Getting with the programme

I did go to bed early last night. Too tired to stay up – I just collapse when I’ve had enough, nowadays, though I feel fine the rest of the time. It’s very annoying and I’ll be glad when I get back my late night enthusiasm. Never mind, I’m boring myself, so worse for you.

I’ve been spending quite a lot of time planning the programme for next year for the local arts society – Nadfas, as it was called when they were distinctive (everyone now thinks we’re amateur painters in the village hall) and I’ve got to the stage of needing to email lecturers. Another committee member came over the other day and we thrashed out the final shortlist, with a couple more people in reserve. And I’ve finally filled in the evaluation form for the last speaker, who was terrific. The audience loved her, she was entertaining and hugely informative – I’ve given her the highest score.

It’s a more straightforward job than when I used to do it, briefly, about 20 years ago because it’s all done online now. The directory of lecturers with all the information is on the main website and all forms except the booking form are filled in online. It’s just the job of choosing, which could be overwhelming, but I’ve enjoyed it. Month to month, once all the contracts are signed, it’s just a matter of contacting the lecturer a few weeks in advance to confirm arrangements – usually, people come by train and I pick them up, then someone takes them back after lunch. I introduce the speaker to the chairman and treasurer (so they can hand over their bill) and then to the technician and then I hover around to make sure all is well. After that, we have lunch at the local restaurant and off they go. After that, I email round for an evaluation and then fill in the form. So it’s a fairly straightforward job – unless something goes awry, such as a speaker becoming ill at the last minute. One has to scramble round for someone fairly local who can step in at short notice, in that event, but it doesn’t happen often.

I hope to get everyone booked until next June, at least, within a month. Perhaps up to December. Then I can relax.

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