the work I do in Cheltenham Hospital; everyone seems pleased with how it’s all going, and I was given confirmation that the project will definitely continue until the end of 2017. Another Hooray! I worked with a patient, and in the evening wrote it all up, and had a long phone conversation with another person (colleague of the wedding poem lady) who wanted a poem for her mum’s 75th birthday celebrations. I did a lot of Artlift stuff and the ironing, and wrote the poem, although I was really tired.

On Thursday morning I was working in Hereford Hospital; a good morning! Except that in the nearby car park the first ticket machine I used just swallowed my money and wouldn’t give me a ticket. I phoned to complain when I got home, and was told of an ingenious system by which I can park for nothing next time, by a very helpful person. I picked more blackcurrants and all the gooseberries from my poor ancient gooseberry bush, and did a bit more gardening, and then a lot of Artlift stuff. Writeups and emails to finish the day.

Friday! Not the end of my week, though. After doing my accounts, it was some serious Artlift work. Every couple of months I have to do some admin for Artlift that takes a long time and a great deal of care, and it’s that time now. I started on Friday, and the slog will continue for most of this week. But at least I’ve started.

And on Saturday I was writing instant poems for people at Croome Park. This went exceptionally well – really interesting people. The last couple I worked with said that the poem had made their day, and that they would frame it. Hooray! Yet one more time. And the weather on Sunday was so miserable that we stayed in, and I typed up all the Croome poems, and half of the play wot I wrote when I was on holiday. It’s always a worry coming back to something a while after you’ve written it; sometimes your work of genius shows itself to be a complete waste of effort. But, you know, I think this play really isn’t bad… Actually enjoying reading what you have written makes the typing much less of a slog. Hooray! Have I said that already?

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