There’s been a two-week break from the poetry classes I taught at Trowbridge Town Hall so I’ve been on half-term. This is the first time poetry has been on offer at the Town Hall – scriptwriting classes were available last year and there have been, and still are, drawing classes on the programme. My classes have been small so far but I hope the numbers will gradually grow as people learn about them. I ran two classes last term, one in the day time and one in the evening, but we’ve decided to only keep going with the daytime class which starts again next Tuesday, 8th November.
It’s been absolutely delightful to be teaching workshops again. I taught undergraduates at Chichester Institute of Higher Education (now Chichester University) years ago, when I first completed my MA in Creative Writing in 1997, and in more recent years I’ve run workshops in schools, community settings and adult education centres. I changed tack somewhat in November 2013 when, working for The Reader Organisation, I set up and ran six read aloud reading groups for people living with dementia and memory loss. When that contract ended I took a break from paid work altogether as I wanted to be there for Andrew, my husband, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He’s currently in the clear from cancer and taking part in Movember for the second year running – I wrote about that here.
During the first week of my break, my two teenagers were on holiday from school. My daughter and I went to London for a few days to see my sisters and some of their children and grandchildren – I’m from a large family so I have many siblings and relations. I miss living in London and I’d like to see more of all of my family there but, ultimately, we couldn’t afford London house prices and made the decision to move to Wiltshire thirteen years ago. Two of my four brothers were already here and now a third has also moved here which is wonderful. I do miss my sisters, though.
This week, the schools have gone back so I’ve been trying to catch up with various jobs. A few people I met at Winchester Poetry Festival (where I was Blogger in Residence) sent me poems for And Other Poems so I have at last had a chance to read those. I’ve also been writing some new poems for children which I hope to submit somewhere soon.
I’m waiting to hear about a couple of submissions – well, actually, one magazine has lost my poems – the first time this has ever happened to me. I’ve heard of it happening to others but I think I’ve been lucky – up until now! It’s a bit annoying but I’m not overly upset about it. These things happen! I’m still waiting to hear about one another submission.
I’ve been reading as much as I can in readiness for my new class which starts next week. And on top of this I’ve been trying to enjoy Autumn and some bright, sunshine-filled days. There’s a beautiful park in the centre of Trowbridge, in fact the Town Hall backs onto it. It’s a pleasure to be outdoors at this time of year.