Sunday 8 September 2019

Sunday 8th September 2019 - A moment of calm

Last week was pretty full-on - a bit of a shock after the Summer Holidays.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were two and a half days of training courses. The other two-and a half days were mostly prepping for the new term - getting all the lesson plans, paperwork and so forth in order, sorting through music books to give out to various pupils, realising that I had three pupils lined up for one copy of Book 3 and rummaging through my stocks for alternatives.

Also dealing with the discovery that last term I taught ten lessons, not eleven in one school, and so I need to give all the parents a rebate or a credit. And the discovery that I seem to have sold a djembe that I thought was one I bought as a job lot, but was actually our departing vicar's djembe brought back specially from Uganda. Hopefully I will be able to track it down and retrieve it before she actually moves in a couple of weeks. And so on.

No-one should ever put me in charge of the organisation of anything. (A vicar, long moved on, informed me that he thought I had a Gift for administration. I had kind of already lost confidence in his pronouncements and this sealed it, in my view)

My teaching term started yesterday; eight students starting at 9 and ending at 12.30. I do get two short ten minute breaks, but these can easily disappear in being friendly and chatty to parents. Luckily a brother and sister didn't show up, so I got more of a breather than I was expecting. I've quite a few students deferring their first day back to the week after next, which will help make the transition from leisure to work a bit easier!

Today, however, I have an afternoon of calm. I've decided not to go to a big shared goodbye lunch for the djembe vicar, but to sit here and catch up with myself, and even just sit here...

My plan for this year's diary was to use one side for appointments, and the other side for sketching. It has worked well so far;

Some birds copied from a paper napkin, the inside of a church, a (rather rough) sketch of McCavity hiding in the new flowerbed

Week beginning 19th August 
The view from inside the look-out place at the farend of the terrace at Standen, detail of an embroidered flower, notes about a way of creating abstract splashes of colour using Tombow markers, and a sketch of a complicated and wantable folding shopping bag that I saw in Foyles bookshop in London

Week beginning 26th August
 But this week was too busy. All I've done is copied a verse from a hymn we sang in church today - I don't care for the rest of the hymn - a plodding tune and some rather plodding lines, but I like

"I will hold the Christlight for you in the night-time of your fear;"

possibly the only line of poetry in the all the verses.

Week beginning 2nd September

I've been reading a book called 'Steal like an artist' by Austin Kleon, and the final bit was

"In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out."

Leaving out everything and presenting a blank page doesn't exactly fit my understanding of what the book was suggesting. Today may just be the day for finding the time to fill in blank pages here and there.

It's an odd sort of idea; that the emptier the drawing page will indicate how full the week has been. I don't think I like that thought.

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