Back in harness

What a glorious week in South Wales! Wall to wall sunshine, a quiet comfortable cottage in which to relax and sleep, and the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast to explore, along with castles (Tenby, Manorbier, Llawhagen, Pembroke), a reconstructed Iron Age hill fort, St Dogmael’s Abbey, St David’s Cathedral and the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace, and a delightful boat trip to Caldey Island to see the new monastery and St David’s church (12th century) and the Old Priory (ditto)… We also visited St Non’s Chapel, founded (allegedly) in the 6th century, built on the site where St David is said to have been born during a thunderstorm in 500 CE.

I was back home on Friday 10th June and on Saturday 11th I delivered my one-day school about Peak District folktales to an appreciative Glossop Guild audience. Although I was tired from travelling it went well – ah, the virtues of advance preparation! – and of course I got paid  for it, which is always a bonus. After a quick trip to Edinburgh to take my disabled friend home I returned on Monday 13th, unpacked, and prepared for my storytelling gig on the Tuesday morning (14th). I arrived at the venue with a suitable array of tales in mind – a mixture of the amusing, the tragic and the spooky – only to learn that the usual audience was supplemented with a dozen people from MENCAP, the charity for mentally disabled people. Oops. Would some of them be upset by the tragic stories or frightened by the spooky ones? I had to change my plans and tell an hour’s worth of essentially light-hearted and colourful tales instead. But again the performance seemed to go down well, to the extent that I was promptly invited to do another gig… for the local Women’s Institute. (Need to be selective for that one, too. Certain traditional stories should not be told to the WI.)

I returned home mentally exhausted, resolved to rest on Tuesday afternoon. Hope springs eternal. However…

A phone call from the Assistant Artistic Director of the Glossop Music Festival begged me to proof-read the 24-page souvenir programme immediately – it had to be finalised before the end of the day so it could be printed in time for the start of the Festival, which is next Tuesday (21st). So I did that.

A phone call from one of the actors for my play, which is due to be staged on 7th July, alerted me to the fact that the other actor had been taken ill and could no longer participate, so I’d need to find a replacement without delay. I contacted StarNow, a site through which actors looking for roles can advertise themselves, and sent out five invitations. One of the five has replied and she looks suitable for the role. I hope to hear more from her today (which I think is Wednesday 15th June, though I could be mistaken).

An e-mail from a fellow-trustee of the Music Festival asked for some amendments in the minutes of our last board meeting, so – as secretary – I made the amendments, revised the document as required, and sent it to the chairman for approval.

The chair of our creative writing group phoned me to tell me about the work that had been set for the week, so I did that, after a fashion, and posted it on the group website.

It’s so relaxing to be back home! And now I have to do the ironing…

Maybe I’ll have time and energy to write something before too long. Even, who knows, before the start of the Festival. Hope, as I said, springs eternal.


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