Thrown into a fit of nostalgia by being reminded of Trogdor the Dragon from Homestar Runner. The world was a simpler and more fun place back then–at least my world was. One of the distinguishing features of now is recognizing whose safety and comfort is sacrificed for me to feel safe, comfortable and entertained. The world wasn’t simpler for everyone back then. (I suppose technically it was, what with the current rise of fascism–Trump now openly saying he wants to delay the election. But I imagine for some communities the struggle was just as hard back then as it is now.)
I’m not active enough in the day–physically–to make sleep come easily at night. Bad cycle: stay up late, sleep in, go to bed not tired, active on phone or reading, turn out light late, brain still active so don’t sleep right away, tired when waking…continues. There’s too much crisis news out there even now–and we’re certainly going to get more in the coming weeks–to feel like we’re getting back to normal. We can’t all operate in crisis mode forever: something has to give. And the world needs to look different than it did before, not the same. I want a slower and less demanding world. I want a green recovery. I want less worry, more time for exercise and cooking. More creative writing. Fewer PowerPoints. I want the northern lights over the sea. Can it be possible to only exchange the bad things I don’t want (competitiveness, status seeking, insecurity, manipulativeness, inequality) for those things? I don’t know.
I feel…languid and unable to concentrate on things. I feel time is slipping away and my creative contributions are little or none. Sometimes I feel like a passive couch potato. But I think also that my job is hard and I need a brain break, and right now the news everywhere is overwhelming. Pandemic. Political corruption. Climate change. Unmarked federal agents arresting US citizens and bundling them in unmarked vans. Economic inequality on the rise; economic collapse pretty imminent. All creative fodder yes but also…too much. All too much to coherently let my voice be heard. What do I have to say that anyone wants to listen to anyway?
Visited the Waterman Way apartment yesterday. Thought it would be a small self-contained house but the corner it transpires is a block of flats. Too tiny to live and work in. No. None of the other Wapping flats I’ve seen remotely appeal–need to move. Edinburgh it is. My God, what work there is before me. I hate moving. And I fear for the future result of this decision. But it’s time, time for a change.
Went for my daily walk around 8:30 PM yesterday, forgetting I was wearing a light summer dress & hadn’t shaved my legs in 5 months. I normally slip on some leggings or tights to spare the blushes of passersby when it’s cool enough (I certainly have gone out hairy legged before) but I’d forgotten to do so before leaving the house yesterday night. Doubtless the effect of my pickle martini after dinner. Tried to see comet Neowise last night but as far as I can tell it’s over a very light-polluted part of the city. Rising early to see it might be a better bet–but for me unlikely.
Work finally confirmed I can move anywhere in the UK without trouble from HR. Now the option is truly unfettered on the table do I really want to move to Edinburgh? Am I ready for a change of that magnitude? I don’t know, I don’t know. I always thought when I left London I’d take the time to do and see all the things I keep saying I’ll get round to and never do, lots of goodbye parties, visits to obscure museums, etc. But this would be me sneaking out like a thief in the night. Do I really want to move or am I just running away? I really won’t miss the Tube. Or planes, helicopters, and the Highway behind my bedroom. The coal-black dust that seeps in at the windows. But there are plenty of things I will miss: my friends. The light in this flat. My bigger-than-normal fridge. The view of Shadwell Basin. My hammock. Bookshelves.
Please God help me stay calm and steady through this next period of change. Help me decide WHEN to move, and WHERE, and manage the money and the packing and logistics, and finding a new doctor’s and all of it. Help me figure out all the Stuff. Suddenly everything becomes trash: all the half-used bottles of cleaner and unfinished packets of spices. My 3 weeks’ worth of dinners in the freezer. Sauces: mustard, mango, soy. The occasional fridge stuff, that’s the killer. Anything that can’t easily come on a journey needs to be thrown out or given away. Booooooooooks. So many, many books. Too many things. Edinburgh in winter–maybe 6 hours of daylight? Is this a good idea? But if we really are proceeding to exit the EU in…five months’ time then Folkestone won’t be where I want to live. Too close to the import/export waiting centres. Every kind of human misery will be coming that way. Dear God can no one save us from this act of national insanity?
Two walks yesterday–noon to visit the foreshore, where I picked up trash from the beach & felt virtuous, and again at 9 after finishing “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” Wasn’t ready for bed & didn’t want to watch TV. Walked as far as The Grapes in a drizzle. Not too busy out but still plenty of folks for our narrow streets. As I passed The Grapes an employee emerged wearing a face mask and one of those plastic sneeze shields that have become so popular. I crossed over and peeked in–just one customer that I could see. Other staff behind the bar not masked. Must have got a sharp piece of gravel or a little glass in my sandal because when I got home shreds of skin were peeling off painfully, though no blood, thank goodness. Walking through the tiny wilderness area in King Edward Memorial Park smelling the rain in the surprisingly lingering late evening light I was reminded of summer evenings of my childhood, that fresh vegetation smell like the world has just bathed. I expected the cedar trees to give off their spicy scent as I walked under them home but there was just a hint of it–I wonder if the sap runs more at different times of day, or whether the sunny heat, as I’ve definitely been there when the cedar fragrance is all-encompassing.
A few good Thames foreshore finds yesterday. My collection grows. I really need a display case for it all. I could mount it myself but I’m afraid of damaging something valuable. A coin collection box seems like the way to go until I can research safe pottery display techniques or get something custom built. Fluffy cotton-wool clouds today. My calendar as usual is full of Important Tasks but I kind of just want to bask in the hammock. Bit chilly for it though. I intended to repot some of my big plants but I don’t think I got enough soil for it. Need some gravel as well, so say my parents.
Collected three bits of pottery from shore yesterday–must have been a good day for it as I saw a methodical man combing through the shoreline with a trowel. My approach is of course much more haphazard, but I’m also not looking for anything other than bright colours and interesting shapes.