annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Feb 18th

Haha I did my washing so I will have clean clothes to take to Devon, though I don't know if they'll be dry. Should be, surely? (Don't call me Shirley.)

Today has been hard, like uphill all day. I went to art group and painted more seascapes:


I like the first one best, then the top right. Not fussed about the other two. I'm hoping to do four I like to frame together for the Open House - two weeks to the deadline for submissions.  I posted that photo of my paintings to the 64 Million artists page and wrote this:

Mind and Matter. On Tuesdays I go to a recovery centre to do art. At the moment I’m doing these little paintings with very wet watercolours. Today there were only four of us in the art room, which I liked.
When it’s busier it’s difficult because most of us want to talk, need to talk even, but not many of us have enough headspace to be decent listeners. I haven’t. I’m full. I can’t take in what I read, never mind listen.
Mental health services are stretched to breaking point, so we can only go to one session a week. We can sit in the open area more often but there aren’t any staff there and the conversations get wild and scary so I don’t.
It’s hard when your mind is unwell, as what you say is determined by what you think and some of the things said, including by me, aren’t what anyone benefits from hearing.


It's more negative than I often feel but it's how I feel today.

After art it's the gym class, which was a real struggle, and then for reasons I cannot explain, beyond the fact that I was invited, I went to friend M's and we walked our dogs along the riverbank, out of the urban sprawl, quickly into the countryside, fresh and green and wet and windy. There's quite a high bank, above the muddy, brown river on one side and the waterlogged fields on the other, placing us right in the path of the icy wind. Like fools we didn't notice the wind was behind us as we walked out, for a couple of miles.  so coming back was hard, hard, especially after gym.

Since then I've mainly watched telly (Eastenders - gone a bit OTT for its 35th anniversary week; that one on Ch 5 about badly behaved dogs; Portrait Artist, with John Cooper Clarke as one of the models - he's a very particular looking bloke these days, isn't he?; and Better Things which did nothing to encourage me to have that colonoscopy the doctor suggested).

Tomorrow me and other M are going to London to be part of the BBC Radio 4 Book Club programme, with Marian Keyes, discussing her book Rachel's Holiday. We had to submit questions and I had an email this morning saying they'd like me to ask mine. Yikes.

Today I have been grateful for: J reading my writing and making useful comments, as always; that quiet time in the art room; J the art teacher, cutting out my coat for me - I'm going to make a coat with the left over black watch tartan fleece, it was cheap enough, if it all goes wrong then fuck it; being out in the air, in that icy wind, with my pal who I've known since the 80s, both of us in our wellies, with great long waterproof coats and mad, filthy, tail-wagging, muddy dogs, all good; feeling it with the writing more than I have for ages, like it's me communing with myself, trying things on, seeing what fits and then probably not reading it again for ten years, but that's cool too; feeling better now than I did this morning.

Good night and thank you for reading.

12:12 a.m. - 19.02.20


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