Thursday 1 December

It is December. Didier wrote me, Maja wrote me, N wrote me - people I love very much. Didier is sad, the travelling days are not forever. Maja is cute with her baby and her stories and her loveliness. N is sweet, pure and sweet. The letters make me very happy. These people belong in my world of dreams and fantasies. To them I can run on thunderous days. To them I can escape when my room is too small or too large, when my head hurts or when my feet are tired with the city. They are the stars in the sky, even the moon and the sun, always there to be loved. Lynn too and Christian - they are so dear to me, perhaps because they are so far. M is my here and now, my earth, my continent, my rubber boots and dirty towels, my screams of ecstasy and pain.

I am silkscreen printing the superman emblem. I was thinking yesterday, in the workshop, how much I was enjoying what I was doing, how totally I was wrapped up in the job.

I am covering the window that separates this office from the next with pieces of paper: maps, timetables, drawings, photocopies. On another wall, we are thinking of setting up a corporate image survey for clients in Africa and, for next year, we are already working on a proposal for galactic clients.

I went to Sotheby's Belgravia yesterday morning and bought a Chinese silk embroidery for £27 - my heart went thump thump thump every time I thought of making a bid.

This morning M and I didn't speak, sometimes there is silence in the morning. It is not a pleasant. Last night, I wanted to sleep with M but she wouldn't let me in her bed. Five minutes later I called her very gently, and then five minutes later she called me back somewhat harshly. 20 minutes later I screamed back. It was good, I really wanted to scream. M went hysterical with anger. Earlier we had been elsewhere listening to Led Zeppelin and we had been together, drinking and smoking. I was upset that M wanted to sleep alone.

I sent Victoria a note, and we met again, for an hour in a pub. She talked of her lover that isolates himself from the world in the Cheyne Walk house (Getty) and how she cannot leave him because she has spent so much of her life with him.

From an introduction in Lawrence's 'The Lost Girl': 'There developed that relationship which D. H Lawrence so often and profoundly chronicled in his works - the alternating tides of attraction and repulsion between a man and a woman of different temperament and background.'


A Uriah Heep concert. I am not of the world of rock music but I was there, believing myself to be the heaven and the earth and there being only time to experience everything.

Thursday 8 December

Two marvellous little things happened today with respect to the interviewer training I'm doing. I was given underlined names on a photocopy of the electoral register. They were on Dunsfold Way. Not only is Dunsfold Way on the last page of London A to Z but it is in the last square (bottom right-hand corner) and it is the last street in the bottom right-hand corner of that square. The second thing was this. On the train I wrote just one of the names, the first on the list, onto a questionnaire. But, in fact, I started at the other end of the street and tried some 10 or 15 houses before I came to one where the owner was prepared to give me an interview. I was invited in, and sat down in the lounge. I was about to write her name onto the questionnaire when, lo and behold, I found it already there before me on the form I'd alread put a name on - divine premonitions.

15 December 1977

Time Out cost me 60p this morning. I have a headache (something to do with Christmas). I have a curtain spinning around in Mum's washing machine here at 64 Carlton HIll. If I am honest, I ought to be a very happy individual now: I have a job, I seem to be doing all right; I have a woman, we seem to be improving slowly; and we have a flat (68 Fordwych Road) not too far away not too small, not too big. What more could a man want. It is really neat having a decent place to live. We moved in on Saturday all smiles and love and presents from both sides of the family - an amazing amount of wooden spoons.

But I am a little afraid to be alone at Christmas when everyone is with family in warm front rooms. There will be nobody here. Two years ago I spent Christmas alone - it wasn't much fun. I will have the radio and television and music.

I am trying to work on some designs where the basic bold pattern leaves the same pattern in the background, like that beautiful design of a bird on the weaving from Otavalo. I am scouring libraries to find examples, but it is proving much more difficult than I thought.

M and all the staff got the sack from Tango on Tuesday night, because it was losing too much money. The directors are now doing the work in the kitchens.

Wednesday 21 December

I was pleased to hear from Colin and Jean, both of them will be around at Christmas. Trevor also rang and invited me to his house to spend Christmas Day. Sarah Kemp phoned, and I got a letter from Jan Williams.

The sun was like a full moon dancing behind the clouds this morning as I pedalled to work. The city doesn't cease to amaze me. I rode the Metropolitan tube last night, above the road and rail tracks, and observed the millions of lights, thousands of tower blocks, the pulsating communication levels of the city - city, city, city.

Sex with M seems better these days, an intermingling of love and sex. I made love with A the other day and told M as soon as she came home. We laughed about it, but then M went into her shell. Tomorrow she goes to Israel. It will be lonely and cold without her, but also it will be a relief to only have to clean and wash my things. Last weekend we argued badly about marriage again. I said firmly I was not ready for marriage.

Thursday 22 December

I think I am beginning to feel strangled by the city. I am beginning to feel its pull, its clasping hand; sometimes I get angry, I shout at drivers on the road; I become unnecessarily moody, bored or annoying. I ought to find a remedy, I am not going to be moulded by the cityforce.

Christmas Day 1977

After nine in the evening. I am sitting at home alone, feeling relaxed and pleasant after having gorged and wined all afternoon.

DIARY 7: December 1977 - May 1978

29 December

Christmas passed over quietly. I gorged and drank and ate hash cake with Trevor and Jean, the two newest friends I have, but I seemed quite a long way away from them. Funny that. Altogether I spent two days with Jean talking about being and talking about being, and I spent one day on my own, being. There is a mountain of things in my head to be written down, but I am overwhelmed by this new book and am afraid to touch it with trifles or mis-spelt ideas or boring connotations; so, in fact, the mountain has got bigger and started to disappear into mists. It is so important to start new books in the right way at the right time. To start by writing of mundane things in a mundane way could mean a mundane life for the period of these pages - enuf.

Last night, I took (ate) the piece of cake given me on Christmas Day. The effect is very slow and gradual and lasting (am I still stoned this morning?). I listened to Haydn's Creation - I wanted to go off into the twilight world with Haydn but it was cold and voices came and filled the wispy magical tunnel making it impassable. The I watched a new TV series about Washington politics that seemed very powerful. And then I wandered back to Radio Three and let my mind drift. It drifted within itself, trying to examine the shapes, ideas, formations and non-formations that were floating around inside - it tried to find its own walls and floors, its own Greek columns. As usual only confusion was the outcome. I remember some things. I remember trying to visualise objects such as a blue beach ball and not being able to, and trying to understand why I couldn't - what controls were playing with my mind forces. I remember thoughts that floated around in various states of visual and idea formation - a thought doesn't just come and continue and go, there is a whole a swamp of thoughts pulsating, changing state, disappearing occasionally, and then formatting fully enough to be recognisable in another part of the head. There seemed to be a definite recognition point for a thought or idea: an idea, shape, lines in my head. In one hand, I had a pen ready to write down anything I saw (without opening my eyes) to give words to ideas, shapes or even just lines for the sake of writing something down. Then, there would be some turmoil in my head, followed by some idea formation, such as: oh! that could be an image of doll by a plant pot. And then, oh yes, there it is, a doll by a plant pot.

I am amazingly peaceful and restful these days that M is away. I bought some French curves in a shop this morning at 9:27. Victoria never called me. Phil is coming Friday.

Two things I've noticed about myself re living with M: a) I am not as tidy as I want to be or want M be; b) money for the telephone, coal and things. This is very difficult thing to write down. I have this feeling that if I use more now when she is not here then this will balance out later. It seems to me that M always manages to pay less, buy less expensive things etc, so this deception of mine might allow me to be more at ease later when I see her being tight. But this attitude is not good.

30 December 1977

A dream within a dream: 'All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.'

Paul K Lyons



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