Barefoot in the park

What a week! It was a bit stressed, but magic at the end.

After the ArtLift artists meeting on Monday morning I did some work on the Birmingham school project and answered Wednesday’s emails – so far behind! And then it was off to Andover, to work with a writers’ group there, after a quick (but very enjoyable) supper with an old friend. It’s a long way to go, but they are a lovely group to work with, and very appreciative. I got home quite late, but answered Thursday’s emails anyway.

On Tuesday I finished my prep for the Birmingham school project and painted some of the back of the house, and answered lots of emails. In the evening I saw Adrift  – very good; recommended.

Wednesday was a hospital session – another very good one. I had an email, though, telling me that a lovely young woman I worked with only a few weeks ago has died. Her husband said that the poem meant a lot to her, and that they would be reading it at her funeral. I always feel very honoured when this happens, but this was so sad; she had everything to live for.

I finished painting the back, and did more emailing, and proofread the Poetry on Loan recommended poetry books leaflet. It looks beautiful, thanks to our wonderful designer Gregory. And I started more prep for something I’ll be doing this evening.

I’ve been running every day, but on Thursday I had a yoga session as well, and went for a swim. How fit will I be? More emails, and then sanding and filling the three back wall window frames. More prep, and I even did some gardening in the heavy nettle section.

On Friday I had my final session at the school in Birmingham. The kids were a bit end-of-termish, but they knuckled down and wrote some good poems. Afterwards I had to take all the kit back to the organisation running the project. They were holding their summer party at 6, which meant I had 3 hours to kill. In Birmingham. When I need some summer clothes. I had a really successful shopping trip, and went to the party for a little while. I had to leave early, though, because on my way home I collected my author copies of my new book, Like love. It looks lovely!

And when I got home, I caught up with all – yes, all – the emails. Hooray!

On Saturday I did more prep for the TADS workshop this evening, and undercoated the window frames.

And on Sunday, oh, wow. I didn’t feel too good – a bit of a temperature, so I was shivering in the heat – but still… I’d paid to go and see the Paul Simon concert in Hyde Park, and it was his last gig ever in the UK (this really is a farewell tour), so I was going, no matter what. Drive to Slough, train from Slough to Paddington, and a short walk to Hyde Park. I found a spot only a few miles away from the main stage and kept my head down. The sun seemed to cook me better. Bonnie Raitt did some totally forgettable songs (how can anyone like that stuff?), and James Taylor was surprisingly good. And Paul Simon was terrific. So yes, dear reader, for the very first time in my life I danced barefoot in a park. Never say it’s too late to do things. It was a little bit sad to know that this was his last tour; but he is 76, this singer who has accompanied my life, and that’s the way things are. I don’t suppose I’ll ever dance barefoot in a park again, but at least I’ve done it once.

Oh. And I wrote three poems. The third one is called, inevitably, Barefoot in the park.

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