Flies buzz around the flat, their wings the sound of determined futility; welcome to the sound of the summer. The year we realised we meant nothing.
There are people on the streets but it still feels quiet, quieter than London at Christmas despite the people on the pavement. There’s something missing. But what’s strange is: what’s missing is something, like anti-matter that “something missing” is in the makeup of reality, and you can feel it looming heavy over each and every one of us. It follows all of us out on the streets and in the parks and in the shops. It is a dark and vague uncertainty.
Is it safe? we say as we catch one another’s eyes.
Is it safe?
But then we blink. Fuck it, I guess is what most people think. Because there’s the smell of barbecues and hot coals and roasting meat. Midday is thick with it. There’s music coming from boom boxes out on the heath.
All the summers ever fill my head. I wonder what London Fields is like right now?
The same as it ever was, I guess.
Thank god I’m not (the same as I ever was).
It is the season of the rose, as you may have deduced from their use as a backdrop. I stop and breathe them in at every opportunity; yellow roses hit the spot every time. Big daisies called moon pennies are blooming. And for the first time in a couple of years I see foxgloves in someone’s garden. I’ll take my omens where I can find them.
Foxgloves in the Victorian Language of Flowers symbolised “riddles, conundrums, and secrets”.
Someone hacks into my old email, which now functions as a repository for junk, but also serves as a safe, a time capsule, for correspondences with people I love who are now dead. I pretend it hasn’t happened for almost 24hrs.
If you are not deeply concerned by what is happening both sides of the sea, not only have you not been paying attention, you’ve been brainwashed.
Go out and feel the wind, it will remind you what’s important.
I’ve written a note at the top of this dairy entry — “sense of humour failure” — and I have deleted most of what I had written angrily. People have said it already and put it better. But I haven’t found this week amusing. What I will say is, I’m in full support of whatever changes this shit immediately. The peaceful protests have been done already. And if you’re British, and you look at America and think it’s a disgrace, know that we are tumbling towards that.
Wood cracks in the heat.
My friend sends me a recipe for elderflower cordial and to my surprise, I find myself out one hot evening picking elderflowers, enough left for the bees and enough for me to make cordial and champagne – I am literally making booze in a bucket, that’s where we’re at now. It’s currently festering in the broom cupboard because I can’t be bothered to sterilise bottles, so it should have some decent fizz to it when it does comes out.
We sit on a wooden fence that circles the men’s pond on Hampstead Heath. It’s empty of men but surrounded by cow parsley and yellow irises, the water looks clean for the first time ever. I wonder if the ponds were ever empty before?
“Before all this shit started,” drifts up through our bedroom window one morning.
Before and…It doesn’t seem like there’s an after yet, only a before.
But if you go outside you would be forgiven for thinking nothing ever happened; even the two meter distance signs painted on park entrances have faded. But it’s there. All that’s ever happened is just behind us on the wind, and the trees are creaking with the weight.