No blog yesterday, nothing wrong, perhaps just a bit of a bloggage in the system. Mrs CD returned from her work assignment on Friday night and pronounced my chicken with butter bean soup excellent - all was smiles.
Yesterday, a visitation from the Drunk parents - both of whom are practically teetotal as it happens. This always makes me nervous and jumpy. I know what pain and worry I've caused them over the years; how much I am indebted to them in many ways, financially not least; but I know also that I have a few problems with them. I said that in going back to counselling I don't want to dwell on the past so I shouldn't do here. However, I do remain angry about some of my growing up - nothing but the tiniest of things, but they weigh heavy on you sometimes.
And. And, we had a super day out. We drove to Penarth (it's walkable if you've got the time) to find the town celebrating its summer festival. Mrs CD wanted to visit an exhibition by Joe Magee. Normally, a modern art show would trigger an automatic sneer in me, but the absence of drink seems to have sent my cynical side on a stroll. It was only a small show, but the premise was clever and the pictures produced were haunting and affecting.
Magee took films of passing trains and captured the faces of passengers, sampling them and overlaying them with reflected images from train windows. The faces, rendered in black and white with very heavy shadows, framed in the curved squares of British train windows and swathed in leaves, trees and so on from the passing countryside had quite an emotional impact. Trains and train stations carry this weight - places of departure and meeting and journeys of hope, expectation or dread accompanied by strangers. I used to love watching my fellow passengers on trains and wondering what their stories were.
We ate at a little sea-front Italian, listening to another table complaining about their food - no garlic and no chili she said. Our pasta was just fine and dandy thanks.
Then a stroll up to the clifftops for an open air art show by local club members - lots of water colour views and even some semi-erotic oil paintings, which certainly stood out in genteel Penarth. My mum can't stop being a geography teacher many years after retirement and surveyed the North Somerset coast where my father spent his youth - largely holidaying at Weston Super Mare, a favourite day trip for us all when my brother and I were small enough to be entertained by cricket on the flat sands. I seem to recall my brother being quite a ruthless batsman on such occasions, being happy to compile enormous scores against a fielding side of just Dad and I.
I'm still jumpy about the neighbours, but am learning to live with it. Saturday night saw a stream of kitchen roll dumped in our front garden, triggering my awful we're-under-siege-paranoia. I dread weekends because I know that children will be about and doing their screaming thing all day but yesterday was quiet as can be. The school holidays will kick off soon and I'm trepidatious but determined to develop Mrs CD's insouciance - they're NOT INTERESTED IN YOU, don't be so interested in them - narcissism and persecution are close friends I think.
The blow came in a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, who have decided I am well enough to work, and informed me that I'd already received one letter telling me this. I haven't, so will have to ring them on Monday morning and try to lodge an appeal. I saw my doctor last week who told me another two month sick note would be appropriate. They sent me the results of my questionnaire and I was far too easy going with it - I was drunk at the time, of course, so I can say my condition has changed. The greatest disappointment is that for the moment I can no longer access the services of Pathways which felt like a gentle and ordered progress towards returning to work.
The stark alternative of course is to work. Freelance writing's the aim, so, that must start.
I hope you're as well as can be expected and if you spent it, thank you for your time.