On Friday I’d arranged to go up to North London at midday to pick up a newly framed piece. This was my week’s one and only, carefully planned outing. A process of mobilization is necessary which starts about 48 hours ahead: food (incl. strategically placed glasses of water all over the flat), crockery, clothes, need to be got ready, as the actual outing usually precipitates a temporary decline – essentially the days I have to prepare for.
Thursday afternoon I got a phone-call that the work would not be ready on time. Mild frustration about the delay (three weeks after I’d brought the piece in) may be a normal reaction, but for me it became more complicated. Unfortunately the newly proposed date would have made it the day before a hospital appointment – impossible as my body doesn’t function even moderately well (within my M.E.-terms) two days in a row. A well-mannered discussion with the staff member ensued, who tried to be helpful but obviously couldn’t understand why I was so intransigent and needed the piece ready on the day specified. Even picking it up just before closing time – the compromise reached – meant that the friend who had arranged to drive me at lunch-time so I didn’t have to fork out 60 – 70 quid for the return cab-fare, was unlikely to be available.
The day(s) after tend to be a challenge. On my day out, wherever I’m going (friend’s house, exhibition, hospital, river-picnic, frame-shop), I will be bubbly, excited, greedy to take in as much as possible en-route: tree-blossom, people hurrying across streets with mobiles pressed to their ears, closed-down shops, yet more pawnbrokers, alas, and as I get nearer the city centre, new (to me) boutiques and cafés, the spectacle of a sparkling Thames, huge olympic rings hanging from Tower Bridge, and on the way home a glimpse of the tip of the Shard appearing like a mirage when we turn a corner… Although the extent of fatigue is not entirely predictable afterwards I am like a carelessly chalked out version of myself, profoundly, consummately tired in body and mind, with varying degrees of blurred vision, slurred speech, uncoordinated limbs, and flarings up of old and new pains which I call my pain-review (the worst of which are the piercing stings I can get in my skull). My standing-up periods, short at the best of times, are further curtailed and I’ll only manage the briefest of crotch-leans against a work-surface in the suddenly far-off kitchen while I pour myself a coffee, say, before I lie down again… Consider this is the edited version. It’s not called pyjama-day for nothing.
With my eyes on the plan I started writing this post right after the first phone-call. In the end I was able to pick up the piece on Friday, just before closing time, luckily with M., who at lighting speed rearranged her whole day to fit in with me, a thousand blessings on her lovely head! The work is shortlisted for 2012 Outside the White Cube Open Exhibition, for which it needs to be framed, which is why I almost bankrupted myself, but I must say, it does look glorious and hopefully it will be in the show and maybe somebody would like to buy it, please pretty please…
Material: crocheted from zephyr wool-silk
Dimensions: 29 cm x 69 cm (unframed)
43 x 89 cm (framed)