Once a year

Sorry my blog is late, but it’s for a good reason! Once a year, my friend Jackie comes to visit. I’ve known Jackie since our first week at university, 46 years ago. 46! But Jackie lives in New Zealand. She comes to the UK once a year to visit her mum and other relatives; they get her for nearly three weeks, but for just one day Jackie comes to stay with me. We find something different to do during the day, and in the evening I always cook fish pie for her – I’m not sure how this started, but if I didn’t give her fish pie, she might not come again.

So, this week I’ve been tidying and cleaning. I’ve neglected this badly for some time now, but at last the house looks good. I even sanded down and painted a window frame at the front of the house.

I’ve done other stuff, too, of course. The usual K2 of emails; a good session with my Cirencester group, and a brilliant final session with my group at the Roses. I wrote a report for the Roses project, and went to a TADS meeting and wrote the minutes for that. I went to look at some property I might buy, and did a lot of stuff for Artlift and for Poetry on Loan, and planned my session with the Pershore young people’s group.

And I went to see The magnificent seven. I quite enjoyed this – a good old-fashioned Western – but The Bloke, who remembers the original version much better than I do, wasn’t so keen.

And yesterday I picked Jackie up from the station. We went to Spoonley Woods, near Winchcombe, and spent quite a long time wandering about looking for the Roman mosaic. We found it, eventually, and Jackie was duly impressed. In the evening we ate too much and drank a bit too much, too; I have a horrible feeling I tried to play the piano and sing.

And today, I had to take her back to the station; we stopped talking just in time for her to catch her train. My Cirencester group this afternoon was thin on the ground. Friends like Jackie are thin on the ground too; once a year just isn’t enough.


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