annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Those were the days, my friend

So today was the day I had to read - well, I didn't have to obviously, but I'd been invited to read in front of some of the people from local writing organisations and I chose this, which I'd found the other day, written in April 2008, including the first day I went to the psychiatric day hospital.

Tramps like us...

You know those list things - 100 whatevers before you die? I hate them generally, but I have always thought that at least once I'd like to lie on the sofa, very stoned, and text one of my kids in another room to fetch something for me.

Well, what can I say? Today is a day when dreams can come true, children.

Never before have all the key ingredients come together, but tonight, as I settled down to American Idol (more on that in a bit), I realised that YD was upstairs, in a good mood, with her phone, and I was downstairs, on the sofa, very stoned, with the munchies and my phone right there on the floor. This has never happened before, ever. Fabulous:
- Do you fancy going to the shop?
- Wot 4
- Milk and chocolate
- OK
- Ta x
- UR lazy

Yeah, too lazy to answer that.

And now, here I sit, with a pack of Reece's Cups and a big grin on my face.

It's been a fucking great day - the best since I don't know when. YD's on her first choice of course - hey, thanks for all the congrats - I've been shouting them up the stairs at her (she's designing invites for her birthday party) 'YD! K from Alabama says well done you, art is cool and fun!' Brilliant. But fifidellabon, you may have to stand in the corner. 'Wanks for everyone' indeed.

For the (fucking) portfolio (which I promise to never mention again) YD put in an example or two of all the different things she's done over the years plus a photo board of her work on the kidz field at Glastonbury, a bunch of life drawings she did the other week, a big sketchbook and a new piece.

She says her work is childish and undeveloped, but I think that's bollocks. This one is about the media and living with the bombardment of it into our lives, the endless flood of bullshit that pours into our minds - focusing on the areas of celebrity, the hatred of women that simmers below its surface, and the lies about everything to do with Iraq. So yeah, childish (not).

This afternoon I had my first appointment at the local day hospital. It was a bit intense walking up there because a) it's twenty minutes uphill and b) I was over-dressed for a suddenly warm day. But much more than that - it's part of a hospital that has some very particular resonances for me.

For starters, my birth mother (who died when I was a baby) was working there as a nurse when my father met her. That's the sum of my knowledge about that, just the one short sentence, but I love to look down from outside the gates, across the valleys, over the sea to the point of the next headland, and know that she must have looked at the same view over fifty years ago.

Then, about twenty years ago, my friend Tony, the one who died last winter, was discharged from one of the wards into my care as he lived alone and was more or less bedridden. Here's a tip - don't even think of having an immobile smack-head to stay, especially when you are the single parent of three small children. Still, we got over it and were friends to the end.

On the day my father died, I had an appointment to see a skin specialist at the same hospital, as I had a dodgy mole. I'd been rushed to the front of the queue so Sam just took me along, as no purpose would have been served by my missing it. That part of the day had its own particular nightmare quality - the mole was removed there and then, people were telling me things, but it's all a blur.

So, lots going on as I trudged up that hill. But when I got there, all was good, better than good. Like coming to a soft landing in a big feather bed. Lovely mental health team - I cried and cried and cried - you know what it's like sometimes. I'm going to do Arts and Crafts on a Thursday morning, Creative Writing on a Wednesday afternoon, and some 'Second Tier' thing that will last about 8 months, about 'crucial life events' and how to deal with their repercussions. That will be a mixture of one-to-one and small group work. And I'm on a list to see a benefits advisor. Whew.

So all that was pretty cool. When I got home, Marcus was waiting for me to take him to get some potting compost, which I'd completely forgotten I'd promised to do. We took Millie with us and had a fine old time. I spent thirty quid in the garden centre on lots of things in flower (smack on hand) plus a willow contraption for sweet peas and two pots of sweet pea seedlings. Spencer mixed - always reliable and beautifully scented - bred by Princess Di's family, but none the worse for that.

Then off we went down the fast road, zoom zoom, 90 mph, with Bruce Springsteen on the radio turned up loud, me and Marcus giving it some welly, 'Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.' We were, you know.

We stopped to give Millie a run in the country park - you'd have a photo of her if she'd get away from my feet for a minute or if Marcus could use a fucking camera, but here he is instead:

Still too tight skint to join a proper online dating thing, still hassling me to tout for trade a boyfriend for him on here.


YD cooked us a lovely dinner - we have had Discussions about the question of food, but tonight we were cool. Romano peppers stuffed with feta cheese, mint and pine nuts, with quinoa and harissa and a big salad.

So, American Idol. Tonight I especially liked little David Archuleta, Michael Johns and Carly Smithson. I always love Jason Castro, though he wasn't great tonight. I'd be happy to see either of the blonde girls go or David Cook. I just adore Dolly Parton - how fab is she? And no wonder we love her - so many of her songs are about growing up poor but happy. I fell for her in a big way the first time I heard her say, 'You'd be amazed how much it costs to make a person look as cheap as this.' But now I want to say, enough Dolly, you don't have to do that any more, for fuck's sake, how old are you now? Never mind what it costs, how many HOURS does all that take to put on? Have a lie down, we can cope with a few wrinkles.

Today I am grateful for just about everything. Thank you, universe, for catching me when I really was ready for a day off from the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. But as well as all the above I am grateful for:

1. Bloke's nasty little dad making it through his ankle operation, which is A Good Thing even if he isn't.
2. Lovely friends, old and new, home and abroad.
3. Marcus helping me fill in and post the benefit forms. £42 a week, backdated to Sept 1st is better than a poke in the eye, I reckon.
4. YD has finally fallen out of crush with Russell Brand and has now moved on to Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh
5. Just feeling incredibly supported, one way and another.

I hope your days have been as full of goodness.

Sweet dreams xxx

So, they laughed, loads of them, at the funny bits and were silent in that silent way through the serious bits, like my connections to the hospital and clapped loads at the end and it felt fucking amazing. I was totally overwhelmed and had to go and walk on the beach in the wild wind to bring myself down to a place I could live in. 

There was a lot of sadness for the person I'd been before my darling girl became so poorly. I mean, clearly I was mental then but I had a capacity for joy which I think I've lost. But it's been a busy fucking week. Son is here now, asleep upstairs, YD slept here last night, so all good really. I like it best when I have a house full of sleeping bad babies, but one at a time is better than none.

I loved reading this and finding a comment from K, from ten years ago - so glad we're still pals, definitely going to meet one day. And Fifi - we're facebook friends still - in fact I'm going to message this to her right now. Her 'wanks for everyone got the biggest laugh.

Have a good weekend. Thank you all for reading and commenting and keeping me going. Love xxx

12:35 a.m. - 10.11.18


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