Second Time Lucky

This morning I began a long, rambling post about fame and success which got stuck in several bogs and dead ends, so I’ve abandoned that and started again. Today I did a bit of sorting out and discovered a pile of old notebooks in an ottoman beside the bed. I don’t often delve into the ottoman because it’s basically my bedside table and is covered in such useful items as earplugs, a pumice stone, a water bottle, an inhaler and a tablet dispenser filled with thyroxin, all nestling between heaps and heaps of books. There’s a lot of sweeping clear to be done before I can look inside, hence I only do so about once a year. And lo! I discovered a laptop bag full of old diaries. I got briefly excited in the hope that there might also be old poetry books too, but there were none; sadly these are all in storage as I feared. I was really hoping to find some because I need some more poems to bring my collection up to 60 pages, but I’ll just have to use what I’ve got. There’s nothing wrong with it – quite the contrary – but I just have the impression that it may not be what the publishers are looking for. But we’ll see.

So of course when I find an old diary I can never resist having a look through. As I said the other day it’s interesting to find out what my preoccupations were. What was I thinking in 2006? What was I feeling? What were my anxieties? I seem to have been exercised by Ofsted at one point; at another point to have walked out of a church service because I felt disconnected from it, then sitting in a cafe and pondering joining the Quakers; a week later I was preoccupied by waiting to hear from someone called Cheryl (I have no idea who Cheryl was) I was also writing about Sound Cafe, a homeless project where I was resident poet, and always, always moaning about not having time to write. This was a perpetual problem in those days, with two home-educated children, part-time peripatetic teaching work and preparing to run a teacher-training course. Summer and Christmas were my times for reflection and writing, and they were never long enough. Thankfully this is not a problem I have now.

So that was interesting. I’ve put the notebooks on my bookshelf now and I’m trying to decide what should go in the ottoman.

Christmas-wise I’ve written the cards but not posted them, bought the presents and finished knitting Maisie’s hat and mittens. I’m very pleased with them.

What have you been up to?

Kirk out