The good, the bad and the emails

It’s been mostly emails this week, of course – after a week away that’s always going to be the case. The week started badly, though – I lost my Fitbit, and then I lost my favourite pen. The pen rolled off my desk and disappeared; I just can’t understand where it’s gone. The Fitbit turned up later in the week, after I’d panicked and bought another one from eBay, that won’t connect with my phone (essential for this type of Fitbit) – and the seller won’t accept a return. Sigh. All my own fault.

Anyway, on Tuesday I had an exceptionally good session at the hospital, went food shopping and had a long call from a relative who is always interesting, wise and helpful, although not helpful with getting the emails handled. I did some invoicing, and got all ready for Wednesday…

which I spent in prison. I had two 3-hour workshops with different groups of prisoners. Three hours is a long time for anyone for a poetry workshop, and many prisoners have quite short attention spans – but they all engaged, and they all wrote poems. It was a good day, even though my main contact and I had a disagreement about Brexit. Sigh, again.

On Thursday I did quite a lot of Poetry on Loan work, and more emails, obviously… and some more on Friday. The PoL postcards poetry arrived, and they are beautiful – I’ve had quite a few emails saying this already.

Ok, we’ve had the good and the emails – now it’s time for the bad. I was in a slam in Ironbridge on Saturday – the first one they’ve had there. It’s a long way from where I live. I got through the first round ok, but in the semi-final, I overran the time. The poem I did is always tight on time, but I’ve never overrun before; the warning signal was a very short beep on a duck whistle. I’m used to two types of time restriction – either no warning, and 15 seconds grace so you’re allowed to overrun a bit; or a really loud blast on a whistle that stops you dead in your tracks. This quiet warning took me completely by surprise, and I didn’t stop straight away, so I had a 10 point penalty – which meant that instead of winning my semi-final (as the organisers told me I would have done), I didn’t get through to the final.

And it’s entirely my fault. I should have practised more; I should have been more aware of the time; I should have responded immediately I heard the signal. I know it’s only a slam and it doesn’t matter, but I am so, so cross with myself.

And then on Sunday it was my birthday present – a trip to the Bear Grylls adventure place, to do archery and an assault course and snorkelling with sharks. The archery and assault course were really good fun; the snorkelling slightly disappointing because the cage we were in was very small and we couldn’t move around. And the bad bit was that when we were very nearly there, we had an accident – a woman ignored some give way signs and drove out straight in front of us. The Bloke was driving, and although he braked, he couldn’t stop in time and just dinged the woman’s car; she panicked and drove into a post. Nobody was hurt, fortunately, but even small accidents shake you up.

And today my car has gone in for some major recall work, and I’ll be without it for a week. I’ve got a loan car, but it’s not the same.

And now, of course, there are still more emails. Nothing stops them.


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