I've just realised it's been over a year since I made that last post - and it's been a year in which poetry has taken a back seat.
Last week I was approved to foster young people. Because of a debacle with Barnardos (far too sordid to mention on here - but if you see me, do ask) it's taken over two years. During that time, apart from the hours of interviews leading to hundreds of pages worth of reports, I've stripped painted, polyfilled, carpetted, knocked down shelves, stripped, polyfilled and painted some more, upholstered, curtained and become the queen of the flat pack. I've learned to do all those things I've always assumed one needs a man for, and I've got triceps and biceps and whatever you call that muscle in the lower arm that look so sexy when it's well developed on a man.
Today I'm taking a break from knocking layers of cement, whitewash and lime off the outhouse that has been and will be an outside loo. Tomorrow I'm learning to point. But I'm getting a man in for the plumbing.
Then I'm painting it pink and orange, hanging mexican curtains and Frida Kahlo prints (that's right I'm having a Kahloo). Then I'm done.
Soon, there will be children staying here. Just at weekends and holidays at first. And in between I shall readdress myself to poetry.
It has become a strange thing to build things from words, to wrestle with things that don't hurt my shoulders, to wield a metaphorical chisel. There's a simplicity and reward to physical work that is rarely mirrored in poetry. It's so much easier to see what is made, because what is made surrounds you and is lived in, it exists in a place other than the mind of another.
And a job ends in a way a poem never does - at least it does if you are able to apply the principle of 'good enough' to your home, and I am.
In a few days I shall down my tools and pick up my pen. It does not fit snugly. I'd rather dig.