Where’s the story? was always the implication. Sometimes there just isn’t one, merely a hotch-potch of observations. To keep until later. I notice things. Signs, bits of speech, a quote from the radio and I want to store them, or maybe just let them swirl around in my head, detached and floating. See where they land. See what happens. The speech thing still haunts me. Something said, seemingly randomly but which has huge import. Why sew them? I keep asking myself. Why? Why? And my shoulders get taught. Why not? he would say. A good voice, a tender voice, a supportive voice. Why? Anna Noel had to work at home in the end, she was too vulnerable to deal with all the whys. I didn’t have the words, she said.
Breadcrumbs available, reads a sign on the window of Slater’s Bakery.
We talked about her Gran. She calls her something else, a Welsh name that I cannot now recall. She’d had a hip replacement over forty years ago. They are only meant to last twenty, she said. She never walked, she said. What never? I asked, flabbergasted. Nope. Grandad drove her everywhere. (Again, she had a name for her grandfather, a special one, I can’t remember.) They’d drive down to the Prom and sit in the car with sandwiches and a flask. Her Gran died recently, I did tell you. She had to go to Camarthen, her replacement hips were so out-of-date that Bronglais Hospital couldn’t deal with them.
A few sad days this week. It’s all a little in the air. Chaotic, uncertain. How we respond is in our gift. I wobbled. Was unkind. And yet, the sadness brings with it a sharpness of seeing. I stood waiting for him and looked down at a hedge of box pushing against a black painted wrought iron fence. The intensity of the green of the box and blue-black of the fence was stunning. Then later, walking to our seat I saw what looked like a layer of diamonds on a rock out at sea. Then there was the sun shimmering on the water. A sparkling effervescence. Pure beauty. A gift.
There are splendid lives. (Rose Tremain)
Podiatry tales. She talked about a particular client. Cantankerous. He’d call me the ‘farmer’, she said. And do you know, when I was at his house doing his feet, I heard him refer to his wife as ‘horror chops’. No, I said. Yes, she said, and she answered to it. Didn’t seem in the least bit perturbed. Horror chops, she said, I ask you.
It was the May Ball last night. We saw them from the studio. Girls tripping in heels across the grass. Boys in black suits, hands in pockets, awkward. This morning I saw them on the Prom, weary now. Dishevelled. Walking back home along Llanbadarn Road there were three boys ahead of me. One turned to look at me, moving away to let me pass. Guys, he called, GUYS. They turned and promptly moved aside. Nothing to fear. So polite, even in their cups. Bless them. I hope they had fun. I remember. I remember.