Had to go for a blood test yesterday morning - one of those nasty ones where you have to starve for at least twelve hours! The starve wasn't so bad. I had a big dinner around 7pm the night before and drank at least twelve glasses of water between then and my appointment. The worst bit was when the nurse stuck the needle into my vein and said "... a little scratch ..." as she gouged half the skin away. She had to take three lots and with each new bottle she applied she put pressure on that needle. So the day did not get off to a great start!
It could only get better from there though. Had a special invitation arrive a couple of months ago. Croydon Writers is celebrating its 70th anniversary. They invited me to their buffet at Fairfield Halls in Croydon. My association with the group was quite short-lived really. I think I was a member for about six months when I was in my 20s. But I have always held them completely responsible for kick-stating my career big time when I took one of my children's poems in to read out and they all raved about it and suggested markets - which is basically how Touch Of Gold came to be published in the 1978 (I think) Beaver Annual.
Straight after work off I went to Fairfield Halls. At first I couldn't even find the room the buffet was being held in and had to ask twice before I did - which is quite odd given how often I go there and that from the outside Fairfield Halls just looks like a big square box! I walked in to see people milling around and lots of memorabilia about and within a few minutes I was approached by one lady who looked vaguely familiar. "Jilly ...?" she asked with raised eyebrows. A minute or two later another lady came over "This is Jilly isn't it ...?" It all began to slip into place. I remembered both ladies were members when I initially joined - then Mike came over - he's the secretary now and we do keep in touch. And finally I was introduced to Madame Mayor who said "Oh ... I know this lady ..." Turns out she enquired about her daughter joining the Young Writers about a year ago.
The evening went swimmingly. There was a nice buffet, lots of speeches, a toast to President Jean Bowden who is retiring but who has been at the helm for decades and will remain an honourary member. Best of all it was my world, my people, my language - it was where I belong. Coming out I was on the same kind of high whenever I do a Young Writer session and I was full of ideas - I must do this ... I must do that ... what if I ... anything to start getting published regularly again (and maybe even earn a bit of money ... you never know!).
Today as I sit at my desk at The Day Job, eating salad with a spoon (because I forgot to bring a fork and the only cutlery here is teaspoons), I do wonder how my life as a writer might have been different had I never had to worry about money! Ah well ... never mind. You never know what lies ahead. And one day all my Christmases will come at once when I can just stay at home and write ...