I have not spoken to a soul in four days. I am what you might call solitary. People like me come under a great deal of suspicion. I probably am mentally ill but for other reasons. In any case, I would be very unwise to even explore the possibilities of that since Hackney is the worst place in the country to be mentally ill in, apparently. I only put that ‘apparently’ in there because I seem to remember it’s not grammatically correct to end a sentence with a preposition and I don’t have time to reword the entire thing, or qualify the statement but you can look in the Hackney Gazette if you don’t believe me.
Recently I reread a lovely book called Solitude by Anthony Storr which was given to me a couple of years ago by my very lovely and highly sympathetic sister. It’s a book that helps you feel OK about the fact that most of the time you have no desire to speak to anyone and leave your friends to respond to a discombobulated harridan who claims to be an ‘answering machine’. I got one of those new multiple phone systems before I found out they caused brain damage. In my case the risk is probably low that they will make the slightest difference. The system is far too complicated to master so I only use the basic functions and the speaking clock circa 1935 voice acts as a very able gatekeeper. Most people hang up and some venture that they may have the wrong number and apologise profusely. Few leave messages.
Since this is likely to be my last winter in
It is a terrible decision and I am gripped with fear about it, for days on end usually. I have not done my personal tax return. I hope my accountant is not reading this. I cannot seem to recall how it is done. This happens to me every year but I’ve normally remembered by September and now I’ve not only missed the self-assessment deadline but the cut-off for submitting online. I’m already formulating an appeal in my head for an extension which will be completely unnecessary because I owe no personal tax. It’s a simple form and I can’t fill it out.
I can still write though. Since it is the reason for all this personal upheaval it would be justification for suicide if I could not. It is probably the reason why I resent the obligation to fill out forms or do the washing up. I want my headspace to be occupied by nothing else but writing. I feel unsafe a lot of the time. I don’t mean I’m afraid to go out. Even though I live in Hackney and am a woman of advanced years, I think nothing of staying out until the early hours and taking the night bus home.
I don’t know the first thing about psychology but I am reasonably certain that extra people in my life are probably not going to make it better. I have trouble enough coping with the ones that are there already.
They say you should write about what you know. I took this literally for a long time and wrote two novels based on my personal experiences. They weren’t autobiographies but situations distorted to reflect a particular point of view in a way that my favourite authors had done. For the last three years I’ve been working on my ‘
It was surprisingly easy to come into contact with gangsters, drugs and bullfighters in southern
Fabulous cartoon from www.markstivers.com