Tuesday, April 29, 2008

TRAVELLING


I’ve been on the road for years, well the best part of five, and the idea of settling on solid earth is fascinating; my mind is running with streams of images and the possibilities are endless – there will be no patterns on my walls; I want to be surrounded, in that new place, with memories. I also dream of organisation and industry...from me. Hope lives here.

19th April 2005
On a Virgin train to Bristol

Grey clouds under white; the sky is thick with British summer-time. I’m travelling backwards; there’s more time to think about what’s before you, like tiny lambs that are just a crumb on the landscape, and screaming fields of rape blaring at you. Across the world a grandson is stomping around beneath a blue sky and I’m on my way to join him. This trip, I’ve learned to tell the difference between the songs of the robin and the blue-tit, and a larch tree from a birch (not silver – I’m not that bad). Also I was reminded how to make a white sauce; I haven’t done that since I was in school. I come away from this month in Devon a wiser woman.

May 18th 2005
Back to work in lovely Budleigh Salterton

It always surprises me when I arrive at a new place that even though the house might be sparkling and clean there are basic stuff that isn’t done; when I got here the out-going carer was listing and worrying about everything and anything, but the mugs were stained and the fridge full of white-label food! And the washing-up liquid was watered down again. I like her but she is bringing the client down to her level rather than keeping them at the level to which they are accustomed.

May 21st 2005

I'll do a writing exercise to jump-start the novel again; haven't touched it for many, many months - every time I decide to work on it I change the format or the focus or some bloody thing or other; I can't even get to the middle of it never mind the end! I'm not just a lazy writer; I'm a lazy everything; artist, potter, photographer. The job I do to earn a living consists of me keeping the elderly company in front of their telly! I try to be some kind of productive by crocheting or sewing patchwork - life is just too diverse. I can't finish anything, except blankets.

June 2nd 2005
Budapest for Bree’s hen-party.

The first meal I had was Chinese! Lovely, and only 900ft which included a glass of beer; that’s about £2.43, in a little fast-food buffet just along from St Stephen’s Basilica. So far, I’m not terribly impressed with the city. My hotel is pretty crumbly and tatty, in fact quite a lot of the place is like that - Budapest could do with refurbishing. Now I’m sitting at a pavement café and have just paid 700ft for a cup of tea! It was Earl Grey though. I’ve got to sort this money out. I think bloody Travelex have done me; I just don’t know where it’s all gone, and now I’m confused about the value of the forint.

1st December 2005

God knows what I’ve just eaten on this plane…and what the hell is Emmental cheese? At first glance I thought it said elemental. There were 14 E numbers in that sandwich, and it tasted like nothing, with a hint of ham. 7 euros for a sandwich and a cup of tea!

Jan 1st 2007
Three weeks in Glasgow

Again I wonder what the hell I am doing, wandering around the world, homeless, rootless, when I’m fast approaching sixty; and then I think, I’ve got years to sit doing nothing in some old-folks home. Though I’m sure I’d have them all doing arty-crafty stuff and turn the place into a growing concern, selling artwork, greeting cards and performing poetry. I’m beginning to fall apart; tomorrow, someone at the gastroenterology department is going to chuck a camera down my throat and check for inappropriate behaviour of my body against itself. I’ve been tidying out some of my life, trying to remember stuff and get it written down for my children, and I have got rid of a lot of junk - but I keep buying more.

April 29th 2008
From my cave

I might have stopped moving, for now, but I’m still travelling in my mind; I see the lovely new flat, the stretch of floorboards and empty walls – Loch Lomond, are you ready for me?

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