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Julia in Bed Dictating To Bev


It’s ten past 7 in the morning and I have just finished my cornflakes and milk which has turned out to be my favourite food after all these years. The Po sisters are playing. In the last week I have discovered so much new music through compilations people have sent over. Sharon Bailey brought me the 2004 world music concert which I was sorry I missed. A neighbour brought round Rufus Wainwright, and I have been listening to the golden oldies like John Martyn and Dark Side of the Moon. The walls are covered with drawings and portraits that people have done or I’ve painted. Sharon has also been sorting out the cover of the new book Eating the Elephant and other Plays which we both like very much. Claire Malcolm at New Writing North is sorting it all out it’s ever so complicated like all books especially books of plays, it’s all that proofing and stuff. It’s been like an office in here looking at fonts and post card designs for the ‘First aid kit for the mind’ with Emma Holliday and Smart. The first aid kit will be launched mid April (very soon), hopefully you will all find out where.

Last Thursday though I hoiked myself out of bed and went with Bev, Karin Young and Jackie Kay to see the dress rehearsal for the Manifesto for a New City at Hexham. Although I say it myself I really loved it. Jim Kitson’s acapella arrangements are blissful and I liked what it was saying as well. It went down very well with the audience on two subsequent nights. It’s sad that it’s not on in Newcastle, though it is showing at the Customs House and Alnwick and later at the Tron in Glasgow. Usually when my plays are on I lie on the floor and feel like icy daggers are plunging in my heart so I must have done something right. It owes a lot to Duska Heaney and Alan Lyddiard but especially Jim Kitson.

I don’t think I am going to be up out of my bed again, that’s a funny idea. The last two weeks I’ve been surrounded by love and I’ve had everything I could possibly need but it’s really nearly time to say goodbye and I’m not afraid of death just very sad about the people I leave behind. I’m not in pain which is as they say ‘ a blessing’. I get a bit sick of nurses peering at me. There are several things I would really like to have gone to but I don’t think it’s going to happen. So can I send my thanks and best thoughts to everyone out there because it’s really a very incredible world. You end up talking in cliches at this point so I’ll stop before I go really doo lally.