Well, the pain of not writing has finally exceeded the pain of writing, so here I am again! There are many things I have been wanting to tell you. Oh, my god, so much news to impart. I really am very sorry for having abandoned my readers. All I can say is: I have been simultaneously blocked, and too busy with life, just whirled off my feet with action, reaction, literal shizz going on man, that every time I open the blog to start writing I fall asleep.
Bothered by an unusual hygienic hankering, I ripped the carpet out of my room. Katze and Treacle and Whisky had been pissing on it for years, so it really had to go. I think even Oddly used to piss on it and she died about a decade ago. Basically, everyone had pissed on it, even Bug, who is a visitor (and a dog, not a person. No people that I know of had pissed on it.)
Underneath were darkly gleaming oak boards. I dragged the bed into the corner, bunged the lights behind the headboard, opened all the windows, nicked a small green wardrobe out of Alfie’s room, shunted everything else about randomly, and hey presto, realised I had accidentally feng shui’d the space! I think I must have been guided by spirits who were fed up with our chakras being blocked. The winds now howl around the bed. It feels as though we’re hurtling through space on the wings of change or something. Cor, feng shui really cleans out your brains doesn’t it? Feels like you’ve spilt peppermint essential oil and chilli on your eyeballs.
The gin club plus long-suffering blokes had a trip to Columbia Road Sunday flower market and Brick Lane. A veil is best drawn over proceedings from the moment we caused a scrambled/poached/fried-egg-ordering fiasco in a pub to when we ended up in Dirty Dick’s Tavern belting out Dancing Queen and I Want to Break Free-hee after too much blackberry cider, champagne and guinness. I managed to buy a great mug though:
There was even some snogging (!) going on on our way home from the train, in the Brick House pub, they tell me. I don’t recall and don’t believe I remember how to snog.
Tomorrow a German girl called Franzisca is arriving, poor thing, and Bash is off to Chateau de la Beaudonniere for a week of frolicking with her mates. Chloe and Tabby are already back for the summer. I am surrounded by these prodigal peeps in varying stages of lunacy and meltdown. However, they are recovering with horse, walk, food and flute therapy. All this month, Tabs is in the choir of a West End show called the West End Men. I have been three times! Cor, check out these blokes.
My friends Sue and Gerald down the bottom of the garden say that the blackbirds who visit their garden have been singing scales and arpeggios with gay abandon and flair. They learnt it off the parrots, who learnt it off my flute pupils. Gerald reckons the blackbirds must think it’s the latest groove on the block, and are vying to be the coolest, like ‘Hey, listen to this! Look what I can do! A Minor today, maties! ABCDEFGsharpA! A-C-E-A-E-C-A!’
My hair has been growing and growing into a bush. It is now sticking up all around my head. Looks bloody stupid actually. People laugh at me in the street. Here, have a good chuckle, go on, see if I care.
I went to London to be part of the No More Page 3 Flash Mob. It was mental, yet very very sane if you see what I mean. It’s kind of hard to describe so I will just give you the link to the video instead. I am the strange person on the left playing the flute in the yellow specs. I took my flute as I don’t really like dancing. The building behind us is the Sun Headquarters. It was great fun. I would do it every day. The best thing about it was meeting all these new radical virtual friends in the flesh. And the feeling that maybe it will result in the demise of Page 3, so maybe we are making history.
The next exciting bit of news is that I got to see Miss Benyon! Yes, I had a proper appointment. I conditioned my hair and squished it down with some of Alfie’s gel so I wouldn’t frighten her. She looked frightened nonetheless. Maybe someone has told her about the blog. If so, she must think I am a lunatic of the first degree. But she would never say so. She always acts with extreme professionalism. Sigh with admiration and joy.
She asked ‘So: are you happy as you are?….or would you like me to make you a nipple?’
I said, ‘I am happy as I am.’
If she had just said, ‘Do you want me to make you a nipple?’ I would maybe have said ‘Yes’, but the ‘Are you happy as you are?’ was the crucial bit, and I got that.
She said, ‘You are a wise woman.’
I said, ‘I know,’ with a wry smile, as my wisdom has been hard won.
‘Because it might have difficulty healing,’ she said.
‘Seeing as I have no lymph nodes, I know,’ I said.
‘Do you want an appointment for six months or do you just want to come back if you need to?’ she asked.
I do not believe in wasting the NHS’s time nor funds, so I said: ‘I will just come back if I need to.’ I had a sudden pang: oh shit, this was goodbye. I wanted to kneel before her, clasp her hand in mine and tell her from the bottom of my heart that she was my favourite wonderful, tremendous, magnificent person. I didn’t though, you will be relieved to hear unless you are a bit loopy-loo. I behaved. I trotted off obediently to have photos done of the new boob.
Fred is always at work these days so I can’t phone him whenever I like for trivia such as nipples nor Miss Benyon farewell traumas. I phoned Barney instead. ‘Oh, Hester, you fool!’ he groaned in disappointment. ‘You should have gone for the nipple, then you would have got to see her again!’
‘But it might have hurt….. it might have got infected…. I might have lost the Beaut and then Miss Benyon’s work would be ruined. At least I have her handiwork, like right here, a nipple-less trophy, on my chest.’
Despite it being a farewell, the very fact of seeing her filled me with joy and peace for several days. Then Dennis came round to heal Chloe who was having a melt-down after too many flights and lack of sleep. It was wonderful to talk to him and Chloe has been a million times better since. He ridded her of a little shadowy gremlin, apparently. Dennis is a very powerful person. Next week it’s his 80th birthday. They’re holding a party for him at the Cancer Help Centre. Chloe and Tabby are going to sing. They’ve been practising at two in the morning. We even have a night-time flute trio, Chloe, Tabs and me. This is remarkable since neither of them play the flute and can’t sight-read to save their lives. They make it all up. Big LOLS, though must be said, I am the one carrying the gig.
Dennis lent me a book called ‘Dying to Be Me.’ It’s about a woman’s near-death experience while she was in a coma. Her description of a freely roaming, hugely expanded consciousness sounds very much like an acid trip. She came out of it having communicated with her father and dead friend, completely cured of her rampant lymphoma and determined to be her, to be authentic, to speak her truth without fear.
It was Gwanny’s 78th birthday on the 4th of June. We met in Walden for second-hand and junk shops. I asked her to tell me again the story of her birth. Her mother, Peggy, gave birth to enormous Bobby, her sixth child, sighed with relief and said, ‘How wonderful. Now we will have three children on either side of the table.’ Then she had another contraction and said to the midwife, ‘Ooh, that was the worst delivery of the placenta I’ve ever experienced.’ The midwife said, ‘It’s not a placenta….it’s a wee girl!’ In those days, you never knew it if you were going to have twins. So my mum fairly messed up the desired symmetry of the table and had to squeeze in on a corner, poor wee Linty.
Grandalf has been off adventuring on his boat. He is deep into the west country already, past Newbury. He dropped in on Ray and Jane for a BBQ, has done millions of locks and is a whole load thinner.
Just had the most panicky half hour tipping the contents of every drawer in the house on the floor looking for Bashi’s passport. She claimed repeatedly: ‘I lits gave it to you after the ski trip.’ With a supreme amount of mental crunching, I realised that this was lies and abominations, as I never picked her up from the ski trip, it being my birthday Baroosh mojito frenzy. Fifteen minutes before she was due to leave I found the passport in an inner pocket of a small bag inside a holdall dumped in the corridor.
Oh, thank God I have given you at least part of my news. Sorry again; lots of love and feng shui winds to you all. I will never leave you hanging so long again, promise.