October 22nd, 2020
Tier 2The last week has been incredibly hard with regards to stress and general anxiety. On Friday night (16/20) we moved into Tier 2 of the new governmental lockdown phases. Under these regulations intermingling between households is not allowed indoors. In our household we are well equipped and happy to be locked in and see only ourselves for a good while, for the most par. Unfortunately, a rather large part of my life lives in an alternative household, ie Lucy and I are a bit fucjed. Over the weekend we had discussions with varied stress levels about households and housemates and opinions and intentions yaddah yaddah, with the outcome of a meeting yesterday, finally, which was wonderful and awful in roughly equal measure. When she came over I was painting and in a bit of a tizz, she went through to the garden, and I provided a plastic bag to sit on as the benches were wet from the rain which still came down somewhere between mist and drizzle. I cleaned my brushes and tidied it all a way and joined her, not before she had semi-broken down and said she might just go home because it was too hard. I convinced her to stay, with the belief that things would get better, which they did. After some chat and some food we were both feeling a bit more positively about things, and so we went on a walk to Bishop’s Park and Fulham Palace Gardens, which was delightful. The rain cleared up and the ground was perfectly puddled, quintessentially Autumnal, with the excellent atmosphere of coming inside and getting out of your muddy boots (The Lakes and Mountains part of Coffee at Ruby’s/Lakes and Mountains). On the walk I recounted two stories I’d read that morning in bed (pride), both Fitzgerald, one from the beginning of his career, printed in 1922 in Tales From the Jazz Age, the other from the end, in Taps at Reveille, a lot more cynical in nature, and much more likely to be drawn from his own life experiences in gay Paris. The stories had had a rather profound effect on me, and have certainly reinvigorated my desire and ability to write. Indeed, I am constantly having to remind myslef of the inspiration I draw from reading. Though often I wonder if I am too much affected by the content I digest, in that I find my writing so clearly and directly influenced by whatsoever I have been reading. For example, after reading some of Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby, the tone in which I recounted the events of Seldom Seen were decidedly flowering, and the descriptions rather romantic. Or, in the recent case, after reading Fitzgerald’s descriptors of the wealthy Washington family’s history in A Diamond as Big as the Ritz, the main character of my recent A Plaque Before I Die, became an influential business mogul with dealings across various continents. Had I not been in this frame of mind perhaps he would have become a philanthropist, or historian, and probably not an American. Other things influence me, if that needs to be said. After watching Good Time the other night I found a lot more fruit in my writing about Knaresborough House and our down-turn character there. Likewise, having been reading a lot about Nolan and other purveyors of non-linear scripts, I have both Knaresborough House and Moat Hotel leaning towards alternative directional timelines. In planning KH… [Continued elsewhere See 28/10/20 - Knase and Moat] Back to my day with Lucy. We walked and (mostly I) talked of this and that, enjoying the fact we were together and the weather was brisk and clear. On reaching Fulham Palace Gardens we turned back, and then met Ben and Winston as it began to get dark. With the dog we walked back along where we had just been to give the puppy some exercise, then up towards the top of Bishop’s Park, where there were simply a lot of dogs and it was wonderful contented fun to simply watch them play and fight in the muddy grass. After the walk Lucy went on with Ben and we parted ways, thankfully rather abruptly otherwise there would likely have been more tears and difficulty. I saw her again the very next day, she came by for more tea in the garden and things were a lot brighter between us. On the next Sunday, after she had been home for a few days, I went over to her neck of the woods and we had a wonderful day walking Pip. From hers we walked the reservoirs and then across to Stoke Newington where we had a roast at the Jolly Butchers before walking the cemetery there, and making our way back to Berkeley Road and a cup of tea in the garden. On the whole, when I started writing this piece I was feeling a lot more middling than when I finished it. Things have so far been pulling through as I anticipated, though I’ll leave a full report for the month’s review, in which I will be able to reflect further on the rather strange changes that have taken place this month. Tier 2 is, incidentally, the name of the t-shirt brand that we planned to set up whilst in Cornwall one year. J____, B____, D___ (for a brief while), and myself cooked up a plot to sell a cool new brand of Ts with the TIER 2 logo, which began as all black, then a multicoloured 2. I built a website, which can still be viewed on my secret page [REDACTED], which I’ve had since 2007, linked to my own page www.benedictesdale.com. From the first, you can reach the Tier 2 page, which had a Skandi makeover before we gave it up forever. I was never really that enthusiastic, I had just learnt how to do some basic web design coding, and got excited on that front.
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