I should have known, really. A week away means emails, loads of them, and that’s what I’ve spent most of my time on this week.
But on Wednesday I went to a funeral – for a guy who used to do all the lighting for TADS, and who had suffered from motor neurone disease for over 5 years. He was the same age as I am when he died.
We had the TADS AGM and monthly meeting in the evening, and I could tell them exactly how many tickets we’d sold and how much profit we’ve made from Wyrd Sisters, which was nice – usually we have to wait for ages for the settlement figure from the theatre, but this time they’ve been really quick with it.
My car went in for a service on Thursday, and I had a really good session at the hospital – back in the groove there. I mowed the grass, which was difficult – it was very long and kept getting stuck in the mower. And there was a query from Arts Council England about the next lot of Poetry on Loan funding. They are asking us for information that we’ve never been asked for before, and that’s actually impossible to provide. We’ve exchanged several emails since then; I thought I’d finally sorted it out on Saturday, but now I see there’s another request. I’m beginning to think that these hoops we have to jump through are put in as a deterrent to people who might apply for funding. I’m very much aware that it’s public money, and I take very seriously my duty to spend it well and wisely, but really – this is Poetry on Loan’s 20th year, and we have always delivered what we’ve promised to the Arts Council. Sigh.
I needed some escapism, and in the evening we saw Shazam, which was good fun but a bit too long.
On Friday I did my weekly finances, and wrote up the hospital stuff, and did lots of PoL stuff, and finally unpacked from my holiday. In the evening I went to a poetry event in Tewkesbury (yes, a poetry event in Tewkesbury!) The guys who run it have done a great job in getting it all going and keeping it going, but they’ve called it a poetry slam, which it isn’t. Does it matter? they said. Well, yes, it does; if we’re poets, we’re supposed to care about words. Poetry jam would be a good name for it. Or perhaps I’m just being a pompous pedant.
By Saturday I’d reached Thursday’s emails, so I’m not quite up-to-date yet. Over the weekend I made lots of updates to the TADS website, and wrote two poems, and typed the changes to my new one-act play, Victim.
So, this week I’m hoping to catch up with all the emails, and do lots of Poetry on Loan work, and prune the roses, and write the minutes of the TADS’ meetings, and loads more – but I have another funeral to go to this week. This time it’s for my cousin, who committed suicide, and it’s in London, and I’m doing the eulogy. But what did I expect for this week? I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.