Winding down?

At this time of year, I should be winding down ready for Christmas. Huh! I seem to have more to do than ever. On Tuesday I had to pack up and post the stuff I’ve sold on eBay – not as much as I’d hoped, but there’s still a chance for some things to go. Unusually, I had to mow the grass – it had its final moss treatment a week ago and needed to be cut one more time. I don’t think I’ve ever cut it in December before. I got up to Sunday’s emails, did some Poetry on Loan work, wrote some Christmas cards, and paid my income tax bill. And I wrote a poem.

Actually, I don’t know what’s got into me on the writing front – I’ve been writing a poem every day and sometimes two, and I’m quite pleased with several of them. Not that I’m complaining!

On Wednesday I did some more emails, and ran my Artlift group in the afternoon; they really are a great group. And I saw a squirrel on my lawn! This always makes me feel good. I did the write up, and then some work on my hospital contract for next year; more emails, and finished all my Christmas cards. I know a lot of people don’t send Christmas cards nowadays, but I still like to.

I had a session at the school in Birmingham on Thursday. I took a bunch of 24 kids out for a walk, to take photographs – not on my own, you understand; there were three members of staff as well. Usually on these walks it’s hard to get the kids to go round the route fast enough, and the last bit is a bit of a trot. This time, though, it was freezing cold, and most of them didn’t have coats on (yes, they knew they would be going out – I don’t know why they didn’t have their coats). Not surprisingly, they set quite a smart pace. In the evening I went to Ledbury for a Ledbury Poetry Festival do, which was lovely. But for some reason, I felt sad; I haven’t really recovered from this.

The Son is having a party here on Christmas Eve Eve, and I’m determined to get a few bits of painting finished before that – just touching up in the bathroom, where the new light and radiator were fitted, and in another room where I had new lights put in – and I started that on Friday. I typed up some stuff from the school walk, and went to a Poetry on Loan meeting in Birmingham – that’s Birmingham three times in one week! These meetings are always invigorating, and we’ve sorted out what I’m going to put in our next ACE funding bid – yet another thing I’ve got to do over Christmas, and one I’m not looking forward to.

I had three hours to kill in Birmingham before the Stan’s café Christmas drinks. Fine, I thought – I had two things to buy and I didn’t think it would be a problem to find either of them. But after three hours I was empty-handed; very disappointing. It was late when I got in, but I did some more writing up and answered some emails.

On Saturday I got my Christmas tree! I did some work on the school stuff, and on the hospital book, and on Sunday brought the Christmas decorations down from the loft.

And I’ve been running every day, and I’ve got all the fun of decorating the house to look forward to as well as all the work, and I still don’t feel good. And I feel even worse knowing that I have no reason at all to feel anything but fine.

So it’s time to shut up, and get on with everything – once I’ve got all the pretty stuff up around the house, and made some pastry, and marzipanned the cakes, and prepared for tonight’s rehearsal, and done some more work on the hospital book, and done some more painting, and typed up my poems, I’ll feel much better! And then, perhaps, I’ll start winding down.

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