Day 15: Laughter

My research is proving to be more and more fun! In my alphabetical adventure this one is next. I don’t need to list my sources of hilarity this week, as there are a million entries for ‘comedy’ on youtube that you can access at anytime, which I recommend doing because as we all know, laughing makes you feel better. After an hour or so of any of my heroes of hilarity like Sarah Millican, Eddie Izzard, or James Acaster, I can actually feel the difference in my relaxed muscles, improved breathing and general lightness about my shoulders.

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2.39 am

I suppose I should just accept it, enjoy it even. Set my alarm for 2am, make a cup of tea and settle down for the inevitable hour of drama after the pub kicks out. As the sun set over another warm July evening earlier, I looked at the people setting out for the evening and knew it would be a loud one.

The initial fear and apprehension as crowds gather, swaying and swearing, turns to fascination at the dynamics of a drunk crowd. A fight is taking place a little away from the crowd, people watch and laugh. The doorman moves towards them and one eventually walks off, shouting back his defensive ‘yeah fuck you!’ the whole time. Someone is carrying a woman on his shoulders. The others look on amused, as he walks off, and places her down on the pavement so they can walk together. Couples under the tree and more interested in each other and some dancing and giggling is taking place. I try to image their excitement, their euphoria to finally be out, their need to shout to each other, to the whole of Melksham, I’m alive! And their inability to consider the few dozen of us that would prefer to be alseep a few metres away from them.

By 2.30 most of the immediate crowd has gone, I watch them disperse, very slowly, and other little groups form further down the street. The daytime features of beautiful hanging baskets and flags of civic pride adorn the brightly lit street, punctuating the spaces where groups of people now stagger, shouting, laughing, swearing, screeching. It’s another 20 minutes until I can try to sleep again, with just the last few shrieks of ‘fuck you! You’re nasty!’ drifting up through the window.


My partner has a friend from school who is a musician in Cornwall. Since March, and since he is a musician, Helm De Vegas has been doing live stream shows from his piano at home, three nights a week, and we have been tuning in at 7pm every time. His incredible skill on the piano, his fabulous singing voice and his quick-witted hilarious interaction with his online crowd have kept us coming back every time.

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Positive Thinking

I recently learned that you can’t get Vitamin D from sunshine through windows, and since ours only open up for a 15cm strip of direct sunlight on my face, I am now perched on the windowsill with one leg out of the window to get some 10am sunshine on my skin. It’s very uncomfortable and actually quite cold but I am grateful that we can still get sunshine up here.

So I got little snippets of anxiety again because lockdown eases a bit this week. But the guidance is so vague, and the message is basically you’re on your own. Dickheads can be dickheads and police can’t stop them. Try not to get sick, but it’s your own fault if you do. That’s what my facebook filtered world seems to be concerned about this week. On our family Zoom on Sunday, we had the usual update from around the world about the death rates. My New Zealand brother celebrated the success of ‘Aunty Jacinda’ (who is younger than him) in winning the worldwide competition against the virus, while my New York brother talked about friends of his friends who had died. London brother explained that we’re passed the peak in Britain, but you’re still only allowed out for essential exercise, so you can sit in the park but if you see the police coming you have to start doing sit-ups. Korea brother said there’s been no new cases for four days so everyone in Seoul is going out again, so they will probably be another spike, while Spanish sister went for her first run for ten weeks on Saturday. All her neighbours were waiting on their doorsteps at 8am, counting down the seconds till they were allowed out. We laugh about our lockdown hair, the boys compare beards, while my niece falls asleep on her mum’s lap, and the full weight of the international impact of this thing hits home.

Then I started to worry yesterday because my love opened a tin of mandarins, and I said ‘Oh the tinned food is for if we can’t get fresh fruit.’ A small argument ensued about the amount of tins in the house, the likelihood for the interruption of the supply chain and the invincibility of the three people we depend on for shopping, until I remembered my anxiety is the thing that causes him stress, so I shut up, but still quietly counted up the tins and watered my tiny new baby apple trees.

So to dispel my catastrophic thinking, this morning I found some powerful positive messages to pump into my head over my porridge. I am trying to get into a place of love and acceptance of whatever is coming. This thing is happening to a species on a planet in this universe. I am a tiny speck of that, and I have desires and plans, hopes and intentions, and so do the people I love, but if the direction of this species is towards something else then I have no use for fear and anxiety about that. I want to be in a place of peace and flow, with appreciation and love for my current moment, my sunshine spot right now, my lovely man, and my friends and family who I am connecting to now.


May the Fourth connect you

I have been looking at his star wars memorabilia around the flat for a while, wondering if the occasion would present itself for the entire collection to be combined for a colour-coordinated composition. Of course May the Fourth was it. I allocated two hours for the project, but it took nearly all day and involved a few excited trips to the loft, much rummaging in the T-shirt drawers and a huge amount of dust. What was meant to be a fun art project turned into something quite stressful and caused the return of the headache. So that by 7.30pm, when I signed in for my much awaited zoom call with my choir, I was not feeling great.

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30 days

I have spent the whole day reading The Miracle Morning book – interspersed with yoga, snacks and a National Theatre Live screening – and I am so happy about starting my 30 days tomorrow, for the rest of May why not. There’s a Miracle Morning facebook group full of people sharing their Miracle journeys and I am their newest excited member.

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