Saturday July 17, 2004
With the perversity so often exhibited by the British weather, summer ended approximately five hours after I decided to take a break from online activities. It’s been a miserable, wet, overcast and chill world these past few days. My plans for cycle and car outings were thwarted and I’ve done little else but sit home, glower out of the window, and read.
And, now that the start of a new accounting period with my ISP means that I have another 150 hours of online time available to me over the next month and so can resume doing the online things I enjoy, it looks as if the weather system we’ve been not enjoying so much might be breaking up and turning back to being summer again. I’ve come to enjoy an element of predictable perversity in my life, whether it comes from bloody-minded ISPs or the British weather system.
We did take a trip to Lincoln on Thursday so that Graham could get some reading spectacles and we could both enjoy an hour in Starbucks, sipping coffee and watching people. Otherwise, nothing. Apart from that one outing I’ve hardly taken the cameras out of their cases, and my bike hasn’t left the garage once—I like it being all clean and sparkly and I’m determined it shall not get wet and manky.
A dour and joyless break, then. Except, of course, that it wasn’t. I enjoy my time at home as much as I love going out and watching the world. It’s just that I prefer a happier balance and am singularly ill-equiped for any extended period of shut-in existence. I ought to look at that, I suppose. Perhaps I will, perhaps I won’t. We need something to hate in this strange world of ours.
Yesterday brought the sudden realization that I’d let the sixth anniversary of the online journal pass without any kind of ceremony or recognition at all. The truth is, I forgot it. Can’t escape it, though. Six years ago, on the fifth of this month in 1998, I made the first online entry, with the able assistance and support of Harry Cat. Six years is a long time in the life of the Internet, and a long period over which to maintain a sustained daily writing effort, albeit one that is characterised more by quantity than by quality.
Harry and I have weathered a fair few changes since that first joint writing effort, and I don’t suppose for a moment that change will not leap up and meddle with our quiet little existence again. We got through a long period when Graham was away and working in London, returning only for weekends and holidays. We’ve moved home three times, from Watchet to St Audries, from St Audries to Wales, and from Wales to our present location here in Lincolnshire. We’ve both of us had ups and downs with our health. And we’re both of us six years older.
Dolly the Mega-Cat has smiled all the way through it, when she wasn’t being wild, or stern, that is. She still regards the pair of us with what is best described as a tolerant despair. In Dolly’s eyes, sadly, we shall never measure up to her expectations.
Graham has made over two houses during the six years, and will shortly be embarking on this, our third. On the side he has switched career from physical therapist to bar management, and is poised on the edge of deciding whether a new venture towards full-time employment in the latter might not suit him better than making over houses. I’m easy, either way, just so long as we don’t have to go back and live in Wales again. I’ve made it clear that I don’t want to leave England except for holidays, ever again. And none of those holidays are to be in Wales. I don’t do Wales any more.
Looking back, and examining my present state, I seem to have set poetry aside for the time being in favour of photography. I have no great desire just now to write any more poetry. You never stop being a poet of course, it’s a bit like riding a bike, I suppose, and my photographs are taken with a poet’s eye. At least, I like to think so. Perhaps, some day soon, I may turn to a serious consideration of all this. Or maybe not. I’m enjoying photography intensely, and don’t wish to examine my reasons or motives too closely just now.
And so, here we are again, Harry Cat and me, tapping away in the early morning, recording the passage of another day. I do the tapping, and Harry sits close by, observing. I don’t think he disapproves. Nor do I. It’s not a bad thing to do, this online journalling thing, and I’ve no intention of stopping just yet.
One hand talking