How on earth?

How on earth am I going to get everything done? How on earth do other people manage? How on earth did I manage when my kids were young?

Nothing for it – just have to buckle down, and not be sidetracked into any lollygagging, as The Bloke calls it.

This week has been busy! Writeups Monday morning, followed by lunch out ( a rare treat) with the Ledbury Poetry Festival Community group – mostly pleasure, but some work. Just time for a cup of tea, and out to my Monday Writers; a smaller group this time, but boy, did they put the effort in. A dash home, and out again for a TADS meeting. In between, I answered some emails and put finishing touches to my stats, and tried to chase up what’s happening with my Hereford Hospital poetry books – notifying people about these has all been delayed. And I wrote some Christmas cards.

I wrote a poem on Tuesday morning! I’m really pleased with it. I had a long phone interview as part of the evaluation for two projects I’ve been working on, and did quite a bit of Artlift work. And finally, I got started on the Poetry on Loan funding bid. But the Arts Council has a new system; I could register, but then it would be 5 working days before I could actually start filling in the online form! At least they have a document with all the questions in, so I could start work on it. In the evening I saw Moana – absolutely stunning animation, but unmemorable songs, unfortunately.

On Tuesday I handled the snail mail, and got quite a lot done on the PoL bid. The Son was home, and I helped him do some clearing. He has thrown out so much stuff! And I went to get my Christmas tree – I always get them from the same place, and they are always lovely trees that hardly drop any needles at all. I did loads of Artlift stuff, and wrote the minutes of the TADS meeting. I spent a lot of time making sure that the PoL finances are under control; we are very close to using up all our money and I have to keep a careful watch on it all. And I finished writing Christmas cards.

On Thursday I got up-to-date with emails and made a lot of phone calls, and tidied everywhere, and glued a broken step. As you do. And I did loads  of Artlift stuff. I had a minor disaster. People will be staying in the big bedroom of my house at Christmas, and it has some rather frightening cracks in the ceiling, so I filled them, using lightweight filler. This is very crumbly, so when I slipped on the ladder, and dropped the pot of filler, an awful lot of it went all over the carpet – one of the few carpets in the house that doesn’t need to be replaced. Or didn’t. Anyway, I got it done, more or less; and sent emails to all my PoL contacts because I need their commitment to pay subscriptions for the next two years.

Hooray! I thought. Pilates; it will do me good. But the motorway was closed, and I couldn’t get there in time, so I came home again, and worked on the PoL bid, and put marzipan on the Christmas cakes, and wrapped presents.

As usual I did my weekly finances on Friday morning, and washed the car, which was so filthy that you could get dirty just by looking at it. And I worked on the PoL bid – this time the budget section, which takes ages. By the evening I had finished all the major work on the bid; now I just have to wait until I can put it all into the form. As a celebration, I went for a swim, made pastry, and wrote my end-of-year report for the work I do in Cheltenham hospital. It’s been a good year. Early next year I’ll put together a book of the poems that have been written; it’s going to be really difficult to choose which ones to put in and which to leave out. And I wrapped more presents.

And on Saturday morning I woke up with the thought of something I had completely left out of the funding bid. I don’t think any of us had realised that in 2019 PoL will be 20 years old, and we have to have something in to celebrate this. At least, I think we do – I’ve asked some of the main contacts what they think. It will mean a few changes to what I’ve already written, though.

A lot of Saturday was spent on some personal business arrangements, which I think might fall through completely; but at least I’ve done all I can. Some last bits of Christmas shopping on Sunday; and then The Bloke and I went to see a Spectacle of Light at Sudeley Castle. Now, I think that anything called a spectacle should make me say Wow! It didn’t. It was a Bit of Light, really; no more.

And The Son spent all day on his mammoth clearing task. He’s done a great job, but how on earth can I (a) get used to the changes and (b) paint a wall (previously covered by bookcases) and sand down and varnish a coffee table before Friday? No more lollygagging for me…



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