Working on bank holidays

For a long time, the only difference that bank holidays made to me was that I received fewer emails than usual. Now, though, I try to keep them free – but not this one. I’ve spent a lot of time over the weekend working, because I have so, so much to do. This post will be brief – I’m still working and will be until late tonight.

So, Monday was nearly all handling emails and snail mail. I actually got up-to-date with them all. In the evening was a TADS meeting and end-of-month accounting.

Tuesday – very good session at the hospital; people really need to talk to someone! Loads of prep for other stuff. Saw A quiet place; it made me jump (which isn’t difficult) but there were some big problems with the plot. And I wrote a new slam poem.

Wednesday – Hospital writeup; TADS AGM and ordinary meeting minutes; Poetry on Loan work. In the evening I was at the Bristol Hammer & Tongue poetry evening, as the sacrificial poet. This is a poet who goes on before a slam, to give the judges a chance to practise and make sure they understand what they need to do – I did it because I won the slam there last month. When I got home I wrote another new slam poem.

Thursday – yoga and house painting – the very highest part of the back wall. I didn’t fall off the ladder, which is always a bonus. Gardening, emails, and prep for my session in the Birmingham school, which was on…

Friday. I took 25 kids out for a walk. Not on my own, of course; I’m not stupid – three members of staff came too. They had 6 cameras between them, and their brief was to take photos of interesting things. I’d run a session the previous week about taking good photos, and they had really taken it all on board. They were seeing things they had never seen before, and their enthusiasm was amazing. I did some practice for a big poetry gig (tomorrow!), and started to mow the grass. The lawn mower had a puncture. It’s a ride-on mower, and it’s sitting at the end of the garden now, immobilised. I phoned Haywards, where I bought it, and within 20 minutes a chap was here to try to sort it out, but he had to take the tyre away, so I won’t get it all restarted until tomorrow. Emails and prep.

And on Friday I started sorting through the 542 photos the kids had taken. I’ve got to try to get this down to about 40 that they will use as starting points for poems, but the photos are tremendous and it’s really difficult to choose. Over the weekend I spent a lot of time on this; I had to write two poems, too, for the kids to look at and get an idea of how to write themselves. I haven’t finished yet, and I’ve got such a busy week ahead. Not only that, but I have to write a report for the Arts Council, because we are half way through the Poetry on Loan funding period. I’ve made a start, but I know it will take several hours.

And of course I’ve been running every day. I did have a little break from work yesterday for a cycle ride, which was fun, and I did a bit more painting today, but oh, I wish I could have spent the whole weekend and today out in the sun!

It’s still the Bank Holiday, and I’m still working. If it wasn’t for the sun, I wouldn’t complain at all because I love my work so much – but I love the sun more.

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