Mud in your eye

That’s a really odd expression, isn’t it? I’ve just checked and nobody really knows where it came from. But after my eye appointment, it just came into my mind.

So, on Monday I did the writeup fro my Pershore kids’ group, and then went for a breast screening appointment. Probably too much information, there; sorry. I answered lots of emails, and in the evening went to see Sicario, which was a bit grim, but extremely well cast.

On Tuesday, after some prep and catching up with emails up to Thursday, I had my first muddy experience of the week. I had noticed some weeds growing in the gutter between two sections of roof. I needed to clear them off because left to their own devices, their roots go under the roof tiles and push them off.  I tried going up the stepladder and hooking them out with a patio clearing tool, but I couldn’t reach all of them; while I was up there I cleared a bit of guttering. Where does all the mud come from in gutters?

I had to leave that task because it was time to go and work with my group in Cirencester, who get better and better each time I see them. I had a long phone call from my brother, who is getting very stressed because of my mum, and I called my mum as well. In the evening I went to a Ledbury Poetry Festival Board meeting, which didn’t take all that long, so I had time left to catch up with emails to Saturday and do the Cirencester writeup.

I did loads of Artlift work on Wednesday, and reached Monday’s emails. In the afternoon I had an Artlift meeting in Cheltenham, which was interesting – all about how we collect and present our statistics. Yes, I do find statistics interesting. When I got back I climbed out of my bedroom window onto the roof and finished clearing the weeds, moss and mud – and I didn’t feel at all scared! This is the first time since my fall from the ladder that I’ve done any high work and felt completely confident. Hooray! I’ve got my nerve back. I celebrated with a bit more muddiness from the rest of the gutter. Tuesday’s emails – so nearly up-to-date! – and prep to finish the day.

Thursday was busy – Hereford hospital in the morning (good session); lots of Artlift work at home; a meeting at Croome about a new project, which will be difficult but interesting; a TADS meeting; and a readthrough of my new play, Rocks off. Everyone seems to like it, and I now have a cast.

On Friday morning I was due to have my gas meter changed. The chap arrived, and I asked him why my meter had to be changed. “They change them every fifteen years,” he said, “and yours has been here since – oh. 2009. Oh.” We agreed in the end that it would be better for me to wait until I could get a smart meter, and he went away again. I did my weekly accounts, and more Artlift work, and wrote the Ledbury minutes, and did the Hereford hospital writeup, and handled a lot of complicated emails from Wednesday. And signed the contract for the work on my back door and French windows. Gulp. It’s a lot of money. Gardening, lots of Poetry on Loan work, emails, emails, emails.

On Saturday I sorted out a tricky Artlift problem and worked on the book of hospital pieces, and had a long call from my brother’s wife, who is worried about all the stress he is under. I wish I could do more – but each time I visit my mother it takes me two or three weeks to catch up with what I’ve missed; and anyway, she really wants him to be around rather than me.

On Sunday I drove up to my mum’s main home in Cheshire to get her some more clothes, and to pick the apples from the tree in her garden. The Bloke and I came back with 15 bags of apples; probably more than 100 lbs. We had a terrible trip there and back – really slow with lots of traffic holdups, and when we got back I was tired. But it was a good day to do it; they were ready to be picked and we only had to shake the tree for cascades of them to come down. And for once I didn’t get all muddy.

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