Saturday and Sunday
Saturday was spent driving our son back to his student flat in London. It was the first time we’d been that way since Christmas when we picked him up to come home for the holidays. Everyone says London is much quieter because of the pandemic and of course it’s true. Both of my sisters, who’ve lived in London longer than anywhere else in their lives, say they like London without the crowded streets. We were able to make a few, socially-distanced, doorstep visits to various family members, including our daughter, when we dropped off our son and that was lovely. Being in London felt especially strange for Andrew, my husband, who for the past 18 years has been partly living in London during the week, for his job, but since last March, because of Covid, has been living and working at home in Wiltshire, with me. He said it was oddly eerie to visit London again, like visiting a past life. We wonder if he will again return to his routine of travelling and being away from home for long spells when Covid restrictions are over.
Returning home to Wiltshire without our son felt a bit sad. We seemed to have experienced a lot of comings and goings in the past year. Goodbyes followed by unexpected hellos. It will take some time now, perhaps only a little time, to settle back into a different routine. Two adult people living together, no young people in the house.
Sunday was a day of re-arranging rooms, re-ordering tidiness, setting the house straight again and preparing for the week ahead. Over the weekend I was drawn again and again to a new poem by Jemma Borg in the TLS. The poem is called ‘Dissection of a marriage’. There are so many extraordinary lines and images I like. For instance
“She swam alone in her body, carrying nothing
but her shadow. She was as bored as a parked car.”
What does it mean? I keep returning to the poem and now I’ve printed it out so I can keep reading it. What I like most is that it’s about more than it says on the page. It lives another life. That’s poetry for you! How have I forgotten poetry’s ability to shape shift and slip between meanings? Because I have forgotten that in recent times.
Monday to Thursday in a blur
I thought I’d pencilled in Monday as the day for my first Covid jab but that is next week. I got the day wrong. How stereotypically like the demographic I belong to. The reviews I’m writing are coming on well, I’ve nearly finished them. At the back of my head swim ideas for progressing my new play – I’ll return to that once the reviews have been emailed to The North. I posted snippets of the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads if you follow me there.
The week was dominated with thoughts of Sarah Everard who went missing while walking home in south London and has now been found, murdered. Selfishly I first thought of my own daughter who lives not far from that part of London, then I thought of the dreadful, painful loss for Sarah Everard’s family and friends. Social media was flooded with other women’s accounts of street harassment, near-misses with danger, and experiences of assault. Clearly, violence against women and men’s intimidating behaviour continues to be an issue in our culture. Andrew talked about the need for all of us, but especially men, to educate themselves and talk about respecting women and changing their behaviour.
I made a new collage to show my solidarity with everyone who’s been affected by this shocking killing. I’ve also posted it on my Instagram (@andothermakings).
The week ended with my children sending me flowers for Mothering Sunday. Thank you to them.