Sunday, April 21, 2013
This morning I was looking out on a Brighton sun-day, after a properly muscular mug of coffee and a roll-up, thinking that this may after all be the best of all possible worlds and if freedom time cometh not soon then perhaps it is already here. Catch me later in the day and there might be a different picture. The weather could have changed, the coffee will have worn off and I would be thinking sensible, depressing thoughts about the roll-ups. Seize the day and fritter it, is what I was thinking. The day never allows much of itself to be seized in any case so I need as much fun as can reasonably be packed into a couple of hours. This means breakfast in one of those cafes where the croissants and bacon are crisp and they are generous with the coffee refills followed by a walk along the sea-front with an ice cream cone. Fun usually always involves food of some kind. Well I can report that a fabulous breakfast has been had, plus freshly squeezed OJ, and look - the view from the window post noon is still sunlit and I am, dear reader, on account of breakfast top-up, still caffeinated - just. A walk along the sea-front was a step too far because, although these windows allow you to believe you're in the south of somewhere other than England in April, it is still cold out there, and windy. I am still having a good time. The great upside of chronic illness is that those windows of time when one doesn't feel wrecked are almost always good. The world is charged with the grandeur of God (Gerard Manley Hopkins). The world is charged with life - and also sometimes caffeine (Signs).
Good times used also to mean booze and hanging out with friends - my thirtieth birthday party was a champagne breakfast in my Bethnal Green flat. BG is trendy these days, but it wasn't then, you could buy a flat cheaply and - oh halcyon days - pay the mortgage on it even if you didn't have a proper job. This year I will be twice that age. I no longer do booze apart from the occasional small glass of wine. I do friends, but given certain restrictions one doesn't hang out in quite the same way, and a window of blue sky and sun, watching Brightonians cross the road to buy newspapers or milk at the corner shop, can feel as though one has been at a very pleasant social gathering. One doesn't have the voices, true, but the voices in one's head are (mostly) very good company and often illuminating. Joan of Arc might have said the same, before they burned her. Time for a herb tea, I think.