annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 207

Today was writing group and two pieces which I'm going to share. The first was an invitation to carry on from the first eight words:

Of all the good things that have ever... happened, the kids were the best. I know some women are dead happy without kids and I know I was miserable as shit quite often when they were little and when they were teenagers, and when Sammie died, but the good times we had together were just the best times I had with anyone. They're all a bit unconventional - not in a 'look at me, I'm quirky' way, but just liking what they like, being who they are.
Some of my favourite memories are of living in a crappy, dark, damp flat, no money, babies crying, washing draped everywhere, the tension building up and up until I would snap and say, "Right! That's it! I've had enough!" and Sammie would put The Communards 'Don't Leave Me This Way on the cassette player while the rest of us kicked all the stuff to the edges of the room so we could all dance and sing, loudly, "....OOOOOH, BABY! My heart is full of love and desire for you..." Maybe twice all through, then we'd gather ourselves together, put Son in his buggy and head off for the chip shop. They were kind in there and knew my faces, knew when I needed a lot of chips for a little money. We'd go and sit on the bench and eat our chips and dream about what we'd do when the wind changed and we were no longer skint. I'd have a bookshop with a cafe and a room for writing groups and English lessons. Sam would be a maths teacher, Daughter an artist - she knew from very young that she'd be an artist and Son was only a baby - he just wanted another chip. If we had chips left over we'd throw them at flash cars as they passed, pretending they were for the seagulls, but they weren't. The seagulls always came anyway, swooping and squawking and multiplying in number till the air was thick with them. When all the chips were gone we'd wend our way back past the big detached houses, to our little add-on flat, and I would feel OK about being us, about being part of this little gang.

I cried when I read that out - we used to be a gang of four and now we are three. One of the others had to go and answer the door - it was her son, who said, 'Bloody hell, Mam, what's up? Why are you crying?' She's northern, hence Mam, not Mum and hadn't noticed she was crying, she said.

For this next bit we were invited to write loads of sentences linked together with cause and effect. Because this, then that and because that, then this other thing etc. Bella turned up - I'd thought I wasn't going to see her, but she popped up at the last minute. It's as it was, not a finished thing, but I quite liked how it went. It took me by surprise again.

Because Sid and Mary’s car broke down, they cancelled their viewing of the flat.
Because they cancelled, Megan offered it to Bella, who accepted.
Because Bella had the flat of her dreams, she sang as she walked to the bus stop.
Because Bella was singing when Naomi saw her, she thought, “She looks nice. I wonder if we’ll be friends when she lives next door.”
Because Naomi was lonely and wanted a friend, she didn’t rush into making an invitation, but thought about it for a long time.
Because Naomi didn’t rush into inviting Bella, Bella saw her quite a few times as they walked up the path together without speaking.
Because they’d seen each other without speaking, Bella spontaneously said hello when she bumped into Naomi in Lidl.
Because Bella had said hello first, Naomi felt a little bit more confident and because she felt a bit more confident she said to Bella the next time she saw her, “Would you like to come and have tea and cake this afternoon, my auntie gave me a cake and there’s too much for me so I thought you might like it but if you don’t that’s fine, I won’t mind."
And because Naomi was so shy and hesitant, Bella felt brave enough to say yes.

Then Daughter and I walked on the prom in the most luscious silver light and when I got home Son and I spoke on the phone and arranged a weekend together where we'll go to the Andy Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern, and the Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition at the National Gallery.

So that's me for today.

8:48 p.m. - 07.10.20


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