Watching paint dry

It’s less than two weeks now until my play is on, and preparations are hotting up.

On Monday I answered emails, did some prep, spread four bags of gravel on my drive, and finished the work on my poetry collection manuscript, and had a rehearsal. They were great! My cast have really caught the humour in the play, and the menace, and the embarrassment.

On Tuesday I packed and sent off some things I’ve sold on eBay, and had a great session with my group in Cirencester, but I didn’t feel too good. We went to see Jumanji in the evening; not a great movie but good fun.

And on Wednesday we did some set painting. Four 8×4 foot flats, all brightly painted in neon colours, and I wanted them terracotta. We are lucky enough to have the use of a converted barn, but even indoors it was so cold that the paint wouldn’t dry. We put one coat on in the morning, but when we went back in the afternoon it was still wet and we couldn’t do anything more – we had expected to get it all finished in one day, really. By the end of the day, after doing prep for a big meeting next week, it was clear that I had a cold. Doh.

But still, we can’t let little things like colds get in the way of life, so early on Thursday morning, the stage manager and I met at the barn and gave the flats a second coat of paint. I went to a Ledbury Poetry Festival meeting, but had to leave early because I was feeling pretty bad. I caught up with emails and prepared some bits of decoration for the flats – cut-out cats to stick on them. The cats do make sense if you see the play. In the afternoon we touched up some last bits of paint and added the cats. Perfect! And later on I wrote a poem.

I couldn’t have a session at the hospital this week because I can’t go in if I’m even slightly unwell – people there have little resistance to infection. On Friday I did my finances, more emails, and prep for this week. I had a bonfire (one of my favourite things to do), and mended a drawer. I haven’t tried it yet, so I don’t know if this repair has been successful. In the evening I did quite a bit of Poetry on Loan work – more over the weekend.

And on Saturday morning I worked with my young writers in Evesham. I can say now why I was unhappy last week. I’ve been working with the Young Writers groups since the scheme started, which must be about 8 years ago now. I’ve always known that the people who run the groups like to switch the lead writers round from time to time, and make room for new lead writers, but it was still a surprise when last week they asked me to stand down. I love working with the young people, and I do feel really sad that this won’t be part of my life any more, although other projects will come up, probably.

The rest of the weekend was quite lazy; shopping, eating and coughing. And thinking about what else needs to be done for the play.

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