annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 188

Most of this will be stuff I wrote in the writing group this morning but I want to note that I did sit and brush my hair through yesterday. I ended up using nearly a whole bottle of conditioner and I had to keep stopping as my arms ached from being up by my head all that time, but it's done. Also I had an acupuncture session today as dear D is back from guardian angel duties to her aging parents in Italy. Daughter drove me over there in my car and we sat on the beach in the wind afterwards. She went in the sea and I tried not to be miserable about it. Tonight I did a yoga nidra. Suddenly realise it was quite a busy day for an old woman who's meant to be resting

But this morning we had the writing group and I wrote both exercises about my character Bella. For the first one, as a warm up he asked us to write down one word for every letter of the alphabet, quickly, then we had to give the next person 3 random letters and they had to use those words in a piece of writing. I thought this was unnecessarily complicated and time-wasting, but quite liked what came out.

My words were instant, jolly and things. When we last saw Bella she had been given notice to move out of her flat. 7 minutes.

Bella knew things would get better. She would find somewhere to live soon enough. She didn't really know this, but had been advised to try and be more optimistic even when she wasn't feeling it. She was meant to write positive things down, so she wrote 'I will find somewhere to live soon', kind of hoping that at that very instant there would be a knock at the door and a new handsome landlord - no, a landlady, a nice, jolly-l;ooking older woman who would invite her to move into her basement flat and bring the cat. She took a deep breath (that had been recommended too - she was being very good, following all these instructions, she'd have a slice of cake in a a minute as she'd definitely earned it), and wrote down 'I live in the basement of a nice house with a jolly landlady' and cut and pasted it twenty times before clicking on Right Move. Oh God. Right Move. A gazillion places to let until you narrowed it down but none of the options she cared about most were there. No creeps. No one who wanted to be her friend and kept inviting her to do things.

The second exercise was to respond in any way we liked to this quote, apparently from Will Rogers. "You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is." Another seven minutes.
Bella didn't want to go and look at the flat. Her key worker had sat with her on Facetime, from her own kitchen, which Bella just did not want to see, ever, asking her lots of questions, helping her to thin out the Right Move options. Sheila, that was her name. Shtupid Sheila, Bella thought, though she knew Sheila wasn't really stupid, just annoying. Bella got on her nerves too, she could see that. If she was training key workers she'd tell them not to sigh when people were irritating. But they'd persevered and narrowed it down and down to a short list of three flats, which Bella considered quite enough for one day, but Sheila had phoned the agent and now Bella was on the bus, wearing a mask, wishing it covered her eyes as well as her nose and mouth as she knew she was going to cry soon. Just the thought of knocking on the door made her feel sick. Sheila had dismissed her concern - you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, she said, but Bella knew she just wanted this house-hunting done with so she could put Bella's file back in the cupboard and not have to think about her till the next crisis. Though this place did allow pets and it was a basement. Bella fancied a basement, she'd have her own little patch of outdoors with high walls so no one could see in and the sun probably never got in either

When I read out the second one, there was a flurry of people saying how much they like me doing this, seeing where Bella goes with the prompts I'm given, which are mostly random. They said they're getting to know her and believe in her, and that as the rest of the session is always different, separate pieces, there's something nice about having a returning character. I'm liking it very much too. I started it with no preconceived notions of where she might be, just older, but it turns out she's living in Brighton during lockdown, not doing great, mental health - she was always mental health but not diagnosed, just like me when I wrote her, but she's getting help now, even if she's not really embracing it. And she has my little Bobcat, which is excellent. I have no idea where it's going. I plan to just accumulate these pieces and see if it takes off in any particular direction. I might open a file.

Three good things today: the light on the sea was amazing - the sun is suddenly low in the sky; my weight is down to 90.9 kg - I whizzed through the 91 in a couple of days after lingering in the 92s for ages; feeling less shite

Good night, sweet readers, good night.

12:59 a.m. - 19.09.20


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