Kids’ play

I love working with kids! There’s so much enthusiasm; it leaps out in words and drawings and bounciness.

Monday wasn’t like that, though. I’ve been working on the bathroom window. Because there’s a porch below it, I can’t get a ladder directly in line, so the ladder has to go to one side, and I work on the window with one foot on the ladder and the other on the porch roof. As if this wasn’t bad enough, there’s a wasps’ nest in the roof of the bathroom, and a busy and angry buzzing accompanied everything I did. The other half of the window is done by sitting on the window ledge and leaning out. Miraculously, I survived all this and, during the week, finished the whole thing. Phew.

Apart from that, I made phone calls and answered emails, paid some Poetry on Loan invoices, went to a TADS meeting, and finished my tax return. Hooray! As a bit of light relief I had a look at cruises I might work on next year; I’m hoping to go to the Norwegian fjords.

On Tuesday afternoon I was working in Kenilworth library, getting kids to write magic spells. My favourite was a spell to turn a boring mummy (that’s the maternal kind, not the sort with bandages) into superwoman. Great fun all round. I did some prep for the next day and dealt with yet more emails, and was asked to do another Birmingham school project like the ones I did earlier this year. Always nice to be asked. In the evening I saw Christopher Robin, which had amazing animation but some rather annoying anachronisms.

On Wednesday I had two sessions with kids, at Croome. They were packed! Up to 12 kids round a table that should have been for 7; lots of magic spells were written, and most of the kids were brave enough to read them out over the mic. And then I mowed both the lawns.

On Thursday I wrote a poem that I quite like, went to yoga (brutal, this week!) and weedkilled the drive. Again. Sometimes I think that tarmac has a lot going for it. More email, more phone calls (why don’t people phone back when you leave messages?), and a bonfire; one of my best, and just in time before it rained.

I’ve been gathering windfall pears from my tree all week, and cooking them and freezing them. They look horrible – all scabby – but when they’re peeled and cooked they’re delicious, so it’s worth doing.

And on Friday I did some loft clearing. I’ve thrown out 24 pairs of trousers. Who even owns 24 pairs of trousers? These were all ones that are too big for me since I lost a lot of weight, so it’s not as if I had to make decisions about them all. I’m useless at clearing stuff. Anyway, I hope that the charity shop will sell them and some good will come of it all. I had an optician’s appointment, asked at my local bookshop about a possible launch there for my new poetry collection, and renewed my library ticket. In the afternoon I had a meeting with my co-director – I forgot to say that at the TADS meeting, it was agreed that we will go ahead with Wyrd Sisters, so I’ve got a lot of work ahead on that. I wrote up the TADS meeting minutes and answered emails in the evening.

Saturday was a bit mixed; I couldn’t get going, for some reason. And on Sunday I heard that a poem of mine has been accepted for a book of poems about cricket – most pleasing! I wrote it ages ago. And then I cleaned the whole house, because my friend Jackie, who lives in New Zealand, is coming to stay for a couple of days. She’s going to help me do some clearing, and you can’t get a better friend than someone who’ll do that. I don’t know when I’ll see her again, though.

This morning I wrote the first draft of a new slam poem. It needs a bit of work, but I think it’s going to be ok. Later we went to the Pershore Plum Festival, which is a delightful bit of silliness that involves classic cars and lots of plums. And teddy bears on a zip wire. Kids’ play, this week, but when Jackie goes I’ve really got to get down to things. Shame.

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