Today I got my diary out.

6:30 a.m. and I’d decided not to go running (still aching after yesterday’s pre-dawn shuffle around the country lanes of Cumbria). Re-read the winners’ poems in the National Poetry Competition Anthology and checked e-mails. Got diary out and counted the weeks left until I stop being a full-time teacher … twelve.

Twelve working weeks …

In that time, I have two poetry readings to prepare and three submissions to anthologies to get anxious about. Since the new year, the opportunities to dance like a loon around the living room have been few and far between, as rejection after rejection has thudded into the inbox with depressing regularity. However, that lovely, lovely man Charles Johnson (of Obsessed With Pipework fame) has just said “Yes” to a couple of poems for the August edition, which resulted in much cavorting and the feeling that there is some merit in my stuff.

Twelve working weeks …


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In the diary, we have six weeks until Dugg (a.k.a. Merlin/Colin/Bob and/or Derek) becomes part of the family. Some mixed feelings here … lots of joy, but also tinged with sadness as I can’t help feeling I’m betraying Alfie, somehow. It’s daft, I know, and I hope/expect the feeling will subside as we get Dugg/Merlin/Colin/Bob/Derek home.

Twelve working weeks …

I got my diary out and circled the last day in red.

Old Dog



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