Beware stream of egotistical consciousness alert ……………
It feels like time for an annual me review. It must be coming up for a year since I was diagnosed, to be honest I cannot remember as I have no interest in dates. I am ashamed to say I still cannot reliably cite my children’s birthdays – Maria is disgusted. Anyway I am certainly much fitter than I was a year ago, my spirits are excellent and the outlook is positive. I am bored with having cancer and would like to move on but resigned to that not being possible ever. I have been very powerfully supported by my wonderful family, near and far. End of review. Bored with that idea.
Much more about me – I feel less mouthy than I did when I first started this blog. Being off steroids may account for that. I keep thinking I am going to get ‘blogged out’ but actually the blog, the poetry, the compositions, the shopping, the new style reading are my way of hanging onto a new kind of me. I much prefer this me to the old, pre-ill me. I am extremely clear about what I want, what I like, what makes me happy. Previously I thought purposeful work was the meaning of life, now purposeless dreaming seems closer to the truth. Like the chap in this picture of my birth place. The fact that the image is not very scenic (the village itself is famously scenic) means I find it extremely resonant of my childhood. It seems dreamily real, if that is not an oxymoron.
Having time to read the news, having time and the inclination to read fiction has led me firmly toward a radicalisation of my previous limp self, politics and philosophy. I am much more aggressive about what I think but as fundamentally inactive as I ever was. All that political nonsense I spout on about – It really is all hot air! That’s a shame – I am an ‘inactivist.’
I am newly inspired by nostalgia. Memories of this, that and the other have become distinct and powerful as though they needed time and space to crystallise. I think creatively in sepia tones (great spell correct – septic tones) like the picture above,- conversely George showed me some absolutely amazing pictures by a pioneering Russian photographer Prokudin-Gorsky who invented a colour photography process. The pictures speak for themselves. I cannot describe how ruthlessly they strip away sepia memories and bring the past into the now – effectively the opposite to all my current creative work but incredibly powerful even so.
This antithetical force between the then and the now, driven as it has been by my attic discoveries will be one of the lasting gifts of this illness – it’s a bit of me that has been missing and I really value it.
This is actually an exact replacement for an attic discovery. Its a French ‘Pigeon Lamp’ given to me by my Uncle George when I was about 8. The original leaked so I sold it and replaced it with one that didn’t. Harsh perhaps.
Animals – Hens have appeared in our back field right outside our windows. I adore them.
I have always wanted geese but hens will do. Geese partly because they are so bad tempered but also such a beautiful shape. I was a student at York university that has loads of geese coz of the the 1960’s open plan, listed, ugly, giant, water features. The geese do not want to be petted at all. I tried many times and dodged many a peck. For some reason the Chinese students are infatuated and more persistent and I have seen many a PhD computer scientist in flight from an angry mummy goose in full hissy fit. Back to the hens Nonna, an expert on such things is concerned about the fox. I am more concerned about our cats eating them, one has already been ‘clipped’ by a greyhound, but happily our two cats seem completely uninterested or possibly frightened. True the cockerel is big and scary but I find it very curious that the cats don’t chase the hens. Is this some kind of ‘Ardman’ or ‘Babe’ style pact or are country cats naturally respectful of farmyard animals? It feels so rural to have them scratting about just outside the window. I often wander round the back of the house to check for rats and enjoy the company of the hens who are wary but not afraid of me. I am determined to pet them eventually. On the subject of birds I read a story in the news about the habit of jackdaws delivering shiny presents, toys and trinkets they find, to people who have been kind to them. It seems there is quite a lot of anecdotal and recorded evidence. If it’s true I am certainly seeking one out and offering charity in the hope of finding a discarded chewing gum wrapper left on my doorstep. This quasi toy town existence, hens, jackdaws, poodles, cats is not…. Oh I forgot. I have been bought a fountain and it now works. Proper stone, cherubs, the works. It’s brilliantly kitsch. For those of you who have seen ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ – more modest than that – but you get the idea.
Bye for now x