Saturday, June 13, 2020


My brother Jonty told me yesterday that dolphins shut off half their brain in order to be able to sleep without drowning.  

Do you ever want to escape your brain?

A long, long time ago at a time when I was very unhappy I can remember wanting to chop my head off and put it in a fridge for a while so I could have a rest from my swirling thoughts. 

These last two weeks I've needed a day off from them too, and I managed to escape for the afternoon on Wednesday by playing with my acrylic paints while listening to an ancient sitcom on the radio, Second Thoughts, which stars the wonderful Lynda Bellingham and James Bolam. (If you decide to listen to it, the person in charge of BBC Sounds has jumbled up the order of episodes, so check the broadcast dates to see which comes first.) That was a lovely afternoon and I produced a painting I am going to hang on the wall. It's called Solace.

Another way to escape yourself is to pretend to be someone else. When I first started painting in lockdown I dressed up in ripped and patched dungarees with my mother's oversized knitted waistcoat: I was channelling the aging hippie Frankie from Grace and Frankie, because so many of her paintings are ridiculous and she made me feel free to mess about with my paints, and not worry what other people thought about the results.

Dave's and my television tastes barely overlap, which means we watch the same things over and over. At present, at the end of our busy days mostly spent separately, we play Scrabble or do a cryptic crossword, and then watch two episodes of M*A*S*H.

I'm really enjoying Frank's paranoid dialogue. 

Franks walks into the swamp.

Trapper says: 'Hi Frank, how are you?' 

Frank: 'Do you think that scares me?'

Later, Frank leaves the swamp.

Trapper says in a friendly tone: 'See you, Frank.'

Frank: 'Threaten me all you want, bud.'

So I told Dave that the next morning I was going to channel Frank, just for fun. It would work well because I am (ahem) rather difficult when I first wake up.

I had my first response all  lined up...Dave would ask me how I was, as he always does, and I'd say 'As if you care!'

But Dave forgot the plan and brought me a mug of tea and I was completely disarmed. 

This week we've had two grandchildren's birthdays, but I am only allowed to mention one, so here she is - birthday girl Cece in Colorado, for all of you who remember her when she looked like this:

Now, she looks like this: aged 8, and in charge.

Cake with Harry Potter symbols

She's invited me to her pottery painting birthday party via Zoom. 

Woo-hoo!   Another chance to escape!

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