Part party

I just thought I’d put that as a title to imply that I do actually go to parties – proper parties, where people drink and have conversations and that sort of thing.

Monday wasn’t much of a party – emails and mail and phone calls, pretty well all day.

On Monday evening I went to Ledbury, intending to see a film about Pablo Neruda. But I was offered a loan of the DVD instead, which meant I could go to a memorial event for Nick Alexander, a Ledbury poet who died last year. It was fun, although I was disappointed, as I often am when listening to songs, that I couldn’t hear the words. I didn’t stay till the end.

On Tuesday I finished handling the mail. and did lots of admin stuff, like paying my income tax bill, and sending off the books for the kids from my Pershore group. I cleared the horrible weeds from in front of my garden wall; doing this makes me feel better when I come home, so it’s quite therapeutic. I wrote up the Ledbury Poetry Festival board minutes, and did a lot of prep. In the evening I saw Baby driver, which was excellent. I always like Edgar Wright movies.

I spent hours on Wednesday weeding the drive – another thing that makes me feel good when it’s done, although I get backache doing it. I would like to think that during the hours of weeding, my mind was full of creative thoughts, but in fact I go into a kind of Zen state. It’s probably good for me anyway. Lots of emails and Poetry on Loan stuff, and a really good session at the hospital in the afternoon. So often when I work with people in the hospital they end up in tears; I think it’s a bit like weeding – it’s good for them, or at least they say it is. I did the writeup, and typed up a little poem I’d written, and practised for a gig.

On Thursday I went for a run! I did the same run on Saturday, improving my time by 30 seconds – which just shows how slow I was the first time. It was lovely, though, quite early in the morning, on a route that gives me a beautiful view over a wheatfield (and no, I didn’t run through it).

I did lots of Poetry on Loan stuff, and went to yoga class, and picked some of my blackcurrants. There are loads of them this year, but they’re not very big, which is a shame; with blackcurrants, size really is important – I’m going to end up eating blackcurrant-flavoured mouthfuls of fibre. Also good for me. I started work on the decorating I need to do on the patio, but felt quite daunted by the size of the task – so much to do! And even though I caught up with all the emails, I found myself sinking into a bit of sadness. I’ve probably spent too much time this week alone and thinking. Even a bit more weeding didn’t help – I still haven’t finished the drive.

Friday was busy. I attended the LPF event managers’ meeting in the morning, and bought some more paint for my outside walls – I’m going to need a lot. I picked some more blackcurrants, and did my weekly accounts, and then went back to Ledbury to collect Simon Armitage from the station – I was managing his event in the evening. I went with him to another event in the afternoon, and I have to say that it was awful. Most Ledbury events are very good indeed, but this one – well, the introductions went on much too long, and the first poet read at such an excruciatingly slow pace that it was impossible to hear the poetry through the words. It might have been good poetry, but there was no way of knowing from this reading. My ADHD set in, and I could have set fire to the place, but fortunately Simon and I had to leave to do his soundcheck.

Simon’s event was sold out, and he was in good spirits by the start. I did a (brief) introduction, and he was brilliant; it restored my faith in poetry. I stayed quite late talking to him and other poets and Festival people.

After my run on Saturday I picked yet more blackcurrants (I’m going to be sick of the things) and got up-to-date with the emails, and did yet more weeding. In the afternoon The Bloke and I cycled to the Tewkesbury Medieval Fair, stopping en route to buy new saddles for our bikes – at last I can ride in comfort! The Fair was as weird as always – I mean, why? Why do they do this? What is the point of re-enacting a battle that took place 500 years ago?

And on Sunday I had a gig in the Ledbury Town party – the stage a big flatbed truck, and the audience people who were there enjoying themselves with all the town party events. It went ok, and afterwards I went to the final event of the Festival and got an idea for a poem. The end-of-festival party was much as it always is; a sigh of relief, with sandwiches. It’s been a good Festival, though, and congratulations to all the festival team who did a grand job.

And I finished typing up my new play. It still needs an ending, though.

No parties this week, but quite a lot going on. I should get the weeding finished…


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