A good week

I have dealt with so many emails this week! But apart from the routine stuff of emails, and some that were really difficult to deal with, there have been some definite highlights.

I did the final checking of the Poetry on Loan recommended book list leaflet and posters, so they are being printed now and will soon be in libraries all over the West Midlands. And we completed the judging for the Poetry on Loan 2016 Poetry competition, and informed the winners – although the junior one hasn’t replied yet. We had some very good entries this year, and choosing the winners wasn’t easy.

I’ve started playing the piano again! Some years ago, I had reached Grade 6 level, and even taken the theory exam (which you have to do before you can take the practical – bit like the driving test), but I gave up because (a) my piano teacher went to live in France and (b) the arthritis in my thumbs made it painful. But recently I heard a song I liked, with an interesting but not too difficult piano part, so I bought the music. Every day this week I have been playing it, extremely slowly and appallingly badly, and singing along, in a rather higher key than I would like. How fortunate that my neighbours live some distance away! But I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think it is improving slightly.

I’ve written a poem each day, including one I was rather pleased with. I had a good session with my small but perfectly-formed Cirencester group, and a reasonable session at the hospital, and updated the Poetry on Loan website – more to do on that today.

The guys from the prison I worked at last week sent me a list of questions, because they want to write an article about me for their magazine. I spent some time answering them – an interesting mix that included some quite complex poetry questions as well as What is your favourite pudding? I dealt with the snail mail, and did a lot of Artlift work, and put a lot of stuff on eBay; quite a few of the things have sold, so I’ll get them packed and sent today. I finally finished clearing the patio – it looks so much better now – and I planted a new gooseberry bush and pruned my old fruit bushes, to give them one last chance to produce fruit next year; and I mowed both the lawns, probably for the last time this year.

My Pilates session was strenuous and good for me. I practised for a slam on Sunday, and did some prep for things this coming week.

And I had another estimate for the work that needs doing on my house; much more promising! I’m feeling quite relieved that no major work is actually necessary; for one thing, I’d have had to make a formal planning application, and who knows how long that would take?

I went to see Ben-Hur, which was exactly as the critics had described it – dull, except for a good chariot race.

And yesterday, I was in the first Hereford slam. I won; very pleasing.

Now, if only I can get as much done this week as last week, that will be really good. Here goes…


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