Despite the warmth of the sun and the unrepentant blue of the sky
Despite the influx of hellebores making my back garden look better than it ever has in six years of fumbling with a trowel, and the profusion of blossom on the plum tree, and the surprise success of the tulips, and the burgeoning return of the pink roses after my violent pruning
Despite the acute beauty of the magnolias as I walk to and from the school and the nursery, and the mock oranges creeping into bloom, and the heavenly scent of the osmanthus burkwoodii, and the realisation that I'm finally, finally, starting to learn the proper names of plants
Despite the energetic resurgence of my love for theatre, and seeing some really terrific – not always perfect but provocative and heartfelt and breath-catchingly beautiful – shows: Going Dark, We Hope That You're Happy (Why Would We Lie?), Bingo, Taming of the Shrew, In Basildon, Complicite's Master and Margarita
Despite the blessed patience of my children, forgiving my own impatience, forbearing my neglect
Despite illuminating conversations with other God/Head guests, ongoing and nourishing
Despite the soul-balm of John Holloway's Crack Capitalism, the book that has replaced Adrienne Rich's Of Woman Born as my encouragement to brave new living, and unexpectedly making an argument for the revolutionary possibilities of baking
Despite seeing my friend Rozzie for the first time in over a year and being dazzled by her all over again
Despite dancing, the absurd joy of tap and the Actionettes, and discovering charleston ladies The Bees Knees
Despite all this and lots of goodness more, the past three weeks have been taxing. Low-level despair surging now and then to engulf me. I knew it was coming: I spent the fortnight around D&D and God/Head living on crazed adrenaline; a crash was inevitable. But it's also because – and this is truly pathetic – I'm not good around anniversaries, and another approaches apace: the first birthday of deliquescence. I look back and see all the posts I haven't written, and while I haven't been writing those, all the other writing I haven't done, the dresses I haven't made, the art materials unused, the inexorable piles of CDs I haven't listened to. The kisses I haven't given the children. Birthdays always remind me that, far from scaling the heights of my ambitions, I'm sinking beneath the weight of them.
The escape, always, always, is music. Heads spinning faster than mine. So much solace in Gonjasufi: this was one of those unspeakably brilliant commissions from the Guardian, putting me in the way of someone I would never get round to approaching alone, and as a result of reviewing love with a passion. This is just one song:
There are others, but to post them all would take all night. And then this evening, I chanced to put on the new album from Of Montreal, Spiteful Intervention, and have been playing this song obsessively:
As pop choruses go, “I made the one I love start crying tonight, it felt good, but there must be a more elegant solution” takes some beating. And just a few minutes ago, I tripped over an unread email: a new album from Dirty Projectors, with this song on it:
Odd to hear so many kinks and creases ironed out, but oh, that voice. One day I might write properly about all these people. One day.