All work and no play

I had two playtimes this week, both booked up long in advance, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have taken them.

But before that, there was a slog: end-of-month accounting on Monday, chopping down brambles on Tuesday… my garden is really, really awful, but I’ve just had no time to attack it properly. Loads of emails, too, which are a bit like brambles and nettles; it seems the more you chop them down, the more they keep coming. I had a good session in Cheltenham hospital, though, with a man who became quite emotional, much to his surprise. By the end of the day I had finished handling Saturday’s emails, so I was still quite a long way behind.

…but I caught up with all the emails on Wednesday. I had to phone some organisations about my mum’s care when she comes out of hospital, and that sort of thing always takes quite a long time. The Artlift work took a long time, too, but I did get quite a bit done, and I wrote up the stuff from the hospital the day before. I’m running a workshop tomorrow, and I did the prep for that last Wednesday, and sent out reminders about a training session I’m running next Monday.

And I spent a bit of time doing some stuff for my mum. How do you teach someone to write again? I prepared a notebook: at the top of each page was a letter in upper case, starting with the easiest letters to write (I,V, U, C…) and going on to the more difficult ones. I thought she could use this to practise her writing by copying the letters at the top of each page. Two weeks ago she couldn’t hold a pen, but it’s so important to be able to write – or is that just me?

On Thursday I did some filling on my front door frame, and went to Brockworth for the last Artlift session of the term there. In the afternoon it was off to Hull, to arrive in time for the evening visiting. I tried out the notebook with my mum; after C she said she wanted to try the whole alphabet, and with a lot of help, she succeeded. We were both exhausted by the end, but what an achievement!

The closing date for the Poetry on Loan competition is today, and on Friday morning I spent some time sorting out the entries so far. We’ve had 125, and I expect a lot more today. I have to create a long list of about 60, which will be judged by PoL people to narrow it down to a short list. Some of them are really good, and, of course, some – well, some aren’t really good. I did a bit of work on the Longlevens book, too. Another hospital visit in the afternoon, and then the long drive home. I answered some of the emails that were waiting, and had a long phone call from The Son. These phone calls are always entertaining, and sometimes concern questions of ethics; he asks me if he has taken the right course of action.

On Saturday I planned to undercoat the door frame, but when I sanded it down, some of the filling fell out, so I had to do that again instead. I did my weekly accounts, and phoned all the people from my Cirencester group to remind them that we will be starting again soon, and handled more emails. And in the evening, The Bloke and I went to the fireworks competition at Eastnor Castle. I like fireworks, and these were spectacular displays, but oh, it was cold, and oh, it took ages getting out of the car park at the end. The whole thing was managed really badly,

And on Sunday more playtime – we went Segwaying again, this time in Broadway, on a really varied course. Good fun! I did a bit more work on the Longlevens book, but spent a lot of the day feeling guilty about not doing more work. This morning I’ve started off by doing the undercoating.

It worries me that I haven’t written anything for weeks, except for the poems for other people at the hospitals. My head just seems too full of stuff that I have to do, and there’s no room for creativity at the moment. Perhaps it will come back later; I hope so.

And no playtime this week, I’m afraid.

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