annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 234

First off, I want to say our thoughts are with the United States. Scary fucking times. Please let this be the corner, the point at which things start moving back towards a better future.

Here in Notbobland, I have to write "Five or six lines about my life and writing" to be emailed by noon tomorrow ahead of the new writing course I start tomorrow evening. Lines? What are these lines? On paper, to be emailed? On a phone, with two or three words per line? Or on my pal J's big screen that takes about fifty? And I don't know what to say. There will be twelve of us in this group, on zoom, memoir writing. I don't know how to do gallery view on my tablet - I start reading the instructions but get lost very early on and you have to be in a meeting to check them out. When I'm in a meeting I'm doing the meeting, not fucking about with views.

So, five lines about me and my writing:

I've always written, whether I have anything to say or not. I had penpals back in the 1960s (very formal, yours sincerely), then diaries, journals, blogs, novels, lists, rants, anything. I have written a blog most nights for fifteen years. Although I wanted to write elegant, literary prose I've come to terms with the fact that my authentic voice is inherently chatty and often a bit fucking sweary. I've lived a life, not over yet, still learning, still failing, still having another go. I'm looking forward to this course.

I'd really appreciate any feedback on that if you can be arsed, Thank you.

Today has been mental, off to acupuncture at the crack of bleeding dawn having already cold-showered and meditated. Back just in time to do a mad Monet in Tuesday art club. Interesting conversation emerged about differing responses to randomness. Some of us, me included, are happy doing 'random' paintings, like Monet's waterlilies where you can follow his imagination without having to try to replicate every splodge of colour he laid down. Others hate this and want precise instructions. Someone mentioned builders and tiles and random patterns and it turns out that many of them really freeze up at the very idea of random so have to be given a pattern to follow. This was good to hear as tomorrow Richard is putting the tiles up in the kitchen and he was most def not keen on not having a pattern. But I found a generator and have now printed him off a random pattern to follow. I would never have taken him seriously if I hadn't heard these stories.

J came over - she's doing the memoir course as well - so good to be writing together again. We did an Arvon foundation course at Lumb Bank in 2000, the house where Sylvia Plath lived when she was married to Ted Hughes - fantastic. Today we went to the seafront and had a meal outside in an icy wind and twice it rained on us out of a clear blue sky, which I think is very rude but someone on Instagram suggested is pure magic. Maybe. Then we came back here and J collected Lily the tabby cat and took her away to live happily ever after. I've already had a video of her purring, lying in her new bed, next to J's chair.

I feel as if there was more than that but I've forgotten it already. I'm a bit narked that tomorrow is the last day before lockdown and I have four different online things (keyboard lesson, counselling, writing group and new writing group - I know, mental) so won't be able to get out and about without knackering myself even further. Though I probably will anyway - I don't have anything on Thursday till yoga at 5.30. Yeah, fuck it - I might go and see M while I still can.

Three good things today:
1. Spending time with J. We are warrior women, both, having survived the teenagiest of teenage children of our own while working in a tough school full of other teenagers. And still we laugh and live to moan another day. I love her.
2. Buying a coffee from a lad who's set up a van on the prom, he's had barista training and has a certificate, he told us several times, while blethering on wrongly about what a macchiato is - an upside down latte, with caramel syrup. Er no. But he made me laugh and the cortado he produced under my instructions was delicious.
3. Good long chat with Son - boo hoo - no art galleries this Friday - he'll be alone on his birthday later this month. Boo. I love him too.

Bed now. Fingers crossed, y'all. xxx

10:29 p.m. - 03.11.20


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