Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day

It's been a long year and a somewhat hazy one and so I don't remember what I did last Valentine's Day. It was Kelly's last, though we didn't know that at the time, as the doctors were still saying that she could have another ten years. Doctors.

I imagined that I'd cooked a fancy meal, like the Fancy Dan I am, or else we had gone to "Season" on Stroud Green Road, which rather became "our" place in our last year in London.

I look back on this blog to find out what life-hugging, no, LIFE SWADDLING, things I was doing while I still had her in my life. The Feb 14th entry is a short rant about my broadband not working. There's not even mention of Kelly. The 2011 calender, which I've kept, and which as a record of my last seven months with her would be the first thing I'd save if the house caught fire, tells a slightly different story. Kelly had been to the "Museum of Everything" with Anna Asheton over the weekend and demanded that I go with her again for the the Peter Blake curated show. The exhibition contained glass cases of stuffed mice and squirrels in various tableaux, dressed in the manner of Disney characters (clothes on top, bare bums) in school rooms, scrumping apples, fighting duels. The reason that this was so amazing is that I had told Kelly about a tiny museum opposite the ruin of Bamber castle that I used to visit as a child, which had a stuffed animal exhibition. This was it. When the museum closed the collection was broken up and Peter Blake had bought up most of it, inveterate collector that he is. Kelly had remembered this and brought me here without telling me. That's romance. Not complaints about your internet provider.

Re-reading the stuff I wrote on her back then I'm surprised by the energy, the anger, the jokes. I wasn't sleeping at all and I was drinking a hell of a lot* and yet, I'm bouncing off the page. And there was a lot going on. And it's all because of her. She was so funny and clever and crabby. She kept me on my toes. It was like trying to keep up with the smartest kid in the class, it made me try harder. The stuff I write on here now, the endless complaints, the hand ringing, the howl-at-the-moon why-why-whys: it's rubbish. It's nonsense. Thee was something pretty great in me for a while. But it wasn't innate and it died with her. I miss her so much.

Love you, darlin'

*plus ca change.


  1. All she could talk about in the stuffed animal room was how much you would love it, because of some place you had been as a youngster and had told her about (she probably even remembered the fact that it was Bamber Castle). That struck me at the time too. I was very pleased when she told me she'd taken you back there the next day. There was a good bench in the Museum of Everything that we sat on and talked, then we went to the Russian Tea Rooms for some ice cream ...

  2. Thanks Anna. It was a brilliant day. And thinking about how much I would enjoy something while she was enjoying it herself is very Kelly. She was always on the lookout for something nice to do for somebody else. And she was very good at it.