Notes to remember
Scaffold of the day in place – Aafke who showed me Tony’s fathers brochure, inspired and introduced me to the wonderful, peaceful, can do Mark, who professionally designed both the flyer then the last minute fold out brochure. Even a brief correspondence with Caroline who sent fabulous photographs of young Bob and oh how I wished I’d talked to him more asked him more of this time in his life. B’s brothers, who do not answer my questions on stuff, but do on this, have financially supported. It is a wonderful antidote to the terrible hole I have felt after his death, not only the missing of him but being so deliberately kept out of his after life affairs. This is a glorious creative response, where the energy is fine and good.
The gathering began with Charlie. (I am a zoo horse, I am in captivity), fragile, introverted, beautiful, steady, all is in his eye brows. He is my first family guest to the Bung, to the room with out a door. We walk my land to the wood, as he describes in detail the episode that led him to the 3 month section (Bristol and Roehampton) he has just come out of. Oh we have no idea. It is his gaping aloness that I feel all that night as the words digest. His mother, who he loves but is estranged from for she believes in drugs, which he does not, the medics who are of the same persuasion, the police who pigeon hole him. What remains is him, with his view that no one else shares. We are all alone, I say to him the next day but most of us do not know this, finding crutches in others or work or material stuff. He has the advantage of really knowing.
Louise, travelling all day from Langar, I am overjoyed to see. Oh my fellow sistah. She brings Langar wine and bread, and her laughter and clear sight fresh back from Mother India, almost healed, and certainly more clear.
Louise to me: You laugh more easily – you are more playful.
She speaks of herself as much as of me.
I love Louise
And all of this at the same time as Trump’s inaugruation. My attention is not full but I feel the stark contrast to the last one I watched of hope in sharp winter sun. This one in rain, dull, empty, without heart.Lional Shiriver on Trump: The last gasp of the dominant white electorate – a chink of hope?
Frank, Suzanne and Franks son, queue for coffee at the Cut Bar. The only news they bring is John’s got the bug. How like the young Bob Franks son looks. I wish I’d have talked to him more.
Cally came, and Sara, who i introduced to Louise, two friends.
I took to the microphone easily. Remembering Diana Quick in the Aldeburgh Doc Fest, (and feeling very inadequate) I gave an outline of the day, after the thanks.
Oh how fine to see these 1967 -77 films see the light of day, on the big screen. Stewart and Geoff doing the technical wizardry. Aeron with them.
Appleby – Suddenly in the middle of the film, a film with no commentary, comes a BBC Radio voice saying ‘Delinquency is just an indicator of boredom’ as gypsy boys ride bareback horses. No sentimentality there.
Brittain/Pears. Two came from Snape after I’d found contact with the Red House. Cally said to me: ‘I’ve get to come to like Brittain’ I feel exactly the same, open for that time to come but sceptical all the same.
The Other side of the Underneath – the context was useful. Somehow it did not surprise me that Gill said’ I loved that film’. Perhaps the only one there who did.
Greenpeace photographs – a double act with Ruth and I, seem to work well. I wish I’d have dallied on one photograph, of the cockle pickers in Bilbao, for that photograph said all.
Langar – louise left for this, and I gave the bare bones of the movement since
Ma Faiza – ended abruptly, Aeron only had 10 minutes of it. Can we find the full version?
Mother Cutters – Introduced by Aeron, from notes on his phone.
Farming on Prescription – we could not have asked for a better ending (after a rocky start – the copy of the DVD was poor at the beginning and jumped). Doeke arrived and spoke about Bob, of how he won the trust of these fragile defence people, who opened up to him, and of the ash tree through the season, that now reminds Doeke of Bob.
Unfortunately Frank and family left before the end, so they did not hear this heart ending. Graham – a stranger to Bob – gave me a vote of thanks.
‘Why isn’t he here?’ were the words I found.
We drank champagne, Ruth, Jerry, Charlie, Louise and I, and ate terrible microwaved risotto and a sudden omelette for Jerry. Barry rocked up and there was an animate stir of the pot of Trump between Jerry and B. And I did not take notes, and have forgotten all that we spoke of, save the feeling of warmth between friends, all of whom i’d met through Bob, his legacy to me.
Louise came to my wood before she left on the train back to Langar. Back to where she is no longer fitting in, and wondering where she will go, and who she will become, with the main structures and definitions of her life taken away. Lover and mother, and her role as a mother. India has begun the healing and opened her up for more. I love her.
I am happyily left with Charlie, who I can at last turn to. We cut wood together, and he takes me out to the Angel for a last supper, kind man. He is often my father in my eye. I learn much from him, and love him too. As I take his photograph in the wood, he says, ask me a question as you take the photograph.
When are you coming back? is all I can find. Such a practical girl.