Wednesday, April 27, 2011

late bluebells

A season of intemperate brain squall, of which all one can say is that it will pass, like weather. The late bluebells are nice.

The bluebell remark is really to indicate a disinclination to communicate anything of substance right now. I could speculate on the reasons for this, but then I would be communicating something of substance. Heigh ho. My inner (is there an outer?) introvert seems to be in the ascendant, pressing me, perhaps, to husband my resources for various tasks I have laid on myself. I have made this sound a little heavy, but they are tasks that I wish to engage with wholeheartedly and with as much strength as I can bring to them.

When a theatre is between one production and the next, I think it is described as being "dark", and this is one of those times in the Theatre of Signs.

Be seeing you sooner or later.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

breathing the spring

Not meaning to be a wilting tulip here but blogger is still in anti-poetry mode, and the Moment has now passed. I discovered that the squashed version of the poem thing I meant to put up and then deleted is still on Googlereader. Wha'evah!

So where was I? I am on the edge of this amazing, ancient forest that becomes intense at this time of year, breathing the spring at you like some fine and fragrant lover so you could almost lose yourself in it and if you didn't have M.E. then you really might just do that. Even with M.E., even from the window or walking a short distance - it's good. The postvirals keep piling up in one though, and Mr. Signs has been under the weather. So it still feels as though one is waiting for the winter to go, for the year to begin. But I have, so to speak, been preparing the ground and adding to my new opus, bit by bit, keeping it alive-alive-oh - much easier this time, as the roots are autobiographical. I have ordered a long out-of-print German children's story from Abebooks (Deutschland) and am excited about this for the substance of it is in what I am writing and I haven't seen it since I was about seven years old. The book must have got lost in one of our many moves but I carried it in my consciousness along with the other important stories, the fairy tales.

De-cluttering is still on the agenda, and probably should be hereafter, as a matter of routine, because I feel the difference. Objects have a forcefield of energy around them and take up psychic space. Plans are in place for the (modest, perforce) re-organisation of Signs Cottage. For the time being I am perching myself with notebooks (no computer) in Son's room, he only using it occasionally as he lives in London now. I am near to the sky and look over treetops. It is not only outer space that must be organised and claimed - inner space too needs this attention.

I saw the liver specialist this morning, following the most auspicious of blood test results - the meds are working, PBC under control, no liver transplant on the horizon. But we can't, he shrugs, do anything about the fatigue. Some people have transplants for that reason alone, but of course in your case - . Need we say more? Not that he knows much about M.E., looks baffled at the idea that autoimmune disease may be connected and, really, I cannot be arsed to enlighten him, nor would he be interested. There is a coffee machine in the waiting area, I press the button that says Mocha, help myself to a biscuit, make an appointment at the desk to come back next year. Done and dusted, like one's shelves.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I put up a post, poem and all. But Blogger is not allowing line breaks of any kind right now. Just squashes everything together. I have noticed this and tried to get round it by going into Html. Tant pis - tired now. Will try again anon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Prognosis (2)

Life is what happens while you're making other plans and waiting for viruses (please don't tell me the plural is viri - I looked it up, and it isn't) to fade away. But sometimes there is the spooky sense that life is a long-playing record (you probably don't remember those) where the needle gets stuck and repeats things over and over. Spying on myself this time last year, blog post reads:

Life is disconcertingly beautiful right now, primarily because of spring and all its attendant glories of bud, leaf and clear sky after such a long and unforgiving winter that it seemed the White Witch had gotten dominion and even I (one of its greatest erstwhile fans) turned my back on it.

You said it, Signs-of-Yesteryear - and snap, it's just about the same situation this year. Are you surprised? You weren't to know, but we had another White Witch of a winter, probably longer and harder than the one you just experienced, and don't you know everything is lovely in the garden again. But from my vantage point of being one year ahead of you I just have to say: no matter how disconcertingly beautiful Life looks to you right now, S-o-Y, most of your optimistically visualised plans and projects will not come to anything very much because White Witch will still hold sway in the realm of your neurologically diseased body; you will have to give up the swimming, your own personal Graded Exercise Therapy, which you have convinced yourself represents some new way forward; at this very point when all the tree in you is preparing to open up exquisite and radiant, there are elements waiting to cut, shrivel and freeze you, branch, leaf and flower, people and situations you should not trust, bitter lessons to learn (and really, it is high time). But dammit, I rather like you, and with a few caveats am set on almost the same road that you were: with the plans, I mean - the Writing.

Recent virus seems to have manifested some kind of afterbirth, or left a dark shadow of itself behind. Choir practice last night left me flattened and coughing, I left early, probably to the relief of the altos and tenors on either side of me. Another dental appointment cancelled (he will stop loving me, for sure), glands up, throat hot - etc. Saturday is several hours of afternoon rehearsal followed by concert. How shall I manage it and what would you do, Signs-of-Yesteryear - you'd go for it, wouldn't you - take drugs and go for it, eh girl, and believe in the best of all possible outcomes? We're so alike.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

how to win

House of Signs is having a winning streak. Fifteen minutes before the start of the race, Mr. Signs decided to have a flutter on the Grand National. We chose two horses, put a fiver on each and one came second so basically we have got back what we spent, plus £1.25. Not a lot one can get for that, and Mr. S treated himself to a Feast ice lolly which cost £1.20, so we are richer now by 5p, and I don't think you can even get a box of matches for that. But never mind, for the Signs are Auspicious - as this undoubtedly proves. If the horse had come first they would have been even more Auspicious and the winnings might have paid for a meal out, but I'm not complaining - a win is a win. I didn't follow the race very well, caught by the sight of the riderless horses, beautiful creatures, as they carried on galloping around the track, no-one to tell them that there was any reason for them to stop.

This king and queen of all colds is having a party in me but just now I don't care. It will pass and I have decided to apply my parking spaces capability to the rest of life. Have I told you about this? I began to develop it after someone told me that whenever she said, "hail Mary full of grace, please give me a parking space" one always manifested for her, and this even though she was by no means a Believer. Of course I had to try this out for myself - and it worked, even when I didn't bother about saying the hail Mary, just kind of expected a parking place to manifest. Ah well, perhaps there are times when it doesn't, but the significant times (ones I choose to remember) are when it does, and expecting a good outcome is better all round than fearing a bad one. Either way can make one bonkers, but who in their right mind would want to choose the path that leads to anxiety disorder? And the Signs, as has been demonstrated (and I have the 5p to prove it) are auspicious. It's good to win.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


So, nasty muscle-paining, throat-swelling, nose-blocking, head-swimming virus thing is back, and I've more or less only just got over the last one. wtf? Sorry about textspeak, but allowances should be made in the circs. For years, I have never really got proper colds as such and fondly imagined that if I ever did it would be a healthy Sign. This, however, is not that. Patience, patience, my soul, all will be well and all manner of thing shall (and will) be well - in the next incarnation perhaps, even if not in this one.

Plans, plans - I don't think I will be going anywhere in the next few days. Another workshop, the last of this run - cancelled. A dental appointment tomorrow also cancelled. The receptionist informed me of the 48-hour cancellation policy and that a fee would therefore be due (and please bear in mind that I pay big, big money here, this is the Rolls Royce of dental surgeries). How much, I asked, was the fee. The full whack? Because if so, then I would uncancel, come along and breathe on everyone but it was only fair to warn them that I was probably quite infectious (sneeze). Wait, wait, she said, I'll just have a word. Mumble, mumble. Well, she said, if you're genuinely ill, then it's ok - don't come. What, no fee then? No. Which is a relief, because though the idea is very amusing, in truth I wouldn't have been up for it.

I've been in bed with cat and Kindle. Have downloaded Mill on the Floss for free and remembered that this is one of the Kindle perks. You can get all the classics you want for free - anything published before the copyright laws kicked in. So I have been reading - but only because I already know the book. Head not really up to it, or this, but being ill is so very, crucifyingly boring as well as being unpleasant.

Friend and helper-in-the-house came to clear out and rearrange the kitchen cupboards this morning. Big plates which were always at the back and therefore difficult for a muscle-challenged person to reach are now at the front. Either my friend has extraordinary intelligence or I have extraordinary lack of it. Whatever, just knowing that the cupboards are clean and clear has got to be marvellous Feng Shui.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I think I was beginning to forget about the seasons and the fact that one doesn't always live in winter or post-winter when there is no more snow or ice but the cold goes on until one just takes it for granted that this is how it is and will be. Today being properly fine and lovely I took my first real walk of the year, this made doubly attractive by the invitation to have cake and vanilla-infused coffee at a friend's house. I have a hot, scratchy feeling in my throat and a buzzing in the limbs that threatens something or other, but I am ignoring it - not in the sense of doing anything stupid, but sometimes these virusy shadows move on without turning into the real thing and if I pay it no attention it might just naff off.*

I have been doing too much but so it goes. No way that I could have missed the readings in London, which took place at the Art Workers Guild in one of those lovely squares surrounded by Georgian houses. Trying to remember if I ever won first prize at anything before: some kind of ski-ing competition when I was fifteen comes to mind - a race I should never have won and can't think for the life of me why I thought to enter it. But in a race like that it is quite clear - first one through the barrier wins it. A poem depends in large part on the person judging (thank you, Myra Schneider, who I met for the first time on Saturday). That night I stayed over at my friend's house and talked about The Writing: friend is on the brink of lovely things to do with her completed novel, with associated heady feelings of joy, and also a kind of vertigo. I am also on the brink - of something I feel I can properly commit to, even though it is still early days, however long it takes me. Next day, at the Daughter's flat after celebratory mother's day breakfast, there was an impromptu reading of a play she had just written and was preparing to send off - Son, Daughter's boyf and me taking the three parts. Fun! Afterwards, an arduous Sunday journey back to the Edge.

And life goes on - the other life, I mean, the spaces on the wall calendar that fill up with dental and blood test appointments, Signs Cottage repair work, choral practice, workshops (and I have just realised I need to get a poem writ by Saturday), whatnots, and the long spaces where one must do nothing or very little other than monitor the progression of dust motes from bedroom window, not the bit of life where one actually sits down and does The Writing. But this is what I intend to do, by hook or by crook, and by a bit of cunning re-organising of actual, physical space.

Watch this space.

* update on virusy shadow which has, in the space of a few hours, turned into a complete bastarding cold. So the not paying any attention to it didn't work. Dang and blast.