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In the middle of the night
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Well, I guess it would have been foolish to think a person can go through that amount of legitimate anxiety and not feel wiped out when it lifts (bloody hell, just realised there's a 'mental health' word for legitimate as used there, and I've completely forgotten it - is that because my emotions are so sensible now I don't need it, or just another blip in my memory? No idea).

So I'm knackered, feeling like a very fragile, tiny thing, out in a cruel world, needing to proceed with utmost caution. I let myself drift along to a gig tonight, with Bloke. I kept saying I didn't much fancy it, but it was a guy we were good mates with at school and have never lost touch with, so Bloke was right to point out that it would be good to see him, good to get out. But fucking hell, this:

I mean, give me a break. Though I must admit, it's not the music itself, but the fact that he played this venue once before and we took ED to it, in her wheelchair and she really, really loved it, loved knowing that such gigs exist, and smiled and laughed with total abandon, chatting away between sets (the line-up was extensive on both occasions) to whatever random cool hipster tosspot dude was nearest. And I knew this with my brain, but hadn't dwelt upon it, hadn't let myself consider it in any way. Here's what I said about the last gig, in April last year:

And tonight we went out to my old mate's gig, which turned out to be 'ambient electronica', apparently. In a big shed behind a small house. With a big screen. Man, the last forty years just fell away and there we were again, listening to blokes who don't look anyone in the eye making dissonant sounds with no attempt at rhythm, thinking it must be over soon, surely. ED just loved that as well. She has never even imagined such an event could exist - it was the icing on the cake. Mate played the middle set, following something akin to The Beatles Revolution No 9 (that bit on the White Album that you, like me, probably skip) but longer and worse, and preceding two blokes who sat on the floor surrounded by lots of things they could make a noise with, who pinged and rustled us to a glorious finale. Mate was accompanying a female singer and they were glorious. Blissful.

We'd had a mad day:

The woods were beautiful, trees just bursting into bud, violets and anenomes, all that nature stuff, very nice, but we were still going uphill and surely away from the village and my legs were starting to really hurt and S was in danger of becoming flaky if she spotted that I was and it felt like one of those awful dreams that go on and on forever until suddenly there was a path leading off to the left. S was pushing, so I went off to have a look and hurrah, through some trees at the bottom I could see village roofs. This path wasn't on the 'accessible' route, so hadn't been levelled, but was mercifully short and we'd soon bumped our way out of the woods to the top of an even steeper downhill slope than the one before, but one with a tea room at the bottom.

This turned out to be a cow field, luckily without cows, just plentiful evidence of their passing, in the form of dried out dollops of shit and great big holes. We didn't realise this till we were underway, me pushing ED in a zig zag style, across and down, while S strode out ahead, unaware that what I was attempting was fucking mental, lethal, undo-able. When you drive a car in zig zags up and down mountains, some other poor fuckers have been there ahead of you, carving out a flat strip so that your wheels are on a level, so that the left two aren't so much higher than the right that the whole thing is in danger of collapsing sideways and rolling into pain and grief. Oh my fucking God, my heart was pounding, ED was leaning her body uphill with all her strength, I was giving it plenty of silent om gum ganapatayei namaha as I gripped on to the handles for dear life, jolting and juddering along far too fast and awaited the inevitable.

But it didn't happen. We suddenly arrived at a much shallower slope, where some women were having a picnic and we were back in the real world, thank fuck. There was one last dodgy moment with a step down to the road, too deep and crumbly for the chair so ED stood and was leaning on me, but there was nothing for me to lean on and the ground was falling away beneath my feet, so that was exciting but we made it, all the way back to the road, with no blood and no bruises.

ED sat back in the chair, raised her arms above her head and yelled, "Pardon my language, people, but that was fucking AMAZING!" She loves being scared and was totally exhilarated, which was a bit of a result all things considered.

So of course when I got there tonight some fucker was playing a brass instrument free-form, as non-melodic as could be, against a bit of electronic whimsy with intermittent groaning/howling/roaring noises at a very high volume. Noises quite similar to sounds that occur in ED's care home, not so often that it's oppressive, but still. Well, my dears, fuck that. I had a huge rush of knowledge that ONE SECOND inside that venue would have me weeping like there was no tomorrow, so I legged it, round the corner, down the hill, across the road, onto the bus and home again, safe and sound in fifteen minutes.

And I remembered that I've been writing here since 2005 and have just spent over an hour reading stuff back and now it's nearly three in the morning and I was tired before I started

Grateful for: winning my appeal against the parking ticket (woo hoow); winning a box of chocolates in the singing group raffle (woo hoo again!); having the sense to walk out of that gig; a bus being there at the right time; having kept a blog for eight years.

Sweet dreams, dear peeps xxx

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