Exactly one week ago, Kim Moore and I went to the Words by the Water festival to see a couple of performances. One that stood out to me was A.L. Kennedy. She was an amazing personality on the stage, and came to life while talking about her work. She was extremely quick witted – to the extent that I started taking a couple of notes containing her advice, something that I have never done when seeing a writer before. Her most recent book is an absolute monster (as she pointed out on stage it is pretty hard to tour with), many hundreds of pages and many tens of hours would need to be dedicated to reading it. She talked about the importance of being able to imagine other worlds and other systems of government. If we can’t imagine other ways of living, we become happily swept along with a system that may not be fit for purpose. She also highlighted that writers and other artists are often the first to be killed in dictatorships for the very reason that they can make people see the need for other systems. A sobering thought.
I enjoyed that day with Kim so much that I went to the festival again, this time with my mum. We went to see Alexander Masters talk about the book he had written about a person whose one hundred and forty eight diaries had been thrown into a skip. He learned about the person through the entries and wrote about his discoveries as he went. I am trying my hardest not to reveal a single detail about the person he uncovered, because that would spoil the book. Unfortunately, the host of the event was a little over excited and revealed things I really wish she hadn’t, including the main revelation within the book. I could tell the author was feeling pretty upset as she revealed each little thing. Alexander obviously cares deeply for the character he found within the pages of those diaries as he choked up when talking about them. It has made me wonder what may happen to my diaries one day. I’m currently on journal number fifteen.
I finally got my electric wheelchair yesterday. I have been waiting well over a year to receive it, but it is finally here! I am going to keep using my scooter for school, but at home I am going to have my wonderfully small new chair. No more dragging shop railings or product for me! It also has the function to climb small curbs, although I have to confess I did have a fear of death while trying it out. The man showing me how to use it hated the function as well, I think. If your wheels aren’t completely straight back then you get tipped out. If you don’t come at it from directly from the front you tip. I hate that function, it may come in use sometime though, although I’d rather go an extra 100yds down a road to be honest. The scariest thing about it was is that in order to desend the curb you have to come at it backwards (!) and as a result end up facing backwards into oncoming traffic (!!). I am ridiculously over the moon to finally have this wonderful piece of kit though, its going to change things.
I got my operation date in the post early this week. By the next time I write I will have had my operation. I hope I am at home recovering. I’m more scared about whether I will be let home or not than about the actual operation or the amount of pain I will be in. I can’t wait for the anticipated (hopefully, I learned about getting my hopes up from the last attempt…) result, which is that I will no longer have to pass the tube on my face every night. That would be amazing. The skin where I put the dressing to fix the tube to is very raw, and my nose is getting quite sore. I can’t wait to have it done and just move on with my life.
See you on the other side!