Sometimes people tell me they like reading my blog, but it makes them feel as though they’re stalking me. And I usually say: “But I don’t put the whole of my life on there” and “I only share what I feel comfortable sharing” and “There is so much of my life and my family that I don’t write about.”
I don’t know whether or not they are reassured, but at last I understand what they mean, because now I am reading someone’s very personal memoir and I feel as though I am stalking him.
Do you remember I told you about that poetry anthology Lifesaving Poems, edited by Anthony Wilson and published by Bloodaxe? I’ve been reading Anthony Wilson’s blog, and now I’m reading his memoir of being diagnosed and treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It’s called Love for Now and I’m gripped.
But I also feel uncomfortable. It’s a very personal memoir that he wrote at the time it happened, and I feel as though I am reading stuff I shouldn’t be reading, because it describes the daily fabric of his life, and his family and friends, and what they did and what they said. I feel as though I am hiding outside his house and peeping in through an open window. But I can’t stop reading. The author published this memoir because he wanted to tell people the truth about what it is like being treated for cancer, and to share his thoughts on love, family and mortality, but I still feel vaguely uncomfortable.
So, you’re asking, where do the sweet peas come in? Nowhere. They are not connected in any way. I just wanted to tell you that after last year’s complete failure in the sweet pea department, this year they’re wonderful.