I still colour code things in my diary. A red dot means "travel or out of office". In the last few months I've been in Poole, on Dorset fields, in Finland and in London more than I've been at home or in any kind of stable desk-based environment. My diary looks like it's suffering from a bad case of measles.
Pros: Not boring. As one might be able to work out from the title of this blog, the threat of boredom is my kryptonite. I've become really good at transporting all my "must-have" items to almost anywhere. People who know me always come to me for those plaster, painkiller, spare lipgloss, herbal tea and chocolate emergencies.
Cons: I always manage to take on just a little too much, so something has to give. This blog, for example. Or my attendance at Rushmoor Writers. I seem to be always either packing, unpacking or doing laundry. I have failed to get back into shape because I am either "too busy" or too knackered. Still haven't solved the living-in-my-head problem.
I've just spent the last six days at a wonderful community project, playing something called the Oasis Game. I'll be writing a diary about it this week and pop it over to Blogcritics and here when it's ready. I had the opportunity to spend time with some of the most inspiring, hard-working and loving people in the world, including Saci Lloyd, a local author, Tamsin Omond, a well-known campaigner, our Brazilian, Spanish and Dutch facilitators and many amazing colleagues from Lush.
This experience was definitely unusual for me; I'm not known for campaigning or direct action. Being fairly introverted and wishing to stay behind the scenes has meant that I've not even considered participating in anything like this before. Last week left me feeling more than a little bemused at my own attitude towards direct action. After all, I love doing stuff and doing stuff RIGHT NOW. Nothing frustrates me more than fussy bureaucracy and not being able to act fast once I get an idea. (I just need to learn to accurately assess the time I actually have available. Right now I feel that I haven't got a work-life balance. More of a work-work balance).
In the meantime, Jane Austen fans might be interested in reading about Martin Owton's writer friend's book "The Unexpected Miss Bennett." It took me a bit too long to get the book review out there, but hopefully it will still help unite fans of Austen's work with Patrice Sarath's fiction.
My list of writing committments is not too terrible, apart from the fact that as soon as I tick one item off it, something else appears. It's entirely my own fault for agreeing to or volunteering to do things because they interest me. Just don't expect fast results. I'm doing my best to fit everything in.
I'm back in Poole tomorrow and will get briefed on some new research projects. Next week I'm going to Finland for a few days. Timo and I will stay at his cousin's summer cottage at Nuuksio, then I'll be interviewed for Evita magazine and on Saturday I'll meet my 90-year old great aunt for the first time and finish the day off at my uncle's 75th birthday party. The day after we come back from Finland, I'll be off to Bournemouth for a big Lush meeting.
Look out for the Newham Oasis Game diary here soon.