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After the telly!


It’s been a week of feeling very visible. A lady came up to me in Marksies (I was buying knickers) and said..’It’s Julia Carling!’ But the feedback from the television programme on Monday has been very moving and interesting, and kind too. Many people have got in touch via email who have the same disease as me, and who are taking the same drugs, even seeing the same consultants. I feel a huge connection with my compatriots out there, as I normally never meet them. I feel as if we are calling to each other through the pipes or something…HALLOOOOOO….ARE YOU OK????? We talk the same language, and have the same strange relationship with our bodies. So that has been lovely, and made me feel less alone.

Of course when I saw the film, it was the second time I’d seen it and I found it much easier to be less vain and to admire the way the director and editor had put it all together. I liked the simple message of it, and although there were weepy bits, on the whole it showed what its like to have cancer with its good days and bad days. I hope it showed how life goes on anyway. Thankyou, everyone, for your comments. My family survived it, thank goodness.

Most t.v things I have been involved in I have regretted, but not this one.

I am feeling very happy at the moment. The effects of radiotherapy are wearing off, and I feel as if my brain is steadying itself. I had a blood transfusion on Monday and that’s made me very chirpy. My friend Jackie came to the hospital and we played Cluedo and Connect Four and I won everything!

I’ve been able to get on with some work, and generally this last week feels as if it has been filled with things like nice cake and deep sleeps and everything that makes humans happy.

Tonight I am going to an art opening in Melrose of work by my friend and collaborator, Emma Holliday. I am looking forward to bombing up the A68, which is one of my favourites road. It makes me breathless with excitement! And it’s the right light for it too, sort of sharp and pink.

One more thing, a date for your diaries, if you live in the North East. I am launching a new poetry book called Apology For Absence at the Hatton Gallery on November 10th from 7-9.00 p.m, so please come if you are around! [Update: All the tickets have now gone, sorry.]

Now I shall go and make a cup of tea, and then I shall start writing. I wonder if there is any cake in the university staff room?