annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Once Long Ago

First off, yay USA! We made it! I didn't watch it because I'm on a zero TV news regime, but I scanned the headlines to make sure it all went off OK and it did. Massive for us all that the nuclear codes are not in the hands of ... well, I don't even know what words to use but never mind, it's over and we can relax. Hallelujah.

Here the covid death figures are terrifying, 1,820 today. This is the aftermath of Christmas and the New Year - the new infections figures are going down, slowly, but steadily. But still, fuck.

Today in Wednesday writing group we did beginnings and endings of fairy tales. I had no idea what I would write but just plunged in. For the first bit we were given translations of traditional openings to fairy tales from other cultures. I chose the Romanian, because I'd just been looking at an amazing video Sam's Romanian key worker, now my pal on Facebook, had posted from her home village of bears in the snow, climbing up the steps to front doors.

Once upon a time, beyond seven mountains, beyond seven rivers lived a girl called Bella who liked to sleep. She knew there was a life waiting for her beyond the seven mountains but she wasn't ready for it yet.
She slept for seven years, seven months and seven days, only waking to drink the milk that always appeared by her side. On the eighth day of the seventh month of the seventh year she was woken by a hand shaking her shoulder. It was Naomi.
Bella blinked in the light, drank the milk and turned over to sleep again. "No, Bella," said Naomi. "Come! It's time!"
Bella sighed and sat up. She was in the entrance to a cave on a soft bed of moss and leaves, looking out over a green valley with a sparkling river winding along below. There was a path next to the river, weeping willows on either side and fields of barley stretching out over the hills. The air was fresh and full of promise.
Naomi held out her hand and Bella took it as she stood up.
"Come on," said Naomi. "We'll go together."

I was surprised at the positive reaction, to be honest. If anyone noticed a bit of Lady of Shalott creeping in they kept quiet. I'm going to add it to my Bella Bits folder - maybe it's a dream. Then we were given endings, to aim for or to write about or whatever. None of them enticed me to head towards them so I wrote this.

And if they didn't die they're still alive today. That's how it is, how it always used to be and how it is again, now. We had that little flurry - around a century of humanity's existence - a little flurry of communication which started with the telephone and grew and grew till we had mobile phones with the internet. For a while there anyone in the world could find out anything at all, could connect with anyone else within seconds, but then came the pandemic and silence.
We didn't know how it had happened, but electricity was gone, computers, the internet, everything. Even transport ground to a halt as all the petrol was inaccessible without computers. The world became silent apart from the howls and screams of frustration and rage.
But then we got used to it. We became like people had always been, reliant on neighbours, holding meetings on green spaces, burning furniture to keep warm. It was hard at first, worrying about family and friends who lived miles away, beyond walking distance. But in the end you had to let go. If they didn't die, they're still alive today. Probably. Maybe.
Sometimes she wondered if it was really like this everywhere or if it was just her part of the world - maybe it was a big experiment and they were being watched on TV everywhere else. But there hadn't been a plane or the sound of an engine for years. Just the roar of the sea on a windy day and the twittering of the birds.

No idea what that was about but again it was more well received that I would have imagined.

After that I took the dog out, well, dragged her out for a walk in the January wind and lashing rain, Storm Christoph, apparently. I had the right clothes - long waterproof coat, nylon waterproof trousers and a very fetching hat, with ear-flaps and a big brim. In the end my feet got wet in the walking shoes but they worked like a wet suit, and my feet weren't cold. It was fine and off we went into the hills, feeling utterly invigorated to be out in the weather, icy rain stabbing at my face but the rest of me well wrapped and dry, my glasses protected from the rain so I could still see. I ordered another pair of winter wellies, from Milletts (UK outdoor activities supplier) and they're on their way already. I went for men's as they only had women's in size 3 and I'm a 6. For reasons I cannot begin to understand, the men's sizes were listed in European and they only had 38 and 40, not the 39 I really needed. I thought 40 as I can wear thick socks to pad them out, though I don't have any thick socks. Yet.

Enough of this nonsense. Three Good Things today:
1. Trump went. No shots were fired.
2. Writing group was fucking fabulous - I love them, I do.
3. I had a shower and washed my hair - can't even remember the last time - turns out my hair is still quite fair, not that muddy brown colour. That was dirt. Hey ho,

Night night xxxx

10:52 p.m. - 20.01.21


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