Meetings

Some meetings are lovely – unexpected encounters, happy reunions, and so on. But business meetings – well, that’s not the same at all. Usually they drag on for much longer than they need to. They shouldn’t be like that, though; with a bit of planning and preparation, the boring bits can be got through quickly, and the rest can actually be enjoyable – inspiring, even. I try to make the Poetry on Loan meetings like that.

However, the Board meeting I attended on Monday was one of the other kind. If only people would read the papers before the meetings; if only they would prepare, and make sure that what they say has the basis of fact; if only they would think… They are all well-meaning, good people, but the way they do meetings is not productive, and as I am there only as minute-taker, I’m not allowed to say anything unless I am asked.

And then there was another meeting on Tuesday, a wash-up meeting for a project I’ve been involved in, although I’m not going to say which one. This particular organisation, though, has always, always in my experience held meetings badly, so stuff that could have been covered in half an hour takes two hours at least. At least we covered it all, I suppose, but so much time wasted for so many people!

But by the end of the afternoon I had dealt with all the emails up to Monday, and done some Artlift work, and paid some Poetry on Loan invoices. In the evening I went to see Sully. One reviewer described this as a well-told story of things happening, unusually, as they should do, and that’s a good description. Obviously I would trust Tom Hanks with my life.

Wednesday morning was emails and Artlift stuff and a lot of Poetry on Loan stuff, but in the afternoon I had another meeting, and this was a good one. I am about to be Poet in Residence at John Masefield School, in Ledbury, and this was a meeting to decide on how we are going to manage it. It’s a lovely school with great staff, and I’m really looking forward to this.

In the evening I went to a little get-together of Ledbury Poetry Festival Trustees and staff – very pleasant and civilised! The result wasn’t, though. I drank a lot of smoothie while I was there (no alcohol, of course, because I was driving) and I think it must have had a lot of melon in it. Melon and peppers and squash are things I can consume only in very small quantities; otherwise I spend the night in extreme discomfort, as I did on Wednesday night. I had a headache all day on Thursday because I hadn’t had much sleep. Trivial but annoying.

On Thursday The Son was home to do some clearing. He came again on Sunday, and did a fine job – 5 bags of rubbish and 7 bags to go to the charity shop! My turn next – not to be taken to the charity shop (I hope) but to get rid of some clutter.

But suddenly I was required to write the minutes of the Monday meeting, and prepare some stats, all to be ready by Monday, so most of Thursday and some of Friday morning went on those, together with some prep for today.

Friday was a bit disappointing. I had my final session in the hospital. Usually these sessions are rewarding and uplifting, but very occasionally, I can’t find anyone to work with, and Friday was one of those occasions. I wrote a poem myself, but that was it. Shame.

I took my cat to the vet, and answered emails, and did quite a lot of Artlift stuff,

and did some prep for Saturday, which was worthwhile. It was my young people’s group in Pershore. They all set to and had a go at everything I asked them, even though they found the tasks difficult to start with. Well done them.

And the rest of the weekend was  for clearing, and a trip to the tip. I do enjoy a good outing.

So, my main objective for the week – to get into the Poetry on Loan funding bid – hasn’t even been started. I have three clear days this week, though, and they are sacrosanct now, for Poetry on Loan. No meetings to get in the way.

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