I think it’s all over…

In fact, I’m pretty certain that I’m better now, thank you for asking. It’s been a bitty kind of week, though. On Monday I planned my workshops with a school, and put the new cover on my swing seat. I wish someone had taken a video; the swing seat cover is big and I’m small, and I’m sure it would have given a few people a laugh. I had my Monday Writers in the afternoon – more of them than usual, and as always keen and eager to try new things. I did a lot of Artlift stuff after that, and helped a friend with a job application – he hasn’t done one for 7 years and I think it’s something you can need a bit of help with.

Loads of emails on Tuesday! And more Artlift work. I couldn’t go in to work in the hospital because I was still coughing a lot, but I had my lovely Cirencester group in the afternoon. In the evening I saw Jackie, which includes a stunning performance by Natalie Portman.

Artlift emails on Wednesday morning, and then I spent some time measuring and counting items in a dinner service. This was a good set of crockery given to my father as a retirement present, but it’s no use to me or anyone else in the family, and I had found an online organisation that buys this particular style. So, I put all the details in. They don’t want it. Oh well; eBay, I suppose.

I did some practice for a slam on Sunday, and had an excellent session with my Hereford group; more practice, all the writeups, work on the hospital book; and I cleared out the dining room. I mean I really cleared it out, to make space for the furniture that would come from another room that will be getting a new carpet.

Thursday was a home day, after a check-up at the dentist. I did lots of work on the hospital book, and lots of practice, for the slam and for performances on Friday. And I did a piece of tedious Artlift work that has been waiting since November, and lots of prep, and caught up with all the emails. Days at home are so productive!

Friday was a big day. I am Poet in Residence at John Masefield school in Ledbury, and this was my first day there. In the morning I had workshops with two different groups. I had been asked to include in each workshop a performance, a poetry-writing session, and a performance session. Normally I would take about 6 hours for all of this, but I packed it all into two hours for each workshop. The older ones were a little reluctant to say anything at first, but by the end of each session, all the kids had written interesting poems, and most of them had had a go at performing, too. At lunchtime I met the book group, who asked some questions as an excuse for eating cake; I was supposed to be doing a little performance for them, too, but it didn’t happen. I was walked round the school later; it’s a really nice school, I think. I have to write a poem about it as part of the residency, but really I need some time to talk to people – kids, teachers and other staff – to build a poem. They’ll have to let me off the leash…

I had been a bit worried about Friday, in case I lost my voice. I was struggling a bit, but it held out, and I had just a few serious bouts of coughing. I did more slam practice in the evening, and my weekly finances, and more work on the hospital book.

On Saturday, The Bloke and The Son were here, and we cleared everything out of the playroom, and got rid of the old, stained carpet, and cleaned the room, ready for the new carpet, which should be arriving today – where are they, I wonder? I’ll give them a call when I’ve done this. And on Sunday we collected the new furniture I’ve ordered; but all day, I could feel the sinus pain developing behind my eyes, and by late afternoon I had to lie down and close them. I needed to leave at 5 to get to a slam in Wolverhampton, but the thought of driving in the dark for an hour and a half, and then performing through coughs and headaches was a bit too much. I’ve been in slams before when I didn’t feel too good, and I’ve just had miserable evenings, knowing that I wasn’t performing well, and wishing I’d stayed at home. This time, I knew they had a waiting list of potential slammers, so I wouldn’t be letting anyone down, so I said I wouldn’t go. I felt such a wimp; I was really unhappy about giving in to illness.

But – by 11ish I felt a lot better; and by 1 am I’d drafted a new slam poem. Now I need to find a slam to enter…

And if I can write a slam poem, then I must be all better now; this horrible cold is all over. If only we could just wipe Trump off on a hankie.



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