Every year for years now, my New Year’s resolution has been to sort my house out; every year I have failed to do this. Mostly this has because I’ve been working such long hours, but my mother’s illness and death have made things even worse.

However, this year things will be different. Already I am working on what we call the playroom, which thanks to The Son, has been cleared of most of its unneeded stuff. By the end of February it will have had repairs and repainting done, and will sport a new carpet and some new furniture. At last, I’ll have a room that I’m not ashamed to take people into.

Last week I did quite a lot of things towards this, making space elsewhere, and clearing stuff out of built-in toy boxes, which were demolished by The Bloke. (Actually, this made me feel a little sad, remembering all the years of toys.) I did quite a bit of filling, and realised that I am actually that sad person who gets excited at the discovery of a new type of filler. I ordered the carpet and some furniture.

I did do some real, i.e. paid, work as well. I did quite a bit on the Poetry on Loan website, and got a few more events booked up; I got up-to-date with all the emails; I had an interesting session at the hospital, and did some work on the book of hospital poems. I had a long meeting with the new director of Artlift, who seems like a really good bloke, and did some prep for my Cirencester group and my young people’s group.

And I did some work on my set for the gig this week – quite different from my usual gigs; I hope they won’t mind, but I’ll be doing mostly page poems, for a change.

And I took the decorations down. This normally makes me feel a bit down myself, but this year I have too much to do, and too much to look forward to. If all goes well with my plans, I should even have more time to write… another resolution!


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