24th - 25th Sept
Best to have a decent song if you're going to have a Channel 4 exclusive I feel.
Watched Gardener's World for the first time in ages. Just saw the end of it really, from channel flicking after watching Will & Grace. Is it wrong that I find Jack so attractive?
Monty's looking well, but LB called so I turned the sound down.
Fickle, fickle, fickle.
Have taken on a discipline. About money. The saving vs. spending of same. So, will pay myself Â£50 a week. Will clear my credit card and not be overdrawn.
A cheque for Â£24 arrived.
Am owed Â£160 expenses.
Plus Â£100 petrol money.
Will claim that Monday. Plus the college hasn't replied about refunding my fees yet. Will phone them on Monday too.
So the fact that I failed miserably on the first day out and bought a merino sweater and a gilet - one peridot, one pale leaf green, well. It's difficult. Dealing with overwhelming feelings. Especially when you find an elegant peridot woollen sweater that will make your gun metal velvet skirt zing. I mean, what's a gal to do?
Vow to keep out of shops for the duration of the discipline.
Okay, until the January sales.
How's that for will power?
Reasons to live - January sales. Oh yes.
It all started so promisingly. The effect of taking on a discipline on one thing is that other wee niggly things get done. Like actually crushing the 6 weeks worth of washed tin cans you've got on the dish rack and taking them for recycling.
Glorious Saturday morning. The bright ochre sun and the sparkling moon out dancing together. I feel fabulous when I see them both in the daytime. Magic in the air.
I lasted well, discipline-wise, food shopping after the recycling bins. Although the clear glass bin was full, so missed out on the satisfyingly cathartic crash and smash reward.
Food shopping is a whole new experience when you've just been paid your Â£40 (as spent Â£10 in Asda the day before. I can be strict when I want to be), and only have Â£22 left. (Due to Friday night ticket for Blazing Fiddles, round of drinks, share of taxi fare home). Well not a new experience, more a remembrance of things past; student and unemployed days.
Hummus seemed a luxury, even at 64p.
The return of the rant rave of the price of organic fruit and vegetables. I still bought the apples, but why is it 80p more for washing up liquid that won't scald dolphins?
Still bought it.
For fishy friends.
56p extra to support chickens having happy lives.
The choices of the day.
For all our relations.
Daily acts of faith that they are telling me the truth and not lying through their teeth about the happy chickies.
Say 'I believe.'
My mind goes to the people who actually have to live on this amount of money a week, I look around me and see many of them, and I feel like a spoiled brat.
How the other half live right enough.
I take my miniscule shopping home and decide the garden can wait, I'm tired and want to be amongst trees. Escape at all costs.
I go to Drum castle and stand inside the spiral tree. I tell it how beautiful it is. Although another rupture has happened in one of it's buttress branches this summer.
It has three buttresses, but two are symmetrical and thick and look like giant arms holding it up. Like a pensioner getting up out of a chair, pushing up with their arms spread on a table, elbows bent outwards.
It drops a leaf on me just as I'm thinking 'must take a leaf and find out what kind of tree this is at last.'
The Horizontal and Cathedral yews are brimming with tubular coral red berries and the rowans are heavy. Bad Winter coming.
The young Oaks and Hazels that I had to duck under last year make a shady corridor up the hill now. Sprouted to beautiful leggy adolescence. A tunnel of delight. It crosses my mind that green eyes would still have to duck. He's so tall, so beautiful and looks fantastic in a white tee shirt.
I do a quick tour of Drum castle, it won't be open for much longer. Then I drive to 'The Millers'. A sell-it-all, at extortionate prices, in the middle of the country. I buy the green tops there. It was green beauty overwhelm after the forest walk, what was I supposed to do?
It crosses my mind that if I didn't carry my Switch card about, then it wouldn't have happened.
Who am I kidding, I'd just have gone back and bought them on Sunday.
I am in the flow this weather.
So in the flow I stay in on Saturday night and read and potter about. No crashing fears, no panic. Just me.
And my LB texts.
Sunday. Glorious Autumn day. I put Erasure on the iPod and my anti-nettle trousers and go to hunt for brambles. I find heaps of them, big full black berries. I pick for an hour, before 3pm, before the goodness sinks back into the ground, then I buy organic lemons and sugar from Asda. The sun is so beautiful in an azure sky. I'm just thinking, God it's good to be alive when my phone chimes it's fairy chime.
LB text: do I want to come to America with him in November for the next level of the love, sex and intimacy course, and can he phone me tonight about 9 to talk about it.
9 is fine I say, but I can't.
There is hospital and being responsible in my November.
I think, in my sexist thoughts of men, well this is the test. Best to find out now. If my new friend, whom I love dearly, is going to bolt at the mention of hospitals, scars and recuperation.
Best to find out now.
My hands are shaking as I press send.
Best to find out now.
Being a word famous bolter myself, I assume it in others, and bolt first.
Because who'll want me?
I go to the apple sale at Pitmedden Garden. Ancient varieties of apples grown in the walled garden. I walk into the fruit marquee and it smells sublime. All the pears are gone, I want apples anyway. Â£1.50 from the budget, can just manage it. To make breakfast compote.
The afternoon is magically beautiful and the moon is in the sky again. There is an amazing skyline of trees and spectacular clouds, steely grey in the distance, but it's azure and sunny above. I reckon we have maybe 40 minutes of this spectacular light before it pours.
I go down the stairs, which have crescent moons and then hearts shaped into the stone landings, and make my way to the far left hand corner of the par terre garden. I so long to guerrilla seed it with twisting spiral fast growing plants. Nasturtiums. They'd be great. Garish and mad.
I hate it's primped anti-nature anal wee hedges. I want to take a bite out of them. Leave 'Gnasher' teeth marks all along their hedgery pockery.
On the way to the furthest away seat, I pass a purple aster bush, pulsing with red admirals. Sun bathing and drinking nectar, it looks like the burning bush. Like it's breathing, their wings pulsing all together. Like it's some underwater garden, waves of wings making it shimmer. It's mesmerising.
I sit in the seat in the sunshine. The wood is lovely and warm on my back. Even on sunny days there is a comfort in leaning against something warm. The acoustics bring the music to me without the noise of the people or the stink of the barbecue, and I write for a while.
A wee robin comes right up close to me, right at my feet. Checking me out. So cheeky and close. So charming. They are my favourite birds. He lives in the ancient Yew to my right. Captain of this part of the garden. What a lot of noise the robin brings the Yew. But it keeps it alive and vibrant, in it's dull emerald greenness. Sacred afternoon.
LB phones at 8, not 9. Am in the middle of making the jam. It takes me longer than a normal person to put my boundary in place and ask can I call him back coz I'm making bramble jelly. I feel so rude and boring. I feel like a dork. All my celebration of Autumn sunshine gone under the weight of my ego. Who makes jam nowadays?
People with no lovers.
We hang up but it's ruined, bramble toffee, and half of it down my front, but I don't care.
I call him back, he's curious about how to make jam and why the timing is critical. I am able to tell him as if I am full of sexy culinary wisdom, like Nigella, and not the owner of a bramble toffee tee shirt.
He doesn't mention course or America, he just asks me,
"What are you going into hospital for?, then
"Do you have someone to look after you?
He's a wee sweetie, my LB.
Until his mobile goes off and he wants to pick up. It's his friend who's just back from level one of the course this weekend. She's full of the joys of the not quite sex of it. I hear him say he'll call her back. We're on to other topics by that time anyway and I ask him what he does for a living.
"Do you mind if I tell you another time, I'm a bit distracted about my friend and want to call her back.
"Sure. I hear myself say.
She's skinny and gorgeous and he's in love with her is what I'm thinking.
But that's not what I say.
What else, but "Sure.