There is definitely an Autumn tang in the air and I feel like hibernating. Yet this is a very busy time for me as the teaching gets under-way again. I've often wondered why the academic year starts up, just when most normal mammals would be heading for their caves.

At present I am finishing off the project which didn't quite recruit in the Spring, I am running three creative writing workshops for a group of women who suffer from Persistent Pelvic Pain. I have a frighteningly robust physical constitution, but interestingly on Monday I got the most excruciating gut-ache which bent me double for at least ten minutes. It was, of course, nothing serious, but I can't help connecting it with the work I am doing with the pelvic pain group.

Yesterday we did an exercise describing an emotion using all the senses. We all wrote down an emotion and answered (as un-thinking as possible) questions such as: what does this emotion taste like? Smell like? What temperature is it? Where does it live? What feeds it? Then we spent five minutes playing with the words we had on our paper.

I chose "joy":

Cool joy
hides in meadow sweet,
sucks over-ripe mangoes
until juice-drenched.
It is malign,
not always there when I need it.
Though bigger than a tractor,
lighter than pollen,
it slides under stones
when the field is churned.