One of my fellow Brighton bloggers recently wrote after an uncharacteristic hiatus in her posts that she makes a point of not apologising for such lapses. I’m going to follow her lead: I generally apologise for absolutely everything, often irrespective of whether I am in any way responsible for the thing in question, so making an effort not to say sorry is probably a good thing. I am extremely grateful to every single person reading this blog, and I love to hear your comments and encouragement, but I do not delude myself that the absence of my posts over the past few weeks has caused anyone serious distress.
I’ve been busy with lots of things: some work, some fun. Generally, save for the odd moment of stress where it feels like I don’t quite have enough time to fit everything in, I’m enjoying myself. It was Oliver’s birthday last weekend and a lovely friend who works at Open Garden Squares gave us a pair of tickets (I realise how lucky I am to know so many people working in interesting places to give us free tickets to stuff), so we spent much of the day walking around London in search of green bits. The tour took us from King’s Cross to Bloomsbury and around the City, where we saw some gardens on the roofs of fancy law firms and investment banks. Along the way, we passed by both the old and new offices of my old employer. A good prompt to reflect on the ‘then and now’ and conclude the ‘now’ is a lot better than the ‘then’.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a few moments of panic over the last few weeks as my contract with the Albany ends in just a couple of weeks’ time. I’d not spotted that many exciting jobs to apply for, and the spectre of the temping agencies was looming unattractively in the distance. Not that there is anything at all wrong with temping work: I may well have to resort to it at some point in the future, and it’s not a disaster by any means. It’s more the ‘career Groundhog Day’ anxiety coming into play – probably a common thing among people trying to find their feet in a new sector. Anyway, let’s just say that all is well on that front. I am not going to tempt fate by writing about something before it is completely signed and sealed, but something exciting has come along and I hope to say more about that soon.
It’s going to be strange saying goodbye to the Meet Me at the Albany crew – participants and staff as well as my volunteers. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster recently, with lots of things happening and people needing support, and despite my original contract being extended it still doesn’t feel like I’ve had enough time to do what I wanted to do. But I’ve learnt a lot from it, particularly about working with people and managing people. It’s not always been easy for me as a natural introvert, but I think I’ve done it well and I will absolutely cherish the experience. I’ve had an absolutely phenomenal team of volunteers to work with, and I will certainly miss them. They definitely deserve a bit of recognition for giving up a day every week to help vulnerable older people engage with the arts and creative activities – it makes a huge difference to so many people’s lives. The programme has just secured funding for the next three years, which is excellent news particularly given the funding cuts that are blighting the public sector.
Other than the thing I can’t quite say anything about yet, my friend Abi has secured Arts Council funding for her film, and I am travelling to North Wales in July as her producer. I’m not actually entirely sure what a producer does other than ‘sorting shit out’, so I am basically working it out as I go along. We have two actors, 11 crew and a tiny budget to make a 10-minute artist essay film in an abandoned copper quarry in Anglesey – it’s going to be excellent fun and yet another good thing to add to my CV.
So yes, generally things are going pretty well. I know I am almost definitely going to break my New Year’s resolution of averaging one blog post per week (unless I start firing them off like a lunatic over the coming weeks), but hey. Perhaps my realisation that it’s really not the most important thing in the world and letting myself off the hook is not a bad thing.