It wasn’t an unpleasant dream but it felt like it was when I woke. I was pregnant and gave birth to a series of spider’s eggs (I didn’t see them hatch). But what seemed important was the place in which I gave birth rather than the birth itself, and the fact that I would return to that place again. And yet, it wasn’t anything special – a rented room in a boarding house. Then I was sewing with someone, someone who was extremely gifted in it. I think it must’ve been embroidery as they kept showing me how they could transmit a pattern from an Ipad onto cloth. I believe it was a man, a huge corpulent man.
I cleaned out my studio and listened to Kirsty Young’s radio celebration of 75 years of Desert Island Discs. It was a repeat from 2017. Many were moving, some funny. And some poignant, like Wainwright (I forget his Christian name) who said that he didn’t much like music, preferring silence and that he’d had to stop walking due to failing eyesight, having gone out for the last time in some particularly foul weather and hadn’t been able to see his way. The mountains cried for me that day, he said. He refused to go to London for the recording, insisting they come to him in the Lake District (how I love that kind of determination to not yield, that not feeling one has to be ‘nice’ a responsibility that has dogged my life). He gave in somewhat and they made the programme in Manchester. The writing and researching of walking guides obsessed him impacting on his life. My wife went out with the dog one day, he said, and never returned.