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No Caravans

The council have erected two huge yellow signs down by the harbour stating that no mobile home, motor homes or caravans are to be parked there. I thought he’d be more pleased when I told him of this when I went in to wake him. Yeh, but they need to police it, was all he said.

It rained again this morning as I walked, my arm in the sling carrying my umbrella. My walking boots squeaked along the wet pavements. I felt better yesterday. I was busy. But I’ve come down a bit, perhaps it is the physio appointment today. Will it hurt?

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Writings

Mending

I am mending. I am on the mend, as they say. But it is slow and I still can’t raise my arm fully. I must be patient and let the wisdom of it permeate through. What can I learn from this?

The rain continues to fall. A grey day. There is much to do but I am frustrated by others lack of response. Heigh ho. I shall continue until I am told otherwise. And perhaps it may be just what they are looking for.

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Writings

Flickers

Flickers of pleasure. I begin to mend though I am still much reduced. Work is coming through and I’m pleased but my confidence in my ability to meet deadlines wobbles me. I can do it. I can. I will. My dreams were dense and convoluted (no doubt as result of fitful sleeping). Damian Lewis was hugging me every time I cried while I thought that he had far more genuine reasons for grief. The soles of my shoes were coming away and I was due to do an impression of Cliff Richard for a talent show. Are you ready for it? a man asked me and I told him that I’d decided in the end to tell stories about meeting him rather than trying to sing like him. Then I was trying to pack all my things into bags and they were everywhere. And then I was in my favourite coffee shop in Oslo with a woman ( I used to love this place, I told her) and I ordered in Norwegian (I watched the man’s face change as I did so) though I couldn’t think of the word for Vegan. Small flickers of pleasure. As was seeing the lit up fishing boat as I walked this morning. Enough. I must work. And thank you.

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Writings

Slough

It has thrown me more than I’d have thought possible. It’s just an injury, he says, it’s not an existential thing. And it isn’t and many people are in pain and incapacitated by it their livelong day, but I am thrown. I cannot do the work I usually do, and if I can I am not sharp, not efficient. I am slow. Slow, slow, slow. I fight it. I fight what is and give myself pain by doing so. This is not wise. I know this. But there are good things. It arrived. She got it. I hope it gave her joy.

I didn’t hear my alarm. You needed the sleep, he said when he woke me. Yes, probably. I wake and wake shifting this way and that to get my shoulder comfortable. And its the grief that tires me too. There is so much. So no walk this morning. We will walk together later up to the top. I like that.

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Writings

Surprising Grief

I wasn’t expecting it. It came with such a force. A remembered thing from long ago – that neediness that embarrasses me so and which I try to smother with an often too abrupt capable-ness. I am not capable, not in those situations. I have no confidence in what I know, what I can offer and yet the desire and joy of learning, of grasping things and making sense of them is such a potent thing for me. I cried because I was shamed by my need to be praised, to be recognised as good enough. It has always been there, far, far back when a gold star in my exercise book was a prize indeed. I made myself mouse-ish then, not now. He tried to show me that it is normal, that we all act up in company – Symbolic Interactionism, he called it. And he is right. With my teacher’s hat on I can see this. But oh, the ache of it. I want to learn, let that be enough, the rest, the wanting to be noticed can be let go. Can’t it?

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Writings

Some Joy

There is some joy, always, if you look for it. The discomfort of my arm, pain sometimes, has taught me much. Expect less, accept more, he says. I want to do what I could do before but I cannot, not totally, not yet, and if I can do some things it is slow. So I am learning patience, and to let some things go. Like the ironing, and perhaps the weekly mopping of all the floors. The joy. Yes, let’s get back to that. That came yesterday when I managed to put one of my text pieces in a small frame I’d bought ages ago for that purpose. It took a lot to do it, both the sewing and cutting, but it is done and I placed it next to the postcard of Gwen John’s Self Portrait. It’s all about juxtapositions. I like that. It is a light thing, a trial, I told him when he asked about it. It gave me joy. Something of mine, not driven by anything but a curiosity to see what works and what it sparks.

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Writings

Shouting at the Wind

Did you shout at it? he often asks when he knows that my walk has been a windy one. I did today. That’s enough, now, I said, loudly as once too often it tried to wrench the umbrella from my hand. (My left hand I might add, as my right is still feeble, bless it.) It was a grit your teeth kind of walk, I told him. And it was, though I did smell the earth, newly wet, and hear the blackbirds (they still sing even in the relentless rain, which as the yesterday’s Nature Diary advised us (he read it out at breakfast) we need it, Nature needs it). And I tried to encourage the delights of such sensations to cancel out the irritation of the wind and rain and the aching in my shoulder. Ah, I’ve had enough of moaning. It is improving.

A quiet day today, reading and sleeping. I hope. Along with washing and ironing. The sun yesterday was glorious again as I sat reading S&S. It feels like another season today.

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Small Progress

There is some, though it is slow. For instance I managed to change my bed sheets this morning. Usually a simple if time-consuming task, it takes longer with a bad arm and sore shoulder, but I did it. But I was too tired to walk before breakfast – we shall walk together instead in the sunshine. I missed it though (though I didn’t miss the struggle with putting socks on – why are the simplest things rendered virtually impossible?) I keep asking myself what can I learn from this? Find your own happiness, Mrs Dashwood said to Edward Ferrars in Sense & Sensibility. For it is there, waiting to be found, in everything we do, say and think. A quiet day today now that my article is written. I am tired, I confess. And sitting reading in the sun yesterday was a delight. Let it heal. And soon.

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Writings

Rabbits & Pain

I try to detach myself from it. I remember doing the same, or at least trying to do the same 33 years ago today between 11.00 am and 4.16 pm. What a wealth of life has been lived since then. It hurts, still. As does my shoulder and my arm. An aching, rather than a pain, a dull, insistence of discomfort. It makes me cross and I am sorry for it.

There is a row of rabbits on a window shelf in a house along North Parade. They are toy rabbits, obviously and they have their backs to me as I walk past. A little line of them, in pastel colours. Cute and soppy as they are they give me a little fillip of joy.

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Writings

Mending

It is getting better, I can do a few more things, like wrap a towel around my wet hair as I did this morning, but it is slow, slower than I would like and it aches. I ache. My whole body aches but so be it. Others have it worse, think of those dying of Covid in India, of those killed and injured in Mexico and that precious woman still in prison in Iran. I have nothing to complain of, I am mending. Will they?

And what kindness and care he has shown me throughout. And I being so snappy with discomfort. Onwards. Work to do. Let the words flow.