Waiting for the Tesco Delivery Man – Rejection and Resignation, and trying to find the sense in the Chaos

Liz with Tesco Delivery Man
Liz with lovely Tesco Delivery Man who nearly delivered to the scary house

One of the reasons I love writing this blog for DAO, is that my work is totally accepted. I’m not told it needs structure, or that there have been more than 5 submissions an hour during lockdown. I love that I write and my writing gets published in it’s sometimes chaotic state. There is always so much to learn as a writer, the learning is as painful as my therapy was to get it out in the first place.  I think what I need is a mentor, yes, that is what I need. One who has the time, like my old therapist had, to go through it, the process with me, and make sense of it all, get the disorder into order.  Or is this me just feeling resigned?

What I have learned about the Coronavirus is that I do not resign myself in accepting anything. I disbelieve everything I am told by our media, government or our World Health Organisations. I stay local, I ask my neighbour who is an ICU doctor in St Geroge’s hospital, I observe what is going on in the streets of Peckham, and I listen to my clients stories, they have families worldwide, they tell me about the bigger world. This is what I take in and where I make my judgments, if at all. I am a maverick.

One of the dilemmas of being sometimes ‘choatic’ is that I’m trying not to be but I can’t help but be. This blog is chaotic already, I have moved from writing about writing in an ambiguous way (I am starting to send my work to agents and am beginning to acquire the rejections letters) to writing about the Coronavirus.  When I listen to a story, when I dig a little deeper, the story is so much more complicated, and yet somehow, somewhere, I need to make my story less chaotic, get rid of what is not meaningful. My life’s work as a psychotherapist “whatever you tell me is valuable, whatever you write is right” it is all part of the story, but it is has to be condensed into something that is tangible. That is the hard bit.

One of the things I struggle with as a writer is reading. I am writing books yet I don’t read many. My husband used to joke about it, four years into our relationship he pointed out that I had the same book by the side of my bed from when we had met. Those years were particulary difficult for me. I went on a holiday soon after and re-read the book. I had started it about 20 times. Hanif Kureishi, Something to Tell You, it is about a middle aged therapist.  I am a middle aged therapist, I can now remember nothing other than that about the book. It clearly wasn’t internalised.

What is a book?  What book do you remember?  What books stay in your mind? I worry I am losing my memory. My mother got vascula dementia, my father alzheimers, is it early onset? Sometimes my husband and I decide to watch a film, sometimes ten minutes in we look at each other and wonder whether we have seen the film before, often we have.

Moving on, in my chaotic style, in the photo I am holding some watercress, I am not worried about getting Coronavirus because my homeopath is as good as the Queen and Prince Charle’s one, I am more worried about getting liver flukes from the watercress as I didn’t wash it.  I am notorious about forgetting to wash my veg. Hands yes, veg no.

Here is a poem I made into a song about my father’s Alzeimers.  It goes, la la la la la ,  B minor, 2/4 time.

Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead

Where’s the dog?
The dog’s dead
Where’s the dog?
The dog’s dead
Where’s the dog?
The dog is dead

Oh yes, he was doing piddles on the kitchen floor
No Dad, he collapsed and couldn’t get up anymore

Where’s your mother?
My mother’s dead
Where’s your mother?
My mother’s dead
Where’s your mother?
My mother is dead

Oh yes, she’s next door making sure their cat is fed
No Dad, she died in a hosital bed

Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead

I was out when Tesco Delivery came and home schooling ends

Front cover the DVD of Eraserhead, a white man with wild eyes and very tall hair
DVD Eraserhead

I was out when Tesco came last, my husband received the Delivery Man and put the shopping away. He did it really well, I could find everything and there wasn’t any wierd food in wierd places.  I found carrots in the freezer recently. We are all very busy and very stressed and anxious at times and do wierd things. I can’t find my glasses when they are on my head and I put my door keys in the fridge. I often get to the top of the stairs and wonder what I’m doing there. This is all normal.

Last night we watched my all-time favourite film, David Lynch’s ‘Eraserhead’.  I hadn’t watched it for a long time but had bought the DVD at some point when I knew I would want to watch it again.  We sat down with our 3 girls and put the blinds down. By the end of the film, only our 16-year-old remained on the sofa.  “That was the wierdest film ever” she said. In the morning one of our 14-year-olds asked me what had happened in the end.

I watched Eraserhead for the first time when I was about 17. It put me off quails for life. I cannot describe the film, you have to watch it. When I first got pregnant I had nightmares that I would have an Eraserhead baby, my unconscious deciding that I could only produce a monster.  When I was diagnosed with MS everyone wrote me off in the ‘having kids’ department. My Dad told me that he knew a woman with MS and she was happy with no kids, or a husband.

20 years ago, just before my first pregnancy, I began writing a novel called FERTILE. I sent it to about six agents. One agent asked to see the full book, I finished it quickly and sent it back to her. Her comments were:

“It is too personal and has too many descriptions of bodily functions for my taste.”

I took one of the chapters of FERTILE to an open mic spoken word poetry night, people laughed. That’s how my sit-down comedy began.

I have returned to FERTILE to re-edit the book, after 20 years. It is a book that has been under the bed, waiting for the right time to come out. Now, we can be more personal and bodily functions are all the rage, even though we have to wear masks to keep some of the more infected ones at bay.

I have written a letter to agents, after my next edit over the summer when I take time out from work, I shall send out to about 666, and collect the rejection letters. I kind of get a kick out of being rejected, that is the masochist in me. I know my writing is good enough, so it doesn’t matter, it is all subject to taste. If my favourite film is Eraserhead, it is befitting that my writing could be the weirdest you’ve ever read.

Hooray, homeschooling is nearly over and my carpenter husband is back working in his workshop and has just come home.

 

Today I got my spirit level

With my sliding bevel

I screwed in with the impact driver

Today the random orbital sander

Came in handier

Than the scraper

And the stud detector wasn’t sure

Whether to use the circular or the Japanese saw

 

My cordless drill, will with the offset chuck

And the moisture meter will tell me

If you are ready to fuck

Tonight

 

Whether you wear the PVA or the PU glue

With my forstner bit I will screw driver you

We can have a bit of fun

With the pincers, moll grips and the

No nonsense foam applicator gun

 

And if the sash or G-clamp gets too much

I’ll use the Vernier gauge and edge with the edge

bander

1\4 inch or 1/2 inch router

And belt sander

 

Now it’s time for a biscuit

Joiner and count my chisels

 

Tomorrow I’ll get onto the woodturning lathe

And mortisser (which is not set up yet)

And have a go with the bastard file

Though this is crossing a line

And verging on metal work

 

It’s time for bed

With my long nose plyers

Quick check in the mirror

At the pillar, drill

And reciprocating saw

And laminate trimmer

 

P.S. When I saw Eraserhead, first time, I remember my boyfriend’s Mum (at the time), sat on the sofa, trying to get off with one of his mates…

 

A birthday, a funeral, and a Tesco Delivery Man

Last week I performed an ‘Artist Presentation’ for DAO. Here is the link if you weren’t able to join me live.

Thank you to all who were there and asked questions. If there are any unanswered questions, please do comment below and I will answer.

On my birthday, the following day after the presentation, I went to a family funeral in Southampton. My sister stayed with me, she drove up from Wales. The fear of the virus is more prevalent where she lives, despite the fact there have been no cases in Ceredigion.  Her peers and colleagues were shocked that she would drive to Peckham and then to Southampton.  They, in fear of her bringing back the plague, but she is a key worker, she is needed to work, as more in fear are furloughed, isolating.

A white woman standing at a door while a black Tesco delivery man brings crates of shopping to it
Liz and all the plastic with Tesco Delivery Man

The Crematorium bouncers allowed 18 of us in, my husband was no 19, but he sneaked in, I was fortunate I could be with him. The chairs were spread so my sister couldn’t sit with us.  After the beautiful and honest ceremony, our family hugged, we could not do it without hugging.

So, now, I am another year older, 56, that’s older. I never expected to live till I was past 25. I had a suicide pact when I was 16 with one of my boyfriends that at age 25, we would kill ourselves. We decided that being an adult with responsibilities was boring. We did not know at that time our brains would change and these feeling would subside, most of the time.

Our beloved Kay’s feelings of suicide did not subside, although she died of cancer, her fight for what is right in the treatment of child abuse, kept going. She was a mighty strong woman to have survived so well. She was beautiful, inside and out.  When she was well, she would care for others in voluntary settings, of course she would understand.  I am so happy I spent the new year and my last birthday with her and my cousin.

RIP Kay

What is a conspiratorialist?

I am.

Lock up and hide.

Social distancing divide

And conquer

Fear and more fear

We are all infected. We all have pieces of the virus in us. The fear compartment of the virus within us will make us take a vaccine. But what will be injecting ourselves with?

Coming soon, Covid 19.2, to a town near you

Dependency on a socialised system.  Controlled, over everything.

The media

Trump, the most powerful man in the world.

Chlorinated chicken.

And here is a poem about turkeys and being socially correct, it is always a worry to me. I never want to offend. It is about Christmas too, that is Perverse because we are the furthest, we could be from Christmas and yet it looms as the earth circles the sun each day. Or does the sun circle the earth. I am no scientist. Does it matter?

PC Turkey Lurkey

Turkey lurking in the freezer

Friends with children over for tea

“I’ll get the ice-cream,” says a mum

“No!” I shout, “I’ll get it, don’t look in there”

Nobody must see

Except you and me

Bernard Matthews has a nice smile

But his voice is sinister like a paedophile

No its not, that’s a terrible thing to say

He’s probably a really nice man and gay

No, I can’t say that

He’s just a nice man who’s into poultry

 

Tesco bigger and better plastic bags
Covid and more and more plastic

 

 

 

 

 

Husband Rupert assisting Tesco Delivery Man

A white bald man stands at a doorway as another white bald man in a tesco delivery uniform stands on the other side with crates of shopping
Husband assisting Tesco Delivery Man

Here is a photo of my husband with the Tesco Delivery Man, in theory, as I am home shielding, I shouldn’t have been sleeping in the same bed as him, or enjoying baths together, or indeed eating together, for however many weeks it has been.

Lord Baden Powell’s statue has come down.  My dad would be turning in his grave if his ashes hadn’t been thrown off Southend Pier.  My mother’s ashes were thrown off Cromer pier where we used to go on holidays. My sister and I hoped that if they wanted to be together, they’d merge somewhere along the English Channel and the North Sea.

My parents lived for Scouting. As adults they became members of a Methodist church Scout guild and they remained members throughout their lives.  Both my parents helped produce Scout Gang Shows and my father was the store’s manager every four years when 2,500 Scouts, from all over the world, descended on Belchamps, in Hockley, for the Essex Scout Jamboree. The 1980 Jamboree is documented in my blog ‘From Essex to London in 101 boyfriends’ (it is now a book called ‘Jigsaw’ which will be published soon, I hope, well, in the next two years).

As for Baden Powell and Hitler, one night I was performing at a cabaret night, wearing my Brownie Uniform (it still fits) at an Edinburgh Fringe venue (my shows were daytime and in the evenings I guested at various comedy and cabaret nights).

“You look like Hitler Youth” someone said as I got up on stage.  On researching the link between Baden Powel and Hitler, it turns out that Scout groups did join up with Hitler Youth for camping trips etc. There was a play written by Glenn Chandler and put on at Edinburgh Fringe last year, “Baden-Powell instigated it. He was fooled by Hitler, who he thought was fighting communists”. Glenn Chandler says about his play “The Good Scout”.

We are all fighting the ‘Virus’, well we think we’re fighting the virus. The virus is part of nature, we are fighting much, much, more under the surface.

Perhaps the statue could be left up, with another two built either side, one of a the “Good Boy Scout” and one of a “Hitler Youth” boy, two vulnerable children with two very different ‘fathers’.

This blog is not as long or polished as the others because I am working on my artist presentation.  Keep the time in your diary free, 24th June 3pm, Facebook live! With a Q and A. Can’t wait, I have a surprise guest appearance.

 

Here is a poem about one of the many boyfriends I had at the 1980 Essex International Jamboree.  Just me and a friend were helping my father dole out the food to the 2,500 scouts.  We were the only girls camping there.

 

Austrian Boy Scouts

 

Korben Rupert

Lovely