Getting ready

I seem to spend a lot of time getting ready for things. Monday is often a prep day, and it was this week – getting ready for my kids’ group in Pershore, and a Writing West Midlands meeting, and an Artlift meeting. I also wrote up the TADS meeting minutes, caught up with the emails – well, up to Sunday’s, anyway – finished writing my Christmas cards and went to Birmingham for a WWM meeting; useful as always. The Daughter happened to be on the same train as I was going back, which was nice.

On Tuesday morning I had my last visit of the year to Hereford hospital, and had a very good session there. In the afternoon I spent a long time on the phone, talking about Artlift stuff, and did the hospital writeup. We saw The heart of the sea in the evening. The critics aren’t that keen on this film, but I thought it was ok.

Off to Cheltenham on Wednesday for an Artlift artists’ meeting. We spent an hour talking about evaluation; we are very keen to evaluate the work we do properly but there’s a limit to how many forms you can ask people to fill in. These Artlift artists. meetings are great, though; we’ve been working as a group for about 8 years now, and it always gives me, at least, a boost when we get together. After our meeting we had lunch – our equivalent of the office Christmas meal, except that we have to pay for it ourselves.

In the afternoon I had my last visit of the year to Cheltenham hospital; again, a good session, surprising the man I was working with. When I got home I wrote up some notes of the meeting and caught up to Tuesday’s emails – always one day behind. And I marzipanned the Christmas cakes, all three of them.

On Thursday I was at home. I caught up with all the emails – hooray! – and chased up some invoices; I did lots of Artlift work, starting to get ready for our next big report; I made my Christmas food list and had long phone calls with the Son, The Daughter and The Mother. And I made some pastry. My Christmas sausage rolls are famous, and I have to keep up the standards.

Friday was a special day. After doing my usual weekly accounts, I spent the day with The Daughter, who was trying on wedding dresses. She looks lovely in very nearly all of them, so choosing will be really difficult. By now I had a terrible backache, but I couldn’t afford to give in to it – still can’t – and in the evening I iced the cakes, and made sure I had everything ready for the Pershore group…

…which on Saturday morning had its big Christmas performance! The kids had written a play in our last two sessions, so after an hour of rehearsal, they performed it for a packed audience of families and friends. It all went well. Phew!

I did some more work in the afternoon, and started putting back all the things that had been displaced when I had my doors replaced; I couldn’t do it before because the fitters had to make some finishing touches this week. I couldn’t bear to have my poor bare Christmas tree looking naked any more, so I started putting the decorations on it – but my back was very bad, and I gave up and went to The Bloke’s house and collapsed on his sofa.

I more or less stayed on the sofa all day Sunday, but I managed three hours of ArtLift work.

And today – today has been Artlift again, and finishing the decorations, and packing up and sending away two Christmas cakes (you wouldn’t believe how much they cost to post, but again, I have my reputation to keep up). And now – now I can actually start getting ready for Christmas. Work will just have to wait – well, except for essential things, and emails…

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