August isn’t a holiday for me; it’s when I try to get things done – all the things that get left because I’m so busy working all the rest of the year. Last August I didn’t manage to do much because it was when my mum had a stroke; the one before that, I had two solid weeks’ work in a prison, so not much got done then, either.

So this year, I’m trying to make up for it – a real sabbatical. I have done some paid work, of course. On Monday I had a meeting at Cheltenham hospital about the work I do there, and had a session at the hospital too – an excellent one! The woman I was working with told me I had done her a power of good.  I’ve done a lot of Artlift work, too – finished the stats for this term, and cleared up the email list, and handled a lot of emails. Poetry on Loan has featured, too; and there has been an exchange of emails about the Croome Court project; and I’ve written a talk I’m doing next week. And of course I had to do my end-of-month accounting.

But apart from that, I’ve filled and sanded and undercoated and glossed two window frames – the ones that mean I have to stand on the roof. And that all went ok. I’ve finished clearing the front garden, and my kind next-door neighbour has trimmed loads of overgrown shrubs and trees for me.

I’ve emptied the compost from three compost bins, so there’s just one to go. I do actually own six compost bins, but one is where the slow worm family lives, and the other one is in use.

I’ve taken four bags of stuff to a charity shop, and I’ve brushed down and filled the garage door frames.

As well as that, I’ve been swimming, and had both a zumba (hard work) and a Pilates (different sort of hard work) class, and had a session at Go Ape. This was just as much fun as I remembered from the last time, although I can tell I’ve grown a  little older in the last five years since then.

I’ve seen Finding Dory, which was better than I expected. And I’ve even written a poem.

So not a bad start to my sabbatical month. The only problem is that my list of jobs to be done could easily last until next August. Oh well; must crack on…

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