Ups and downs

It’s been really up and down this week. Monday was fairly even – I got up-to-date with all the emails, did some prep for a course I ran on Tuesday and for a gig on Wednesday and did my Christmas card list. The son tells me that nobody sends Christmas cards any more; well, I do.

Tuesday was an early start to get to Shrewsbury, where I was running a Poetry on Loan training course with Mandy Ross. It went really well – they were a great group to work with and we had some lovely feedback. PoL courses have acquired quite a reputation, I think.

I did more gig practice, and posted out the books from the Longlevens course – finished at last. I had to wait in a huge queue in the post office, and even struck up a friendship with the people before and after me. I did the course evaluation, and in the evening went to see the final Huger games  movie. They all lived happily ever after except for the ones who died.

I went to Hereford hospital on Wednesday morning, and worked with a man with terminal cancer; he wasn’t happy with the first version of the poem so I had to rewrite it completely. This happens about once every two years, but I don’t mind because I really want the people to be happy with their poems. It took some to-ing and fro-ing with emails to get it just how he wanted. I did some prep for stuff on Thursday, and handled Monday’s emails, and then had a gig in Cheltenham, at a nice bar called Smokey Joe’s. It was a tiny gathering – only ten of us, I think, including me, but a very warm and thoughtful audience. My mostly seasonal set went down well, and I sold 7 books – amazing! I did some more emails when I got home.

Thursday started with a long call from The Brother. I attended the last Artlift session at Brockworth and painted some holly. It’s an awful painting, but I enjoyed doing it. It was a bit of a daft day, really; I went from Brockworth to Cheltenham to collect the Artlift mail, then to Gloucester to pick up a present for The Son, and then to Gloucester hospital for a meeting. It was a really difficult meeting, and went on for a long time, but I can’t say much about it. Some things were said which were just not true, but I wasn’t in a position to refute them at the time. I am now.

I had just enough time to throw down a cup of tea, and then it was out again for a TADS meeting. We’re still not clear about what play we’re going to do next year, although my one-act play seems to be progressing ok.

And when I got back I found an email which meant I had to redo some work that I thought was completed. Sigh. I couldn’t sleep that night because of the difficult meeting, and in the morning I wrote it all up to get it cleared out of my mind.

I did my usual weekly accounts, and worked on some Artlift statistics and some Poetry on Loan arrangements. And then I’d had enough, and washed my car and my garage doors; I think it did me good to get outside for a bit.

I had picked up loads of Artlift referrals on Thursday, so I spent some time handling those, and more time sorting out all the Artlift information that I need to collate in the next few days. And I wrote quite a few Christmas cards.

On Saturday I got my Christmas tree! It’s a bit early for me, really, but I like to get my trees from the same place and I thought they would probably have run out by next weekend.

The weekend was quite quiet – a bit of shopping and I wrote a lot more Christmas cards – but on Sunday evening The Bloke and I went to a trampolining park. I had warned him that it would be hard work, and oh, it was! The staff there were very helpful and pleasant, and said how nice it was to see people “of your age” there. We didn’t last out the whole hour we were booked for, but it was great fun and good exercise, so we will go again. Once we’ve stopped aching. Some ups and downs can be worthwhile.


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