Uni: Week 6 – we had a visitor!

Today started off spectacularly: I managed to catch the slightly earlier college bus and got to Grimsby by nine, took a stroll to the train station and didn’t feel rushed when buying the ticket and getting over to platform three. It was lovely. My plan was to get a table seat and do some writing on my way to Lincoln.

Unfortunately the trains didn’t cooperate with my plan. There was an emergency somewhere else on the line and the Lincoln train stopped at Barnetby. I had to catch the TransPennine Express and change at Barnetby. A quarter of the people on my course get on the train at to Lincoln, half of us in Grimsby and the other three at Barnetby. We were all freezing! We eventually got to Lincoln 20 minutes late.

It went downhill from there. I had a load of printing I needed to get done and got stressed because nothing was going right, every printer was out of toner or paper, when they did print they messed up the printing. It just stressed me out. I managed to get my notes for my 4th workshop printed and then had to rush to this week’s workshop. I was five minutes late. I hate being late.

Today’s workshop covered dialogue. It was helpful, but I’m sure I’ve heard all the advice before? I made use of my new laptop (the old one died two weeks ago – murdered by Ezzie), which is tiny and fits on to the little desks attached to the chairs. They are really uncomfortable and not big enough to accommodate my belly rolls. I made all my notes in class on a pre-set up file. Since only some people got the piece I sent out about ten days ago I didn’t get any feedback this week, I’m going to try to send it out again  – or the first 2000 words anyway – for feedback next week, although our tutor said it was coming on nicely.

The afternoon got better. I went to see Student Services about the financial aid available and explained my problems. They gave me a paper copy of the form and told me what I needed to provide in evidence.

The whole course student body got together for the afternoon seminar. It was a special treat; a visiting poet, Charlotte Pence, gave a reading from her book ‘Many Small Fires’ and read out a few new poems that will be in her new book. It was an enjoyable couple of hours, I bought a copy of her book, signed of course, and chatted to the courses resident poet about my assignment. It was interesting to learn about her writing process.

To round off the day I went back to the library and managed to print out everything I needed for my F.A.F application and my notes from the day. Caught the train home, walked from Habrough, which my lungs are still objecting to – I have a cold and it is rather cold out – ordered fish and chips for tea because I was hungry and too tired to cook, and settled in for a quiet evening with the dogs and catching up on this week’s episode of ‘The Navy Lark’ and ‘Costing The Earth’. Yes, I really am that dull.

It’s not an exciting life but it works for me. I know my limits and I do the best I can within them. It’s been hard work getting to the point where I can manage a day at university every week; I still have to spend Thursday in bed recuperating, but I can at least get up for a little while in the evening now. And I’m managing to talk to people on my course, I’m becoming more comfortable reading my class work out and sharing my writing out of class. I even published a poem in our class Facebook page. I call this progress. I’m never going to be able to do a ‘normal’ job because people are too much more than one day a week (and I am deeply unpleasant to be around when I’m tired or stressed), but I’m going to do what I can within my limitations to have a good life.

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R Cawkwell

Hi I'm Rosemarie and I like to write. I write short stories and longer fiction, poetry and occasionally articles. I'm working on quite a few things at the minute and wouldn't mind one day actually getting published in print.

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