Tidying life

I’ve been much better this week, thank you. I did a lot of Artlift stuff on Monday morning, including a taster session for some people in Cinderford, which seemed to go ok. After I got back, I got up to date with all the emails – always a cause for celebration, as far as I’m concerned. And then some more ArtLift work – it was pretty much an Artlift day, really. They will keep sending me emails.

There was more on Tuesday, too; phone calls and emails and a visit to one of the sessions. At least I also had a session at the hospital, which went very well; I’ve had appreciative emails since then from the people I worked with, which is always nice. I did the hospital writeup and updated the Poetry on Loan website, and practised a talk that I actually gave today. In the evening I went to see Now you see me 2. I really enjoyed the original; this sequel was ok, but I think they tried too hard.

Wednesday was a bit different; I applied for two jobs. I’ve had a rejection for one, but I’m going for an interview for the other one, and it’s all stuff I enjoy doing. Fingers crossed! I did some of the more boring Artlift work – I’ve got loads of stats to do before the end of the month, so it’s all a bit hectic for a while with this – and then a bit more boring Artlift stuff, and caught up with emails. Again.

And then there was Thursday. My brother and I went to my mother’s old house in Cheshire to do some more clearing; it’s a big job, and we need several days really. Although The Brother had hired a van, he had a bad back and couldn’t really do all that much. We collected my mother’s ashes, too.

On the way back I stopped off in Audlem, where I won the slam recently, to be filmed by some people who plan to run some live online shows. I performed four poems for them. They were really professional and we got the whole thing done quite quickly, but I didn’t get home until quite late.

Friday was back to normal, with my accounts, emails, emails and more emails. I emptied my car of all the stuff I had brought from my mum’s house, and put it in the living room. More Artlift work and a bit of work for the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Now we’ve done the 20th anniversary anthology, we have to send out copies to all the poets who didn’t collect theirs during the Festival, which means we need addresses. I have emailed all the poets to ask for addresses, but only some have replied. I really thought my work on this was finished, but apparently it hasn’t.

And on Saturday The Bloke and I went to my mother’s house again. The Bloke is very good at parental house clearing, having just been through it all himself, and we got loads done. After a while, though, it all got too sad; we were tidying away lives – not just my mum’s but my dad’s too. The result of tidying their lives away, though, is that mine has got more messy – my house is full of stuff that I might or might not want to keep; it’s going to take days of sorting through. We were both tired by the time we got home.

Sunday, fortunately, was a bit of a lazy day – in fact, unloading the car was the main activity. The Daughter came home for a while, and I gave her the ring my mum left her, which she will wear on her wedding day. And I went through my talk again.

Today I had to go to South Wales, near Pontypridd, to deliver the talk, which was mostly about evaluating Arts and Health projects. Not everybody shares my passion for evaluation, but I tried to make it as interesting as I could, and the people there asked lots of questions and said how useful if had been, so I guess that was ok.

And I’ve picked some blackcurrants. The blackcurrant bush in my garden is laden with them, but everything else has grown like mad as well. I wish someone would come and tidy my garden away.

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