annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Plans and Greenham

I don’t know what’s happened to my writing mojo this month, but I hope to do better in April. Some of it might be that I do the same things all the time, and where’s the interest in that? But I don’t, not really. I have a lot of regular activities, but there’s always something new. I ain’t over yet. Though this morning I got a form from the DVLA demanding that I reapply for a driving license as I’ll soon be 70 – the 70 being in a massive font, about 3 cm tall, as if I might not have noticed that I’m getting Very Old.
But fuck that, eh? Me and my little dog have places to go, things to see, bums to sniff. Well, she has.
I’ve got Ella Fitzgerald on the telly while I’m writing. Bliss, utter bliss. Apart from probably the best voice ever, I love her very personal sense of style. All her dresses look like nighties, with lots of sparkles sewn on, often very long so there’s no sign of any feet. Has she got her slippers on under that golden extravaganza? Maybe. And she’s funny, I hadn’t known that, though I should have done from the way she made up the words when she forgot them in that version of Mack the Knife.
I found a thing on Facebook memories about many people giving up having plans when they reach a certain age, which is sometimes as young as fifty. I was quite scornful till I realised I don’t really have much in the way of plans either, so I’m here to conjure some up.
Part 1, physical: keep up the yoga and the HIIT, the walking and the swimming. Do the fucking exercises the physio set me which might well ease the pain in my leg – why don’t I remember them? If I can do that I might be able to swim properly again and if I can keep up the HIIT and build up some good core strength maybe I can do the pier to pier swim. About a mile in the sea. That’s the plan – swimming from pier to pier before I’m 80.
Part 2, make a proper page to sell my paintings. Ach, this does my head in – I need a bit of money to pay someone to do it as I can’t work out how, but I need to sell some paintings to get some money. This will happen, this year.
Part 3, write a memoir, or edit a memoir out of this blog, centred around Sammie, but about it all. My therapist is going to Thailand for two months this summer so I want to make a good start on it then.
In the meantime I just signed up to do an Abba silent disco, for the 50th anniversary of them winning Eurovision in Brighton. We’re ‘invited’ to dress up but I don’t think I’ll manage that. I’m too big to be able to borrow clothes from friends and I can’t be arsed or afford to make or hire anything.
This week I went to London with MH to record Radio 4’s bookclub (going out on Sunday 7th though it was almost an hour to be edited down to 30 minutes so I may not be in the final show) and also to see the Women in Revolt exhibition at Tate Britain, which was brilliant, but much too big for us – we’d have to go about three times to get the most out of it. It was odd – well, it felt odd - that the starting point was the 1970s, a time I remember all too well. There was a good display about Greenham Common. As I was looking at that a group arrived next to me with a young museum person giving a group a guided tour, talking about Greenham, what it was all about. In case you don’t know, a US air base in England, which in the 1980s, during the cold war, held various US nuclear weapons, aimed at Russia which had its own nuclear weapons aimed back at them. There was a lot of anti-nuclear protest around this time, including at Greenham Common. I can’t remember how it started, but I went to “Embrace the Base” when enough women gathered to link arms all around the perimeter of the air base – thousands of us, all gathered by word of mouth – fucking brilliant. Anyway, I overheard the chat and in a pause I blurted out that I’d been there and oh my god, they were thrilled, all of them, which was a bit disconcerting to be honest. I only went for that day – many women stayed there, establishing ‘peace camps’ which lasted for years, leaving their families and living in ramshackle ‘benders’ – shelters made by bending down branches of trees and covering them with whatever, living on donations, making the news repeatedly for little incursions into the base, keeping the issue out in the public until the weapons were removed and the base abandoned.

12:34 a.m. - 31.03.24


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