annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 78

I won the pub quiz! Woo hoo! I don't mean I won out of everybody - there were 147,000 odd doing it online, and it's only out of 50 so loads of people beat me, but I came top out of our little group, including both my children and I've never beaten either of them before. So I'm feeling quite smug.

I missed two days - broke my run of 75 days daily blogging. The first night was because I got caught up in Little Fires Everywhere and kept watching another episode till it was over and it suddenly it was 3am. If you haven't seen that, I recommend it, wholeheartedly. It's on Amazon Prime which you can have free for a month then cancel.

Last night I kept falling asleep on the sofa while trying to watch the second part of A Streetcar Named Desire - the Gillian Anderson at the Young Vic version - part of the National Theatre at Home season - fucking hell, falling asleep with half an hour to go - that's tired. I watched it this afternoon before it was taken down and replaced at 7. I can't believe I've never seen it before, that I knew the names and the closing line but had no idea what it was about. Jeez, too close for comfort. I slid into a breakdown like that around the turn of the century - delusional,  with terrible, inappropriate behaviour of all kinds - I literally lost my mind, did not have access to my usual thought processes, or only intermittently. I'm so glad it happened to me at a time when there was more understanding and kindness. Imagine being chased out of town. Imagine feeling you had no option other than to marry someone, anyone. I don't think we'd know about the play if it had been written by a woman though. Or maybe we would, maybe a feminist theatre group would have found it and put it on. But can you imagine a play about a woman descending into madness, written by a woman, being considered a classic and being staged seventy years later? Anderson is magnificent, terrifyingly good, familiar.

I did another paint-along, Hockney this time:



Not as pleased as I was about The Scream, mostly because I didn't prep the paper, by wetting it and letting it dry, which would have stopped it wrinkling and enabled me to have a better shot at painting straight lines, but I'm still pleased and someone messaged me offering to buy it within ten minutes of me posting it on Facebook:


I'm going to do Picasso's Rooster next, on a canvas.

The dog has just done an appalling fart. Honestly - so gross.

Today was Thursday writing group and here are two of the bits I wrote. I write sat on the sofa in the room in the pic above.

First piece - 7 minutes on what's in front of you.

What's in front of me? If we're talking physically, it's a mess (haha, as if it was only a mess physically). I'm in the room I'm learning to call my studio, where all the art and craft supplies I've accumulated have been gathered together, shelves and cupboards overflowing with paints and interesting paper, sewing machine, wool, books, patterns, paper, canvases, work - where am I meant to put all these bloody paintings? I keep losing the table - I swiped most of it off on Tuesday to put my easel up, to have a go at a big painting, but now I have to tip-toe across the floor. There are piles everywhere, boxes, old coffee cans, olive oil cans, bits of stuff from the beach and cats' hair - they come in here just to moult, I swear. There's an old tablecloth on the floor to save the carpet - why am I bothered about the carpet? It's white - obviously wrong for a studio - but it was free - a friend replaced it in her new home and passed it on - it doesn't owe me anything.

For the second piece we had to scroll through our phone photos to find one that someone else had taken of us and address a list of questions we were given, writing in first person, present tense. 7 minutes. She likes 7 minutes. One of the women doesn't have any photos of herself - she had to take one for last week's task - and was so apologetic about it, which made me cross with her - she's quite old, grey-haired, grandchildren, and if she's not into taking photos of people that's her choice and not something she needs to apologise for and go on about, using the word 'should' a lot. "I know I should do, I'm so sorry." Ah, shut up. I know, the sympathy queen. You can shut up as well. I found this photo and chose it before I spotted the date it was taken, which then took me by surprise:


It's two weeks before she would die. I'm with Younger Daughter at Rodmell, Virginia Woolf's house, standing in the garden - a beautiful cottage garden full of towering spires of yellow and white. We're on week one of our commitment to going places together, enjoying life, enriching our souls. I'm wearing a long yellow and red dress in African print that I made myself - I reshaped it from one of a pile of men's tunics I was given - they all have a fault in the print but I can't see it. This is its first outing - I feel a bit nervous as it's a bit too "look at me!" for my current state of mind but I had nothing else clean. My eye immediately spots my unbrushed hair - why do I never remember? Why don't I look in a mirror before going out? What you can't see is that behind the pink roses [lie - there are no pink roses, but I didn't want to repeat yellow flowers and I couldn't remember what they're called] behind the [imaginary] pink roses is Woolf's garden room, her actual room of her own where she wrote and looked at the river, the deadly river. I'm happy, so happy to be out with Younger Daughter, there's a deep thrill of contentment in my belly. All my needs are met - company, garden, literature, a day away from the care home (which looms now I've seen the date on the photo, but didn't then). I'm glad we had happy days. YD took the photo so she's the closest, my darling girl, full of questions to the National Trust volunteers - why this? when that? curious, interested, funny, alive. The other thing you can't see are the storm clouds - we start up the lane to the pub for lunch and the heavens open - we are drenched, soaked to the skin, laughing and splashing in puddles, then shivering and steaming in the sun in the pub garden as we tuck into roast lamb and heaps of veg.

We're at a point in the virus that I feel needs comment but not tonight, beyond the fact that I am deeply shamed by the government we have, the lies, the deceit, the manipulation of everything.

Tonight I am grateful for: art; yoga; therapy; beach; blog

Good night my friends. Sleep well and stay safe. It's still out there. The numbers may be coming down but people are still catching it - don't let it be you xxx

1:00 a.m. - 29.05.20


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