annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Good things of 2020

I do kind of like writing in the diaryland box again - it's where I started. Fifteen years ago - I never thought I'd keep going like this but I do love it. I'm writing a bit earlier tonight as I've been drifting round into being almost nocturnal which is mad when there's only eight hours of daylight. Sun rises at 8, sets at 4 and I've been sleeping till noon. No more. I shall go to bed at midnight whether I'm ready or not.

So, I want to record the good things that were part of 2020.

1. I had keyboard lessons via Facetime on my phone and actually learned to read music, at the advanced age of 66. I'm pausing the lessons for a while as I feel utterly broken, way beyond having the required concentration for learning something new, but I feel so proud that I can do this. I mastered Morning Has Broken, with two hands (not much on the left, to be honest, but still) and Do Re Mi and for a long time I managed to maintain fifteen minutes practice every day. My best moment was sitting down at M's piano and playing Both Sides Now from the music on the stand, which I'd never seen before. Good stuff.

2. At the beginning of the first lockdown I found an online literary festival with various free writing workshops, two of which led me to regular weekly sessions which have continued right on through. At first I was only able to write real stuff, from memories or whatever, stuff that had happened, but gradually my fictional side re-emerged from the shadows where it's been hiding since my first big breakdown at the turn of the fucking century. I really love just letting it flow and go where it likes in response to whatever prompt we're given. I expect we'll get some opportunity to write about the past couple of weeks and I'm not really thinking about it, but it's probably churning over down below somewhere and I will discover what Bella has been up to while I'm gone. It's been fucking brilliant getting such positive feedback from the others in the groups. Keeps me going, feeling upbeat about it as a thing to do, not about being published, though that would be fab, but just writing and reading it to an audience who say wow.

3. The painting! Oh man, the painting! Art Enthusiasts London, via Facebook, where delightful Anastasia will lead you through recreating a masterpiece, in under two hours, using only six colours - red, yellow, blue, green, black and white. Some of them are aimed at kids aged 6 -10, others at older ones, 11-13, and some are for adults. The difference isn't in the complexity of the instructions but in the amount of detail she'll give in the introduction, about the artist's sexual habits or mental health problems. You should see the work some of these kids produce and the smiles on their faces in the photos of them with their paintings. That in itself is pretty uplifting but also, I have done some amazing paintings - only following her detailed instructions, but still, I did them. I'm hoping to be able to transfer some of the techniques to some original work, but not just yet (see above for state of brain).

4. My friend SB who has been my pal for over forty years and who moved away decades ago, came back to live with her aged mother during lockdown and we have started seeing each other every couple of weeks for a long walk and chat and meal and it has been like pouring solace and balm into my soul, honestly, it's just the best thing. We won't be able to eat out for a while, but we'll meet up this week I hope. She was my birth partner when I had Daughter as the dad was still in S America at the time, and Daughter is named after her. She's just the best person ever. Fact.

5. I suddenly got to the end of being able to cart around the excess weight I've been carrying since I stopped smoking five years ago so I'm eating less and it's gradually going. I'm just over nine kilos down since the end of July, which is a long time, but it's 20 lbs and that's significant. I want to go down another ten kilos, which I probably will - I only put on one kilo over Christmas, eating biscuits and massive amounts of roast potatoes and Christmas puddings with cream, so it should be OK. What I am most pleased about is that it hasn't been a battle - I left it till the time came when it was what I wanted and now I don't have to fight myself, I just eat less because I want to put these kilkos down. They're heavy and they make me tired.

There's more - I made a list last night but I can't be arsed to go upstairs and find it. Three good things today: 1. I walked four miles by the harbour as the low sun sunk down into the sea and it felt great. 2. I saw a woman polishing a bench, one of those memorial benches. As I came up to it she was walking away, but it looked lovely with flowers and a shiny plaque so I called out to say so, that it looked lovely. This led to us having a long chat - the bench was a memorial to her son who had died of a heart problem aged 21. I told her about Sam and it was so good - we both had so many of the same feelings - she is also much better at cold, dark January than Christmas and the New Year which can both fuck off. 3. Fish and chips for dinner, with a quickly rustled up slaw of everything appropriate, sweet potato, carrots, cabbage, onion, celery. So lucky to live near the best chippy I've ever encountered.

OK, bed for me, at only 11.23. Keep safe my friends, keep safe. xxx

10:30 p.m. - 02.01.21


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Good things in 2020 pt 4 - 07.01.21
Weird times - 06.01.21
More - 05.01.21
Good things in 2020 pt 3 - 04.01.21
Good things in 2020 pt 2 - 03.01.21

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