This week my next-door neighbour has been cutting back some of my trees. I think the lesson to be learned from this is: never lend a man a chainsaw. To be honest, though, he’s done a good job; I just have a huge pile of branches to clear away now, but it’s easier for The Daughter to get her car into the drive.
I’ve done my last session for the year at the hospital. It was a really good session; a man said he’d told me things he’d never told anyone before, and a woman said that talking to me had buoyed her up when she was feeling down. I wrote my annual report on the hospital work, and had some very nice comments from the people who fund it. I think I’ll be doing some extra sessions next year…
…which is very good, because I don’t have much work now – just Poetry on Loan and the hospital stuff, with a few bits and pieces here and there. I miss having a regular writing group to work with, but I guess that’s just the way of things – and it does leave me time to carry on clearing a way through all the junk in my house.
I have written a couple of poems, which has reminded me that it’s really time I put together my third collection. This is far more difficult than clearing either the garden or the house, though. When I look at my poems, I think either that nearly all of them deserve a place in the collection, or that none does. I think I’ll have to find a theme for the collection and see what fits round that.
And apart from that, it’s all been getting ready for Christmas. I’ve iced cakes and wrapped presents, same as everyone else, and made chocolate mice, which I guess isn’t like everyone else, but is still very important.
And I’ve had what I think is my biggest triumph of the year. My really Heath Robinson repair to my leaky roof seems to have worked! No water came through despite the heavy rain. After I’d put in the foil trays and Gorilla tape (not quite Blu-Tak, but not much more advanced) I talked it through with my brother, who used to have a building firm, and he agreed that the principle behind it is sound, and – well, it’s worked. And it’s a bit cheaper than putting in a whole new roof at a steeper angle, which is what the roofer recommended. Hooray! Now I can mend the hole in the ceiling and do some painting and decorating.
So many things we do depend on doing something else first – clearing the way – and sometimes the list of tasks seems endless. But, as they say in Frozen 2, you just have to keep doing the next right thing. Yeah, well, it’s Christmas, and I’m allowed a cliché or two!
Happy Christmas to my reader; I hope you have an exciting and yet peaceful time.