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April fool's day. Why is April such a strange month. Beginning of spring. Changeable weather. Changeable moods. Appropriate time to change a flight. Just did that a few minutes ago. Can't travel anywhere tomorrow, and hope I don't lose the deposit paid for the booking. I am coughing and still feel unwell, this virus came along and decided my travel plans for me. I don't really want to go away, but I know it would do me good to spend a few weeks in that amazing little village, taking early morning walks and living next to that rushing mountain stream.
Having a bad cold feels like one has to go into a retreat, and emerging from it feels like one has been cleansed internally. Although you look terrible, seemingly having aged about twenty years in a few days, and feel a bit wobbly on your feet after being in bed two days, yet the relief of having survived the virus which has ravaged your body, seems to call for a new beginning of some kind. A new phase of optimism, of remembering how, in past years, you went out and embraced new adventures and journeys of life without undue hesitation.
I too feel that maybe I have been writing too openly on here. I must say though, that writing from one's own experience, without wearing a mask, has been sort of refreshing; kind of a daring thing to do. But then, I think of professional authors who write novels, publish them and make appearances giving public talks. They reveal who they are in the flesh, so to speak, be it only on a social level. I know a famous novelist, whose previous long term lover many years after they parted, became my lover. He appears in some of her novels.
I am fascinated by time and how we can specify it as being past or present or future. I have just been emailing with a friend who lives in Australia. It is night time for her now and she is eleven hours ahead of the time my clock says it is for me. So she has already lived through the day I am halfway through living now. That makes me think that most of reality is in fact a kind of categorization by humanity. We need putting labels on things and file them into boxes. It makes us feel secure.
How can I ever really write about her. She is more alive to me than anyone, except for my son. I have written the book about her, yet I am starting to feel it is all too private to publish. She is so much a part of me, and I feel inseparable from her beautiful spirit. Yet I am fascinated by thinking how it could have been different if only the configuration of the events leading up to what happened, were changed. The film "Sliding Doors" illustrates this idea: how just missing a train can change your life or death.
Colours. Why do you feel different wearing a fuchsia pink shawl, than wearing a dark green one near your face? I've always felt the clothes and the colours with which we sorround our living space are so very important. Some days I could not bear to wear a blue jumper, and on other days it is just the right one; the only one I must choose to wear. As I wrote in the preface to my book, maybe her timing was due to the fact that she may have decided to change from a blue jumper to a red one.
Lying in the sun on the floor by my open window, wrapped in a big towel, after washing my hair. April is a strange month. Remembering an April in New York. Had returned from Europe that previous January, and resumed a teaching job. We were writing letters weekly to each other, Patrick and I. He'd left University after I'd been over to Dublin to see him, and was now spending a few months in Vienna. We both seemed to be strangely adrift again in our lives; feeling desperate for the security we had created together. We were young, yet wise.
Why are voices so intrusive? Voices of people gabbling under your open window. The neighbours whose lives you do not wish to have any part of, yet when the sun comes out they plonk themselves into the space right under your open window. It is their garden dining room where they spend most of the daylight hours from now on until the last bit of autumn light. They have an inflated high opinion of themselves and a very low opinion of most other people. An astute observation by another neighbour: "Best keep clear of them, they are the neighbourhood mafia!"
Watched a cooking programme on TV. It was a contest between aspiring chefs. One of them served up a suckling pig, cooked expertly and with elaborate garnishing. The presentation to the judges was on a platter decorated with the little pig's head. It was also roasted and all intact, placed at the head of the large dish. If such a platter were presented to me, to be served up and eaten with the relish that is expected on such occasions, I think my stomach would turn and my appetite would disappear completely. That baby pig was born purely to die.
In our memory store there are certain times which are recorded. You seem to be able to view the location and your feelings, many years later, if those moments were important in your life. You must have known at the time, what turning points these were. The the scene is stamped on the memory, so it can be played over and over again, like a video you choose to replay. One of these times was when I escaped to stand alone on a boat deck to savour the moment. Realizing it was the end of a chapter in my life.
It's my mother's birthday today. She is not on this earth anymore, and if she were, she would be a very old lady. She used to comment that she did not like old ladies, so I've always assumed she would not have liked to be one. Maybe she never thought of herself as old, even when her years accumulated towards being classified thus. She made an observation after she'd had a car accident, and although not injured outwardly except for some bruises, she had to use a walking stick for a while. She mused thoughtfully: "Seems this is being old!"
' Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it, and whispers, "Grow, grow." That is so beautiful. Those words echo the magic that only nature can create. Away from gadgets and computers, cars and traffic, shops and crowds of people. Cities and streets become more grubby as spring matures into summer. I lay on the green by the pond today, and the smell of freshly cut grass refreshed my head and my lungs. Thoughts came and lingered , then disappeared and I slumbered to the sound of birds and insects. Too soon three brash giggly schoolgirls invaded the magic.
Grey skies,no wind. Was supposed to meet a friend for lunch, but I was running late. I couldn't find her phone number, seemed to have been deleted from my mobile as she'd been abroad for a while. Arrived at the meeting place and had to faff about registering my car for parking as I had no coins. Was so late getting to the restaurant that my friend must have left by then. Bought a takeaway soup which tasted sour and drove home. Then a phone call from another friend, inviting me to her husband's funeral next week. Grey day.
I should be doing so many things, towards tidying up my life, yet to an outsider's view, it would not seem messy at all. But I feel it is out of sink. Writing could be an answer, but on the physical level, I don't feel I should be where I am living. This land is not my home. While my two children were also here, it was my home. But now , even my remaining child, who is now adult, often says he does not want to live here. There is a place I feel at home; I should move there.
I know you can't blame a city or a country for what has happened, but I guess I do just that. I blame London. I do not like London now. Not since she was killed here, on the road, by a lorry. Yes, London killed her. I used to like London. My family was here and so many things you could do in this city, so many lectures and things to learn about. I loved the English seaside too, but we moved back to the city, as it seemed more practical at the time. Then she was killed in London.
There is a form I should be filling out. I can't seem to get around to doing it. Very complicated, and the answers I can give to the questions may not be completely accurate, so I am stuck. I am feeling very annoyed with myself also because I have been letting days pass all this month without having done anything creative or constructive. But maybe there are such fallow times, when you do not think you have done anything, yet maybe your mind has needed some space; to be just living, even though you might feel you've been wasting time.
One of my cats, Lucy, follows me whenever I go out. If I get into my car, she knows she can't come with me, so she just goes off in another direction and has her social time on the street within the reach of home. However, if she notices that I am going for a walk or pushing my bike up the road, she runs along with me with an air of adventurous anticipation. Today she followed me almost to the park, which I have to cross to reach the shops. Could not abandon her, so had to return home.
We were discussing with a friend how some children feel drawn to choose a lifestyle so dramatically opposite to their parents' one. If your parents had lived in a bohemian way and you've grown up in a hippy atmosphere of freedom and unconventional structure, you may be likely to crave to become conservative and conformist; even to join a cult or group with very strict rules of behaviour. This is what has happened to my friend's daughter, who has become a Hare Krishna nun. It is painful for my friend to come to terms with her daughter's total life commitment.
Just signed in on a dating site, because I was looking for a female for a young single man. There are many whose photos look nice, but how can I tell if someone would like one that I like? I am not male, I can only assess another woman from a female point of view. It's a complete useless exercise and really a waste of time. Yet browsing people's faces is quite addictive. I looked for males too, in my age group, but most of them made me feel sick, so I'm glad not to be looking for a relationship.
It was boiling hot today. We were sitting under a sun umbrella, thankfully finding a table with lukewarm shade, starting to lunch on our onion and goats cheese tarts,with glasses of chilled white wine. Looking at the other lunchers, coming and going, carrying their trays of self service food and observing their relief finding an empty table in the garden restaurant. Then an apparition floated by, in long white chiffon, her blonde locks covered by a wide straw hat. Her face made me feel sad: her skin too tightly botoxed and crimson lips balooned with far too much collagen.
The Royal Wedding is happening in London next week. It is interesting and it confirms that class consciousness is of huge importance in this country. There have been several television documentaries in this past week, within which distant relatives of the bride, Kate Middleton, have been traced and interviewed. A great deal of emphasis is being highlighted on the obvious fact of some of these very distant relatives coming from "working class" backgrounds, especially on Kate's mother's side of the family. Therefore, Kate is very much classifiable as "commoner" entering the Royals, in contrast to the aristocratic late Princess Diana.
I wrote a letter to my local paper, after I read about a cyclist's recent fatal accident, identical to what happened to my daughter eighteen years ago. I got an email back from the journalist who wrote the article, that she'd like to interview me, to help raise awareness of the issue. It's still happening far too often, even though I and others have campaigned towards tighter security involving lorries on our roads. She came over this afternoon, and we had tea and biscuits and she took notes. The paper is coming out tomorrow; I hope it does some good.
My late boyfriend's daughter's husband's funeral was this afternoon, in fact it's happening right now. Was invited by his daughter phoning me last week, and it was a surprise to hear from her as we had not been in touch for years. The family had split into two factions because of complications, so I've been more connected with G's other sister. I feel bad, not having made the effort to attend this funeral, but realized that it was arranged in the same chapel of my daughter's funeral. Although that was years ago, I couldn't risk entering that place without distress.
I love rearranging furniture. Wish we had a system like in Holland, where you can just leave unwanted stuff out on the street, to be taken by anyone who needs it. I like the thought of giving away things, and I am becoming more and more minimalist in my sorroundings. The happiest years of my life were when I hardly owned anything, except some clothes and books, and even old clothes need to be weeded out, as one's body changes shape as well as one's mind. When I feel a bit sad or blocked, I have to have a clearout.
There is a lot of hype about the Royal Wedding this week. Naturally. But I surrendered to not being productive today, which is for various reasons too boring to write about . So I decided to watch a film titled "William and Kate" and yes, it is played by look-alike actors and tells the story of the couple's meeting and romance, right up to their engagement. It is cringe-worthy though, isn't it? Actors playing people who are very much alive now and in the public eye; and I cringe because I watched it and admit to even enjoying it.
Small things can change your life. I bought a prawn sandwich and looked forward to eating it. When I did so later, at teatime, I thought there was a small stone in it. Then I realized it was my tooth. So now I can't just go on my trip, as I'd planned, as I have to make an appointment to see the dentist. Was only going to go away for a week, but if I have to delay my departure, it's not going to be worth the trip. But who knows, destiny seems to play its part weaving its pattern.
I bought the television papers just in time last week and saw the article about Kate in it. The drama adaptation of her prize winning novel, based on a true story of a Victorian murder case, was being screened this week. I immediately wrote her an email, saying how excited I was about it. I watched it last night, and it was very good. I can still remember Kate as a little girl, who was my daughter's best friend at primary school, and how she used to scribble away writing her stories in the bunk bed of our camping bus.
One thing all this hype about the Royal Wedding seems to do, is to remind folks about their own wedding or weddings. I only had one wedding, but my husband had three. We shared the first one of his, we were both in our early twenties. Strange, but I can't remember what happened to the dress, but I do remember it was my cousin's hand-me -down; she had got divorced by the time of my wedding, and I even wondered if that was not a bad omen. It was raining although it was early August, was that another omen?
The Royal Wedding broadcast on TV was much better than I thought it would be. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't emotive for me. Watching people arrive and the crowds cheering was fascinating, yet I can't imagine ever wanting to be part of such a huge crowd. To be jostled about, and the noise... this kind of mass hysteria is ok to observe on a TV screen, when I can turn the volume down. The wedding was beautiful, so were the bride and groom, the speeches and the hymns. And Westminster Abbey has a special connection for me.
April has been a weird month. All sorts of plans to go away for a while were squashed by minor health problems, so I am stuck here and forced to attend to sorting out my affairs, even though I thought I needed to get revitalized by going away before sorting things out. That sounds really very self indulgent, I guess, but then we do need a certain kind of energy to get things sorted, don't we? It's all about energy, and I've always been amazed at how you can get things done efficiently, when you are in the right mood.
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