I didn't get the job I wanted. Which is shit, but you know, can't be helped. I might spend the summer working part-time and the rest just indulgently swapping between Senate House library and the National Art Library reading the books I want to read and going to museums and writing. But I do feel I should be either earning money or building a CV.
After breakfast we went to the beach. We walked up along the promenade, fast the man selling freshly caught fish and the children netting crabs.
["are you going to throw them back when you're done?", my mum asked a little boy
"no," he says "some of them we will eat and the others we are going to explode."
"Do you want to know how we're going to explode them?"
"How will you explode them?"
"What we will do is call up Brainiac or Top Gear and they will get a caravan and put the crabs in a tank in a caravan and then they'll explode the caravan with the crabs in it"]
I had a strange feeling, just now, pouring tea from a leaky teapot that I was holding an artefact- or rather a future artefact- typical ‘teapot’ late 20th/ early 21st century pouring vessel. And the breakfast party became distant and dusty, like the characters in a Roman frieze. But we warm and present actually; we are warm and present and fleeting.
Saturday night, I wore a white narcissus on my lapel and walked out into the Camden night. Turtle's club night was fun. It's the last one they're holding in Camden, upstairs in the Camden Head in a little wooden floorboarded sweaty room. If people dance too much the music jolts off for a moment. It's great. They're moving it to Mile End, to a bigger venue so they can have bands.
Ok right, love at first sight. I was in the charity shop where last week I found my Harris tweed jacket. I was rumaging about when I spotted something.
So it was on the rail, I walked over. My eye was drawn immediately by the suprising loveliness of it- I have always had a soft spot for a trenchcoat- among the winter waterproofs next to a rail of old duvet covers.
Instinctively I reached out to run my fingers over the fabric.
It felt good. Very good. Slippery heaviness. I opened it up and read the 'By Royal Appointment'. So we have something special here...
Plash. How could I have missed a word that works so completey perfectly?
It is a rare synonym for splash. But, I think it is the exact word for when a heavy spring rain drop bursts against a window or the surface of a pool or against your skin. Plash it bursts open, plop it falls appart.
Presumably Mal is out with people from work, so when I get in the flat is empty.
I make myself scrambled eggs with chorizo for tea and eat a cadbury cream egg (I'm on my period and so all bets are off for healthy eating).
But when I'm getting ready for bed I freak myself out, worrying that there's something horrible in the flat. So I grab my sewing scissors as a weapon and do a quick check.
I meant to go the library today. I didn't. Instead I bought bras.
I had to be measured; I shaved my armpits just to spare the disgust of the shop assistant. She brusquely whipped the tape measure around me. I stood there, lumpy in a sports bra (all my proper bras are dishrag coloured bits of broken scaffolding, underwiring poking in my armpits) 34D.
Anyway, I bought three new bras. All lacy and rather lovely. One pale silk pink, one dove grey, one black and wonderfully lacy.
A shaffron is a helmet for a horse, a pyx is a disk in which the priest takes the consecrated host outside the church (to the sick or dying), monstrance of course is a vessel in which the host is displayed, a chatelaine a hook or clasp to keep keys, sewing needles, scissors etc (because ladies' clothes only had pockets from the late 19th century), sotelties are decorative pastries for in between courses at a medieval feast.
All these words for all these things.
Sunday morning, coffee and a bagel, my flatmate Mal is watching Hollyoaks omnibus in the armchair, I'm on the sofa in pajamas (mismatched trackie bottoms and a men's shirt, slippers).
Not much sun is coming in through the big windows, just a silver bright polished metal sky like it's the clouds that give off a reluctant light. Daffodils on the bookcase and the flat is tidy and clean.
On my lunch break I leave the over-breathed inside air in staff dining room and go out into the damp fresh city air, which is clean like stainless steel is clean. And I buy a cappucino, look at the cakes, the espresso is dark and grudging and they foam it with full-fat milk. So I sit in the middle of skyscrapers, on the sign outside the scallop shell mouth of the Underground that says 'Canary Wharf', which is paterned irregular with earlier rain that tourists try to photograph.
I woke up. I got up. The day was silver. I made a cup of tea. I ate a bananna. I made coffee in the cafetierre. I drank it milky and sweet. I listened to Stravinsky.
I went swimming. I swam 80 lengths. I had a shower. I went to my lectures.
I came home. I made a cup of tea. I ate an apple.
For a moment the world went still. I listened to Bach Sonata in F minor. The light thickened. I ate the apple. It was green, very white. I thought I could eat it sliced as white an thin a communion wafer. I felt like a shadow. I felt exhaulted, semi-divine.
I would have said there was no moon last night, at first glance, but there was a thin crescent like a toe nail clipping. Or a sharp hook, or an ice pick.
Anyway, today I had lectures then sat in the sun outside the library talking to someone on my course while he smoked and I perched like a happy cat on a wall- one of the mature students, like the last of the decadents. Lovely man.
I should have gone to library, but instead I went to the van Doesburg exhibition at Tate Modern.
I have had a pretty terrible week really.
On Thursday my purse was stolen at work- containing £10 cash, a weekly travel card, my debit cards, my student card, my library cards, my swimming pool card, my Tate membership card that I got for my birthday, my discount card for work, even my PADI (scuba-diving) card.
On Wednesday my period started while I was in the swimming pool. Gross, gross, gross and I only noticed when I finished and got in the shower. So possibly also very embarrassing and ultra disgusting.
On Sunday I went to Mass.
In the Oratory in Kensington and the light was thick as gloom, good Holy old light falling on a quiet congregation. It was a beautiful Mass. A Latin Mass, Solemn Mass, sung, the sermon was on Adoration.
I kept my hands pressed so tightly in prayer, my knuckles were white. The solemn light and the sweet smell of incense and the choir- a quivering sort of sound- at the moment of the Concecration of the Host a baby started to cry.