Here on Edge in deepest Sussex, everything is announcing the fact of the Spring's arrival and suddenly the apple tree is again covered with a dusting of green. The long, long winter means that many things will grow very well after all that deep, nourishing sleep. My Good Friday buns neighbour is out every day with her grandchildren, gardening, her favourite thing to do. My other neighbour is re-building his extension. In the village there are two new cafe places, one macrobiotic and the other full of artisan breads, deli whatnots and outrageously handsome cakes. I wonder how much longer I can describe myself as living on edge when every time I look another bijou place has opened and what with antique shops, estate agents, upmarket eateries, not to mention a film society that has won all the awards, never mind that it is still on slightly uncomfortable chairs in the village hall (but that is part of its charm, and you can get wine and organic chocolate to have while you watch). You get the picture. The scruffy cottages that make up part of the delightful and crater-ridden bit of unadopted road where I live are where the not-so-well-off and living-on-a-shoestring people are. We no longer fall into the latter category but don't have enough money to get the house re-wired, new boiler etc. Well how could we with second home and Lamborghini to maintain? Only joking about the Lamborghini, but you know. Can I still really claim to be a margin-dwelling hippy punkster in the middle of all this? Yes I bloody well can, courtesy of an exclusive (actually fairly inclusive) and fascinating-to-nobody-but-the-Afflicted- Elect neurological disease. I am still on Edge and the solitary forest walks that I can't wait to take up again, soon please, have a particular meaning for me.
And further: were I to be, for some reason that no-one can possibly imagine, made suddenly well and whole and cast into obscenely rude health, for which believe me I still pray daily (because I do not, will never accept the situation, in spite of all the clear evidence stacked against me, sorry Gawd, and especially sorry Buddha) then I will keep a goodly portion of my Edge-acquired introverty habits. Nothing very much will change. I will just be able to work - and swim, and walk where and when I please, and everything will be illuminated.
I will be giving a reading in London on Saturday at the Second Light Spring Festival, courtesy of my prize-winning poem, and I have to decide which poems to bring. Feeling strangely nervous about it. Not as though I haven't done readings before, but never in the Smoke. There will be some terrific poets there. Afterwards I will stay with my good London writerfriend and we will talk, as we always do, about The Writing. Next day being Mothering Sunday, I will go to Daughter's flat for breakfast, and from thence back to the Edge, with Son. All good things and, as always, I rely on the angels to get me through.
Lovely Montag has told me that the person I referred to as Renaissance Dame is actually Sibil of Delphi, "seriously appalled by what the news of the Future is, and she realizes it just might be too late." Ach! Or, as my dear old grandma, might have said: dass fehlt uns noch! So I won't put her up again. You were getting sick of the sight of her anyway, weren't you, be honest. And you don't really want to hear any more of the Mozart's Mass either, do you? I can just tell. Well never mind, I am putting up the Mozart's Ave Verum (we are singing that too), with the score, so you can sing it - as I will be doing, tonight.
But now I go to make cabbage and potato soup. It's what you do when Abel and Cole keep giving you Savoy cabbages, and we do have to eat. There is always that.