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A List of Sustaining and Odd Occurances That Can Happen Whilst Bedridden!


I am still mostly in my bed at home, but things have quietened down as the family have gone back, and a kind of routine has fallen into place that involved baths and small lunches and active bits and slow bits. I stay up so late, mostly night dreaming, but not asleep, about things I want to tell others or writing stuff that needs to be put in order, and presents that I want to give people. But here’s some of the weird and peculiar and nice stuff that has happened.

Earlier in the week I was given the catalogue from the self portrait exhibition at the British Portrait Gallery. In this hub bub of ointments and pills, friends, tears and cranberry ice drinks, this book has given me immense pleasure. How we see ourselves is endlessly interesting and the text is fascinating, telling us about the artist’s lives. Just looking at the portraits, you catch this feeling about the intensity of life..and most of them are dead now, but there they are, caught in time, staring back at me. In the First Aid Kit for the Mind that I am making with Emma there is a small pad and pencil stub, and a poem about how to draw one’s portrait. Everyone should try and make one at some point I think.

The wooden lady, one of those bendy artist’s model, that stands at the bottom of my bed moves when I am asleep. Her pose in the morning gives me a clue about the nature of the day. This morning she looked as if she was setting out on an sea of ice. I haven’t moved her, but something has. There is, I think, a spirit in my room.

I don’t like soppy cat stories much, but my cat Tigzi has been an incredible companion, kissing me often, hurling my earrings around the room, sniffing and chewing the beautiful flowers that arrive, never wanting much but displaying a range of theatrical behaviour I have never seen before. What is he trying to tell me? He is certainly not sorry for me at all.

Ice, and its many mutations. Someone has lent me their silver ice crusher. It looks like a 1920’s cupboard and makes a sound like a concrete mixer. Drinks have become piles of glistening pink, yellow, and orange icy water.

God, the music! Why don’t we all just give up TV and sit listening to music all night. This week I have delighted in John Martin’s Solid Air (ice?). The voice solo from The Dark Side Of The Moon, Van Morrison’s Ladbroke Grove, Gillian Welch singing about Elvis Presley, The Crystal Ship by the Doors. So much stuff that can take me anywhere that I want to go. Why didn’t I go there before?

From Sean O Brien and Gerry Wardle, sachet’s of Mauritian Vanilla tea which allowed me to remember the long warm beach of Flic en Flac we sat on this year. That tea is for me the essence of Mauritius (we were all there together doing workshops). Then as I raise the cup to my lips, the organiser (Jaysing) of the trip, who I haven’t spoken to since the Summer, rings up.

Every flavour of ice cream.

Someone found a copy of The Taxi Driver’s Daughter in Dehli.

I am definitely more stable,(physically, maybe not mentally) but the question is, where will my stability land, and how well will I be? Well enough to see my new play? Well enough to fly to Italy? To finish my novel? To become a figure skater? Or just well enough to have a good death, like a good birth.

Back soon. I like writing this, it fills up the foggy eastery nights.