annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 72

Very creative day. I'm going to be quick because my sciatica is really bad and I can't find a way to sit at the desk without it being really painful - oh hang on - just remembered I have a load of codeine upstairs... OK, let's see how that goes.

I did a paint The Scream live workshop on Facebook this morning that was just bloody great. The workshop itself was a bit chaotic and not remotely professional, apart from the fact that the bloke running it gave brilliant instructions


Turns out this is the ninth one he's done and they're all on the facebook page if you fancy having a go - the cheese and wine painting club - highly recommended. I'm going to do Hockney's The Arrival of Spring, maybe tomorrow, big, I have some big paper and a board to tape it to. I might even do that thing where you wet it and let it dry before you start - this paper wrinkled up and made it impossible to paint a straight line, which is OK with this, it's not about precision, but Hockney's very tight. We'll see.

I went straight from that into my Friday writing workshop. First exercise was about a moment when things changed:

I was on the beach, picking up wood for the fire. I'd dragged a couple of big, heavy pieces up to the top of the shingle where I could get them into the car later and now I was walking the tide line, filling my bag with smaller bits for kindling. It was November, late afternoon, dusk, the stretch of beach near the care home. It was empty apart from a figure also bending over, picking things up. She was higher up the beach than me, on the highest tide line - I'd been along there the other day, there was no more wood there. I could see from her movemets she was picking things up, but what? I went over and asked her.

"HIya, what are you picking up? I can't work it out and I'm very nosy!"

"Plastic," she said and opened a cloth bag, half full of odd broken pieces of all types and colours of plastic, a few bottles, some food wrappers, but mainly just broken pieces, some tiny.

"Oh - are you making a collage?"

"No, it's about pollution. It's killing marine life, ruining the ecosystem."

She kept her head down, spoke quietly but urgently, wouldn't meet my eyes. She didn't want to talk to me but she was going to, to tell me what I needed to hear.

"You can find it on Instagram #2minutebeachclean #" and she was off, a tiny figure, vanishing off over the shingle and into the town.

I looked it iup when I got home and she was right, plastic was killing the seas.

From then on I forgot about firewood and every day was out there gathering mountains of the rubbish that comes in on every tide. I've made friends and art works and picked up litter on beaches all round the UK. I never found out who the girl was.

These bits I post are all fragments, done in seven minutes usually, going nowhere, but I like doing them.  The next exercise was about an item of clothing or footwear.
I'd always wanted a pair of green shoes - I knew that the moment I saw them, a rich, dark, leafy green, quite sturdy and flat, with a snazzy buckle, just right for an emerging 70s feminist who rejected high heels, not because she was 5'9" already but because heels were a weapon of patriarchal oppression, designed to hobble women, stop them running, right? But these were so cool. I actually saved up for them out of my meagre wages as the manager of a small independent record shop, just for a few weeks, but still, I'd never saved for anything before. I loved them real leather they were and so comfy.

I wore them all the time including to the pub in the next village over the hill. I hitchhiked there, got a lift, no problem and started chucking pints of Guinness down my neck at my usual reckless speed.

Colin offered me a lift home on his motorbike, a Moto Guzzi he'd saved up for and banged on about - I had as little interest in that as he had in my shoes, but nrither of us were really then listening kind. He'd been drinking all night too - there was no thought of it then, no such phrase as designated driver. The pub closed and off we went.

I remember passing the crossroads but the next thing I knew I was in A&E coming round on a trolley in front of a cross-faced nurse.

Colin had ploughed into the back of a parked van and we'd both gone flying - he'd shattered an elbow and had been taken off to a specialist. I was bruised and confused and had no shoes. How could I have lost my shoes? My best green shoes! "You care more about your shoes than you do about your friend!" the nurse complained. She as not wrong - he'll be all right, I thought, but where are my shoes?

The next day my sister took me back to the site of the accident - what had we been doing down that road anyway? It wasn't on the way home for either of us. We searched and searched but didn't find my lovely green shoes. Some bugger had nicked them.

It's been an odd day - I've been helter-skeltering from one thing to the next, with little lie-downs in between but never for long. The weather changed - it's really fucking windy again - I took the dog to the beach but the wind was so strong I got earache in no time. I can't remember normal life. I can't imagine sitting with a group of people, indoors. Even loads of telly comes from people's houses - all the quiz shows and chat shows have started up again like that. Apparently all sorts of agents and managers are going mad about what their celebs are doing, putting themselves out there without proper guidance, making dicks of themselves in many cases, going free range.


12:05 a.m. - 23.05.20


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