Easing down

I’ve always tried to work very little during August, so that I can catch up with all the work that has to be done on my house and in the garden. I haven’t always managed to do this – in fact, I haven’t managed it at all for the last few years. But this year, it’s all looking possible. Already I’m doing less of my real work, theoretically, although strangely I don’t seem to have any more spare time.

Anyway, Tuesday was real work all day. I say real work, but in fact this meant a really good session with two lovely people at the hospital, and then a good session with my Cirencester group. And I backed up my entire system – a relief, because I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. I did the writeups and handled the mail and even managed to clean the house a bit.

On Wednesday I caught up (nearly) with the emails, and started painting the black beams on the front of my house. I enjoy this; it requires total concentration, and I get in a Zen-like state, although I do tend to get splattered in black paint. My final session with my Herefordshire group went very well; they have enjoyed it a lot and had a great deal of benefit from it, so I hope we can carry on and do another set of sessions. End of month accounting in the evening.

I’ve got a few gigs coming up, and on Thursday I went through all the poems I might do. We’ve decided on the poems to be used for the next set of Poetry on Loan postcards, and I emailed everyone involved to tell them about the decision. I don’t much like telling people that their poems haven’t been chosen, and this year’s batch were so good that it meant that some excellent poems could not be included, but everyone was very good about it; at least we could pay them for the commissions.

I finished the black paint, and touched up the white where I’d left drips. It looks lovely! I have a great postman, who takes an interest in my decorating, and he was very complimentary about it; it’s nice that somebody notices. I caught up with all the emails – and my change of email address is now complete and seems to have gone relatively smoothly; another relief. I finished off the book of pieces by the kids in my Pershore group and got it sent to the online publishers.

And on Friday I went for a run! Actually it’s not so much a run, more leaning forward a bit and having to move my legs so I don’t fall over. I sorted out a running order for a performance the Pershore kids are doing at the Evesham Festival, and did my weekly accounts. I practised for a gig on Saturday, and did some prep, and started the things I need to do for the Ledbury Poetry Festival events I’ll be managing, and answered loads of emails, and sent some invoices, and had a swim, and wrote up the report of the work with the Hereford group, and typed up the poem I wrote last week.

I had another little run on Saturday morning and started getting my stuff together for my holiday. In the afternoon I was headlining the poetry session at the Wychwood Festival in Cheltenham. It’s always difficult performing at music festivals. Apart from the constant noise from the bands, there are always people coming in and out of the tent, and because I was on last, Festival staff started setting up for the next event while I was doing my stuff, but I think the set went down well.

And on Sunday I was back at Wychwood again, this time taking The Bloke, who hasn’t been to a music festival since he was 15. It rained, so he saw festivals as they usually are. I did loads of prep for an event I’m doing next week, and that was it.

Actually, looking back at the week, it’s hardly been easing down at all, has it? But I’ve had sunshine and activity and lots of good stuff, and I’ve finished some things off, so that’s a good week, as far as I’m concerned.



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