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Monday

Stayed awake last night because I had some heart palpitations. They are very short, but make me want to get up, so that I feel more normal. Emily called me at about 1pm and I was tired and said I wouldn’t be coming round. Called a support worker to say about last night but couldn’t get through. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Went for a walk in the park listening to Lily Alone. The narrator is an 11 year old girl who has to look after her much younger siblings when their mother goes away on holiday with a new man. My brother and I were also left alone in the house at a young age. I think I was about 8 when it first started happening, though just for a few hours until my parents came home from work, I think. It later became much more difficult. They were away for longer hours, and my brother treated me badly and I couldn’t make myself understood. I think my Mum feels that siblings fighting is natural, but she does regret leaving us on our own when we were small. But it was when we were older that it became a bigger problem for me. I’m interested in Lily’s story and like her character.

Went over to Emily’s. Sat out in the garden and smoked rollies with her. We got icecreams from the icecream van. I chose an oyster with a flake, and how I ate it amused Emily greatly.

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We sang bits of the Baby Shark song and wondered about the signs. I brought a chicken korma ready meal with me and had it at the kitchen table. Emily wanted me to eat it when they were having their chip shop chips and sausages, but put it in the microwave early, telling Gary to hurry up. I ate before them. Gary pointed out that I could always share it with the dog if I wanted to eat with someone. Which reminds me, I have a new joke from the book –

‘A man goes to a travel agent to book his summer holiday. ‘Last year you sold me a holiday to Bermuda and my wife got pregnant,’ says the man. ‘The year before it was Monte Carlo and my wife got pregnant again. And the year before it was Hong Kong and my wife got pregnant there as well.’ ‘I see,’ says the clerk ‘and what do you have in mind this year?’ ‘Somewhere cheaper,’ says the man ‘so she can come with me for a change.’

Emily, one of the sons and I found that one funny. I like how it works, because it makes you assume there is a connection that doesn’t exist. I think you could use it as an illustration of that type of joke because it’s so clear.

In the garden Emily watched the planes with utter fascination. I think she has spent so long in her room that the outside world is new to her again.

Drew for half an hour when I got in and then chatted to Phillip. He has to be up early tomorrow to get his Dad from the airport.

Here are my photos from today –

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And my drawing from this evening using the scented gel pens –

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And some a squirrel in the park –

 

 

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Wednesday

Watched an Oasis gig last night. I enjoyed it. I think most musicians don’t like Oasis and I find that interesting. I’ve heard their music described as ‘beery ballards’ and I don’t think that’s fair. It was good to be reminded of songs I used to listen to.

Woke up at 10.30am. Phillip called just after my alarm and was already here. I chose my widest shoes for Emily’s swollen foot and we went over to hers. Phillip stayed in the car and we went into the health centre. I read joke’s from the Tony Robinson history joke book. Emily tried reading some of it out loud, breaking down the words. Why couldn’t the pirate play cards? Because he was sat on the deck. What do cats eat for breakfast? Museli or Mice Krispies. It kept us amused in the waiting room. I went in with her for her blood test because she said she was scared. She looked at me in an intense way as the needle went in. It reminded me a bit of her severe asthma attack expression because she stared. I thought she would look right away from it, not at me. I think it helped that I was there. The nurse thought I was her support worker, though perhaps she was joking. She had her jab shortly afterwards then we were back in the car. She invited me and Phillip over for a cuppa but Phillip was tired and wanted to get back.

After we dropped her off he said that he likes being around dogs that he knows are well trained, but not if they aren’t. He is worried about strange dogs biting him or jumping up. I assured him that Molly posed no threat, doesn’t jump up. Molly hobbles around. I don’t think she could jump up if she tried. I said that and then realised that’s not very reassuring, the point is she’s a gentle dog. This evening he agreed to go over there tomorrow so I think it was more that he was tired.

We both fell asleep when we got in. When we woke up we went for a walk around the park. Took photos and filmed squirrels. Phillip became a squirrel spotter and knew to approach them quietly. Here’s my video –

He told me that yew trees are the oldest in Britain, saying that it’s because they grow in church yards. I’m not so sure about the second bit. A tree that can grow really old, will sometimes grow really old anywhere. The few protected in churchyards ought not to determine the fact. I suspect it’s Christian Chinese whispers.

Drew for half an hour when I got in. I thought Phillip would detect my scented pens but he did not. Then we went to the new Lidel, and then Sainsbury’s to get all the ingredients for a Hairy Dieters jalfrezi. In Lidel Phillip accidentally smashed a cumin spice. Glass and spice scattered everywhere. He says he is stupid and useless a lot but didn’t say it on this occasion.

Phillip has made the curry with his Mum a few times, and they put portions in freezer bags. I liked it that his mum had put colour coded tabs throughout the book. I sat in the kitchen whilst he cooked, and then we watched a bit of Grand Designs. The curry was nice. I finished my beer and then I went up to write this.

I’m looking forward to seeing Emily tomorrow. Gary likes intimidating people a bit, and I hope he doesn’t make Phillip uncomfortable.

Here are my photos from today –

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And my drawing from this evening –

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Tuesday

Listened to Jacqueline Rolston’s Maelstrom as I got ready for my day. Went for a walk into town taking the short cut through the industrial estate that Phillip found. Walking through the park I found lots of mushrooms all in one place.

Listened to Lion Boy, then went to the library and returned it. I didn’t finish the story, just felt like listening to something new. I found a Jacqueline Wilson Playaway called Lily Alone and Tony Robinson’s history Joke Book. Went to Wilko and got a grey velvet notebook. Then went to Asda to get milk and got some scented gel pens too. Didn’t stop for coffee and I walked back.

At home I had a burger and a cup of tea and did some drawing listening to Radio 6. The pens smell good.

I have to be up at 10.30am tomorrow. Phillip has kindly agreed to take Emily to the health centre for a blood test and her jab. She had been worried about how she would get there with no money and a sprained ankle and is really grateful that Phillip is helping her.

Here’s my photos from the walk –

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And my drawings from this evening –

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Monday

Woke up to a fire alarm test at 1pm. Sleepy but remembered I said I might visit Emily. Gave her a call to see if she wanted me to bring a film and some CDs. She said the dog barks and whines when she goes to her room, so not to bring any. Took my joke book, watercolours, Rustlers burger and Mentos.

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Had a nice time with Emily. We stayed out in the garden most of the time. Her ankle looks very swollen, but she says the swelling has gone down since yesterday. She has bad period pain and pain from her ankle, but was fairly chirpy with it and glad to see me. I made her bed for her which she appreciated. Read my joke book in the garden. Emily chose twin jokes. Well, I used to be a twin. My mother has a photo of me when I was two. Emily and I found that one really funny, but maybe because of our mental health problems. Katie and later Philip didn’t find it very funny at all. In a way that’s nice because it’s a joke I can just remind Emily of.

Emily chose chat up lines and Katie shared two she knew, the heaven one and the alphabet one. A new one from the book –

‘Why don’t we break away from all this and lodge with my fleas in the hills – I mean flee to my lodge in the hills.’ – Groucho Marx

Katie wondered if anyone actually used chat up lines and Emily said a boy really said the ‘Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?’ to her and she had never heard it before. Aw.

When it got chilly we went indoors and I painted. She said that Katie (one of the daughters) lesbian friends is amazingly beautiful and I must stay until she arrives to see for myself. Katie found this kind of talk a bit awkward especially after Emily tried flirting with her, and said ‘All my friends are beautiful.’, which was an elegant solution.

Stopped off at the shop on the way back and got some ready meals, bread and a Lambrini.

Drew for a bit when I got in. I’m trying to remember how I felt using coloured fineliners whilst at uni, listening to the radio in my room, or drawing along with a book. A man is singing ‘Cold, Cold Heart’ on the radio. I’ve only heard Norah Jones’s version before. I love that song.

Had a sweet and sour chicken with rice and chatted to Alex who was off to his Mum’s for dinner. He said that unfortunately his Dad would be there too and that that ruins it a bit. He was writing down appointments in a diary which seemed old fashioned to me. Though at uni it was the norm, staff use appointment diaries all the time, and my parents believe in the power of Filofax. It’s just been a long time since I wrote down appointments in a diary.

Ash’s sore throat is glandular fever. She’s back from hospital and is staying at her boyfriend’s parents for a week whilst she recovers. She says it is contagious. Hope she feels better soon.

Chatted to Phillip for half an hour this evening. He is nearly done with his church writing but has given himself backache because he sat on his bed to type at his computer rather than the chair. When I asked why he said it was because he is stupid. Oh. Hope he feels better soon.

Here’s my watercolour colouring in –

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And a drawing from this evening –

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Thursday

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Started watched Desperate Housewives Season Four (2008) last night. I was able to concentrate on it well and I enjoyed it. When I first watched the programme my favourite character had to be Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), better known to me as Superman’s girlfriend! I was always half expecting some supernatural magic to occur simply because she was onscreen. I wasn’t disappointed that it didn’t because by then I was into the programme for itself.

Emily called at 11.30am waking me up. She wanted me to rush over, and I said I would come over but not rush. Took my joke book, watercolours and colouring in book. At the table in the garden we noticed a mysterious object.

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I said ‘ped’ means foot but Emily said she already knew it was for feet from the picture on it. We wondered for a while. Emily wanted to borrow it thinking it was for massage and I thought it was a pomice stone. She reached across the table, grabbed it and opened it up. Inside was a grater and skin flakes. In horror she clumsily shut it and pushed it far away. After we had recovered I said ‘Do you want a foot cheese and pickle sandwich?’. She slapped me on the leg and said that she would never be able to eat cheese and pickle sandwiches again. We finished our rollies and went indoors.

I did some watercolour colouring in, and we chatted and listened to music on the TV. We had a couple of Rustlers BBQ rib subs which were nice. Emily said she wanted to have a bath whilst everyone was still out, and asked me to go. She doesn’t like coming out of the bath when there are people in the house. Over my visits to Emily I’ve done quite a few pages of the colouring in book Mum gave me. Some I did at home, but mostly at Emily’s. Here they are –

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Today I mixed up more subtle colours and made watercolour peach. I had fun, and Emily liked watching me paint.

I told Emily about my dream. Lots of piglets packed into individual metal boxes. Then it turned out the boxes were metallic card. I kept a piglet. There was a competition which my piglet was good at, and the organisers were trying stop him entering. I wouldn’t let them, and kept my piglet safe from them. She said it sounded more like a nightmare. But it wasn’t. Just a weird dream. Heavily based on Babe but it was more like an average farm, not picturesque.

Back at home I knocked on Alex’s door but he wasn’t in. Did some painting. Walked to the shop to get some beer. There was a beautiful sky and the wet road was smudged with the colours from the lights. The checkout girl suspected the last customer of shoplifting something. Got some reduced doughnuts remembering how nice it was when Ben knocked on my door to offer me a doughnut.

Had sausages and mash for dinner, then looked forlornly in the fridge for a minute. Someone has eaten my other little strawberry cheesecake.

The sky sort of looked like this –

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And the road closely resembled this –

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Here’s the painting I did today –

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Phillip was on the phone for an hour this evening. Halfway through decided to doodle as we chatted. He mostly talked about the cleaning and other peoples commutes. Here are my stars –

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Tuesday 9th October

Watched Underworld’s KCRW session last night, which included an interview I hadn’t seen before. Scribble is really growing on me.

Woke up late. Karen was showing Alex, the new housemate around the property. She introduced me by saying I spend too much time in bed. Got ready for my day and went downstairs to say hi. He told me about his very difficult life and love of gerbils. He is hoping to keep them here, but I spoke to Emily and she said she asked to keep a hampster and wasn’t allowed. His gerbils are his friends, so I think it’s going to be tough saying goodbye to them. He went out and I decided to go to the pub for a bit. Took photos on the way there.

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Read my new joke book at the pub, marking jokes I like with orange dots and drinking a latte. Hot drinks always come with Smarties there. Emily and Phillip called. Emily has found that her room is too small for an air bed, so there won’t be a sleepover. She’s invited me round on Thursday and Phillip will be over that evening.

Found another conjoined Twiglet. Two in one bag! Maybe they made a change to their factory.

Back at home I painted for an hour and a half. Here’s my painting –

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And the photos I took on the way to the pub –

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Artist, to critic – ‘So what’s your opinion of my painting?’

Critic – ‘It’s worthless.’

Artist – ‘I know, but I’d like to hear it anyway.’

I had heard it before, but it’s a good one! I told Emily about my book and she told me a joke.

Two old ladies at a bar. One goes up to ask what band is playing. The bar man says ‘It’s country and western.’ One old lady asks the other who is playing, and she says ‘Some cunt from Preston.’

She told it well and it was funny. She said it was better than any joke in my joke book would be. I thought it would be fun to share the book with her when I visit. All the jokes are categorized, so she could choose the category.  I’ve shared The Little Book of Calm with her before and that was fun. I found that she follows a lot of the advice already, and I think it’s something she should be proud of.

One day my brother was going to throw out a big box of biros and pencils. I said I would have them, and sorted through them, sharpening them and keeping any biros that worked. My favourite rescued one was this blue Woolworths pencil. It makes me feel like a time traveller and I was using it today.

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Sunday

Watched Underworld in Bristol in 2016 last night. Really enjoyed the gig. As it began I opened my Twiglets and the first one was joined together. Never seen a Twiglet like it before in my life. Here it is –

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At 11pm my brother called on Facebook. I got to talk to his son Adam who was having his breakfast. He was able to have a little chat, which was lovely. Last time I saw him he was a baby. I had just heard of what he is like to talk to from my parents.

So weird to talk in real time with my brother when it’s night time here and it’s day there. He showed me round the house. They are all looking forward to Granny and Grandad’s arrival which will be really soon. Adam is a fan of fans so I showed him the electric fan in my room and he loved it.

Today I had a cheese sandwich for breakfast. Listened to Bjorks Post album whilst getting ready for my day. The Possibly Maybe song scared me when I was on drugs and I suddenly thought maybe I shouldn’t be listening to it. But it was fine, interesting to hear it again in my new frame of mind. I find it eerie but not frightening as I thought I might. My favourite song on the album is Isabel, same as before.

Then I did what I always seem to write I do, walked to the shop listening to Lion Boy and taking photos. Got a couple of currys, some Lambrini (an Emily drink), a chocolate sundae (Phillip has pudding everyday so I should have a pudding sometimes) and some other bits and bobs.

Waited for a father to finish scouring the reduced food and found 30p sushi, and a chicken wrap. Thought about popping into the pub on the way back and having a fruit tea like I did when my parents visited but wasn’t really feeling it. I used to go to the pub on my own and read my book, but I don’t think it will be the same as it used to be. Generally my life is better though.

At home drew for an hour. Spent some time trying to draw a realistic pointing finger and was disappointed with it, but afterwards the pointing fingers I drew my way are passable.

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Chatted to Phillip. He has a headache. His Mum’s crafting things fell on his head whilst he was on the computer. So he was only on the phone for 15 minutes. He had a nice time at the school reunion. He always shows people my picture and tells me what they say. I think he either thinks I have low self esteem in that way OR has prepared one script of what to say to a girlfriend and hasn’t bothered changing it for me. I assume the latter.

Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction has just come on Radio 6. I love this song. So anyway quite a chilled out day as they say.

Here are the photos I took on my walk –

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I’ll watch another Underworld gig tonight. I don’t know any Underworld fans and as well as watching the gig, it’s nice seeing them on mass.

I saw a CD in my brothers room when I was a kid and liked how the bands name contained the word Ro backwards. I read the band name backwards like a message for me. I thought the CD cover was the most interesting thing in my brothers room. The writing was deliberately uneven, and I loved it. It made me feel that imperfection is a good thing and my name was contained within that imperfection.