John and I collected the whole series of small bird toys that sing when you press them, which you sometimes see in toyshops and giftshops, like the Richmond Park gift shop where I’ve just been.
I recently packed them all away, and there is already a poignancy because gradually, they stop singing, and this makes me sad that they are all gradually going quiet – you can’t replace the battery.
When we went to the US we also bought the whole US set, so it’s quite a big collection, and is very much in the ‘sensitive’ category for me, because it was a joint thing.
I quite often, when I see the collection in shops now, review what they have and assure myself I’ve got all the options already. Today for the first time in years, I’ve found one we didn’t have, which must presumably be relatively new, or we just missed it. It’s quite orangey coloured and is the ‘Nightingale’. Of course I bought it, but it’s so difficult to handle wanting to come home and say to John, look, guess what, I found a new one we haven’t got! He’s not here to know or care any more.
Similarly I wanted to say to him the other day, hey you know how many times we’ve passed through Brixton by car, or when you used to get off the tube and catch a bus home – did you know there was a Brixton market? Indoor arcades with quirky shops and lots of eating places – I discovered it the other day, I’m sure he wouldn’t have known it was there.
I went in a French bistro and ate escargots. (He will never know, about my escargots!)
The gravestone/memorial has been put in place now, and I was shocked when I first saw it because I hadn’t anticipated the fact that the black granite slab reflects the sky and the clouds (as well as the wording on the stone) like a mirror.
I didn’t like the reflection at first but now sometimes, when you watch the clouds moving in it, it’s like it is drawing the sky and ‘heaven’ down into the grave. Quite a nice idea, maybe.
(The blue flowers are because we had blue cornflowers in my multi-coloured wedding bouquet.) (So John will understand why I’ve chosen them.)
Sharing with you this photo I took some years ago as a joke, to show John – referencing the famous painting The Death of Marat (1793), below.
It’s such a sensitive painting for me. It had some significance for John, some humourous idea he had had that referred to it. We used to comment on it – it’s often used or referenced in other contexts.
Of course dreadfully difficult in my circumstances now, I hate it really – but nevertheless, having come across my photo above, I wanted to show someone.
It sort of provides an example of how intellectual our relationship was (and what I’ve lost).
Well the snow and cold weather are over (I hope) and I’ve suddenly been surprised by Spring! These are daffodils in St James’s Park.
It’s brought with it a resurgence of grief – back to that horror of thinking that the person who was closest to you, who you were sharing your life with, has been snatched away, and will never see a spring again, will never see daffodils again.
I was shocked to think that it’s my fourth spring already since it happened – that I’ve seen four springs now on my own – and cried over the fact he’s no longer here with me.
We used to sit and look at blue skies together, and comment on how the enjoyment of the sky and nice weather didn’t depend on one’s wealth, how anyone could have that pleasure. Now looking at a blue sky is difficult, because of feeling my loss of him, and his loss of being able to ever see the sky again.
It’s such a morbid thought, but for every one of us there will be the spring after we’ve gone, the first of those that we’ll never see.
Somebody else will be looking at daffodils (and maybe remembering us).
These are TV programmes that we used to watch together, or he used to watch a lot, so I no longer ever watch them because it feels too sensitive, like that was another life:
Have I Got News For You
Mock The Week
These are programmes that I have started to watch again on my own, even though they are sensitive:
Family Guy (But never the musical introduction/theme song, because that was such a shared thing)
Would I Lie To You (I like this so much and it cheers me up)
(But how can I just return to watching things we used to watch, like nothing’s happened? It’s not easy. How can something so massive have happened to you, and yet the rest of the world, trivial things, just carry on the same?)