annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 93

Thursdays and Fridays have been hard recently. Too much to do. Too much on zoom, I'm very grateful zoom exists - how much shitter life would be without it, but fuck, it's exhausting. I don't know if that's what's exhausting or if it's all the different stuff going on.

My daughter is really stirred up by the revelations about brutality and injustice against black people, unable to tear herself away from the internet, watching and reading more and more terrible things. She keeps phoning, sobbing, unsure if she's entitled to feel this way, that she's not black but she's not white either so where does she fit into all this? I don't have any answers, I never did, and that's not what she's after, but I listen and I say you're always entitled to feel the way you feel. And it's OK to cry for a bit - this is huge and terrible, a mental point in human history, to have the long overdue race war finally arriving when we're all knackered and disturbed already from the fucking global pandemic and many of us, not just my family, are already grieving. That's another thing Daughter said, that she's stirred up and confused about - that Sam was her white sister and what does that mean. Now I'n writing it here I realise I should have said yes, and I'm your white mother (written down that looks as if I'm saying it angrily, but I'm not, it's an enquiry) and we could have picked it apart a bit. Son said yesterday that he forgets he's got whiteness as well. I, not exactly, but kind of, forget I'm white sometimes, I see them and they're my children and what hurts them hurts me and I hardly ever look in bloody mirrors and respond to what's happening in a very visceral way as if it's about me, as if I'm a target. I remember my sister being surprised when her first daughter was born, at how white she was, having got used to babies being brown and just assuming without thinking about it that hers would be too. We're a bit rubbish like that. I remember going to the disabled platform at Glastonbury with Son-in-Law, squeezing between the people in wheelchairs, feeling I was with my people, though actually I just went to the care home a lot.

I just want it to be over. Ideally we'd wake up tomorrow and everyone would be brown and no one would know whose ancestors did what to who so we'd have to start from scratch and take people as we find them, with respect as the starting point, given automatically unless you behave like a cunt and lose it. No one should have to earn respect - we have to start with that - most people are good, surely?

Anyway, enough drivelling on self-indulgently about that. Today I have also made some strawberry jam that didn't set, that will have to be reboiled tomorrow; had a facetime lunch with grandson, done art with my two US buddies on zoom, taken the dog for a walk round the lake in the rain and done the Friday writing workshop. The theme was dreams and wishes - we were shown a list of song titles and asked to choose one to write about in any way we liked. I could see this leading me to painful shite so I picked Judy and the dream of horses, which I'd never heard of, but seemed safe enough. I've checked it out now - I think I missed Belle and Sebastian entirely. Must have been looking the other way. This is what I wrote:

Judy and the Dream of Horses

I went to a boarding school for a while - a state school for village kids who passed the eleven plus and lived too far from the grammar school to commute every day. From Monday to Friday I lived in the boarding house, sharing a dorm with Jane, Anne, Janice and Judy. Cold, uncarpeted floors, not enough blankets, high ceilings, no decorations - a harsh regime. Judy came from a family of farm workers and when the lights went out and we lay shivering under our thin grey blankets, she would tell stories of horses she had known and loved. early mornings, up in the dark, wellies on to tramp along the frosty path, mucking out, shovelling straw and shit with a big wide spade, horses breathing clouds of steam, pushing against her with their big, friendly heads, nuzzling. In the summer, riding them over the gallops, green hills, blue skies, freedom, skylarks twittering above.

WE could see it, feel the energy, the power, the love of these huge beasts. A prefect would bang on the door. "Quiet in there! It's long past lights out. I won't tell you again!"

And Judy would whisper her stories, we'd lean towards her, eager to share her dreams of horses, to be free, away from double Latin and the Unification of Germany, up on the downs, hair flowing free, riding a wild horse.

All true. Ish.

Night night. Keep safe.


1:26 a.m. - 13.06.20


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