For several years now, my New Year’s resolution has been to sort my house out. And I’ve started – only just, though, and already I’ve managed to lose my prescription reading glasses – but still. And other things have come to an end, too.

I wrote up all the evaluation stuff for the training session on Monday, and did lots of Poetry on Loan work. Tuesday was mostly emails, and hanging on the phone waiting for someone, anyone, to talk to me, while listening to awful phone-waiting music. I remember, when I had a proper job, that sometimes I had to call Ralph Lauren (not personally) in Paris, and their waiting music was Why worry, by Dire Straits, which I thought was an excellent choice. In the evening I saw Joker, which was dark and miserable and not that well crafted, in my view.

Wednesday was better. One of the Poetry on Loan poets phoned early to say that he was unwell and couldn’t fulfil a commitment for that evening. After many phone calls and emails I found someone to replace him, and the whole thing went off successfully. Poetry on Loan does not like to let people down!

The next day was a Ledbury Poetry Festival Board meeting; I wrote up the minutes yesterday. We have a new Chair now, who seems very good. And I did some practice for an important gig on Saturday.

Friday was busy – more practice, accounts, a very good session at the hospital, and loads of emails, and in the middle of the night I wrote a long poem which I’m really pleased with.

And on Saturday, something else was resolved. I’ve been Gloucestershire Poet Laureate for seven years, and I had planned to try to organise my replacement this year, but to my delight, someone else did all the organisation. On Saturday I handed over to the new Poet Laureate for Gloucestershire – Ziggy Dicks, who will, I think, make an excellent job of it. I did a 20-minute farewell set to say goodbye, and it seemed to go down well.

And yesterday the big clear-up started. It’s going to take ages, and I’ll need to do other things, like chop down the butterfly plant (half done yesterday) and attack the rampant bramble that will otherwise take over the whole garden. But still, it’s a start, and I might at least succeed in clearing one or two rooms before it’s New Year again.


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