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?