Sunday 4 June, Amsterdam, The Fools Festival

Clouds over Dutch houses that reach for the sky. No elms are dying here. The place is a magic rainbow where angels slide along towards their bronzen pots of gold; lovers in arms; guitars playing; cigarettes being rolled; friends meeting; bicycles floating along with one or two or even three people on. If it sounds corny I don't mind for it is all so like paradise this island of love and joy.

Pam coughed and I turned around to say one needs a clear throat in order to write; she said 'that's why I am sharing my lemon with you'; and I said 'you know'. An idea suddenly snapped in my head about how one person in a relationship could always be needing to have the last word in a conversation, and how one could really get hung up about such a thing.

I clowned a little bit on my own, and here is what I did. Sitting on the street floor, I scraped dirt away from between the cobbles first with a match, and then with an ice-cream spoon, and then with a hair-clip. With the dirt I gathered I made little pseudo-sandcastles. When I completed a boundary, I pretended to fall asleep. Someone threw something at me, but I converted into a fortress; then I ran away to escape from the small crowd that had encircled me. I was afraid of the people watching, but I want to be able to use them. I thought afterwards I could have invited somebody into my small territory, within the boundary, and shown them all the wonderful sights (the miniature dirtcastles), but it just didn't occur to me. The fool and his inhibitions.

7 June

I love with a thousand souls, a thousand fools. If ever there was a place near my dreamworld this is it - endless games from one to the next, a place where every person can release, and release into the comedy, corruption and caress of the every day. Where a moment can be more serious then life itself, and yet the next one can be the ultimate in ring-a-ring-a-roses. I am overwhelmed, I am determined, I am happy, I am infected and maybe even I am losing perspective, I am capable, I am pretty and in love, and I am partying and farting and showering a hundred times an hour. I am. I can be whatever I will, and I will.

A bicycle made of material is bent and twisted and hangs in the Shaffy Theatre. There is no way to parody this, it is not this or that. I am a bicycle made of material bent and twisted and able to fly.

I am in love with many and would wish to be always so in love. Have I ever found such a group of my people in one place? Last night was amazing. I and a hundred others held hands with a thousand lovers (to whom I would give a thousand kisses) and danced and danced from kitchen to street and back again to the restaurant table. Then I went to a room full of Pam, who was full of a new thing, a new idea. She was sad at the world, and at me for not being part of her excitement and not being totally enthralled by Mr X and Mrs B who walk upon the water of her pond. So, I with wine and she with sadness in her eyes turned the night into one full of desire.

19 June

Is it the 19th? is it June? I rest on these green pages. Sibelius and Mozart rest me in their gentle dreams.

Paul, Harold and Marielle float out of the book. I am all still, stillness is mine. I am alone and far away from two friends who are here.

I took no photos of Amsterdam, perhaps I can take some now. There are 53,477 bridges in Amsterdam; canals are as common as streets, and are clean and full, crowded even with barges, some are still, others rock gently from side to side not very sure of their balance. Colours entwine and intermingle and rest occasionally on the surface. The waters flow under the bridges; the streets loiter across the top.

20 June

I am overwhelmed by the love of friends. I walk the streets in a dream, time seems almost to have stopped, it does not progress.

Poetry came to my body last night, gently massaged with oil by four hands or one hand and a thousand fingers. From muscle to muscle, pressure to light sensation, poetry of my skin. Lovely. A day of soft relaxation followed by a little sleeping; and in the middle of sleep a lover rang to reaffirm her love, to give me pleasant dreams. Time is so slow - am I afraid that Marielle will not come/ - I manage to stop myself projecting.

My flat is beautiful; the garden so wild, mint takes over. I cut some down and hung it in the flat and in the office. Is it strange to drink mint tea? Gillian asks, is it nice?

The phone rings. Marielle, cool and quiet, tells me she and Rosina are in Harwich, but Rosina has problems. Officials are checking au pair papers the ones Pru gave her. My head spins, my face sweats.

I think to change some routines - for instance taking sugar with tea and not with coffee - everything is only habit.

My mother has a new dog, a whippet - second-hand Rose.

22 June

My friends are intertwining themselves - it is beautiful. Last night there were three people in my bed for the first time. It's a triangular relationship if ever there existed one. H moves in. I am in love with Harold and with Marielle who is here for a while. Marielle is in love with Paul and Harold. Harold is in love with Marielle and Paul. We all kiss and cuddle.

This is how it happened. I went with Harold to Paris and we fell in love with Didier and Carina, but coming back across the Channel they wouldn't let Harold, so he went back and stayed with Didier. I contacted Harold's friend who sent him some money. I worked that week like never before to get the Hargreaves project off the ground, and then whizzed off to Amsterdam. Harold arrived on the Monday and very soon Marielle and I had got together. I left on Sunday, at the end of the festival, Harold, Marielle and Rosina came later. This time Harold got through immigration but not Rosina, who then went to stay with Didier and Carina!

Tina and Jean-Christoph 'met' on Monday night by massaging each other.

I'm planning a party for Friday 30 June. Didier and Carina might come, and Rosina should be back in town by then.

I have never felt so free and open and good as I do now with Marielle and Harold.

26 June

Lots of bits and pieces filtering through my head this Monday sitting in the office. I'm feeling very very lazy. Michele says, 'Did you have a good weekend?' I am disappearing along the corridor but turn to answer. Before I can, Michele says, 'Good'. I say, 'How do you know?'. Michele says, 'Everybody always says yes.'

Twelve missionaries and their children were massacred by guerrilla forces in Rhodesia yesterday. Official sources say: 'The families were dragged from their houses and marched to the football field (which the missionaries had probably created). They were split up into groups and then set upon with lengths of wood, bayonets and axes. All the women were sexually assaulted.' White man, black man - crazy fiery idiots. I suggest we lock god up in a cage and leave him to the cannibals. A scream releases from my body. I don't care, just don't beat me to death with clubs and bayonets and sexually assault me, don't touch my balls or throw matches in my eyes, don't criss cross my toes with razor blades and press a hot iron to my nipples. I don't care you bastard whites, you bastard blacks, you bastard red and greens.

Stretched across a public bench I am lying with my head on Marielle's lap in the middle of a public street. Heads turn, eyes hesitate. That bearded man in a suit and that respectable lady, are they making love?

27 June

I go to the toilet and ginger hairs float like feathers to the ground and ginger smells meander in the air - my senses drift into a dream. Then, like a door slammed, I close the zip, and return to my desk.

The Cruel Garden, conceived and designed by Lindsay Kemp with choreography by Bruce Nicholson. I thought the strongest scenes were the violent ones: a bullfight, a torture scene. There were more gentle scenes too, such as the wedding and white resurrection. In the middle, we were treated to a Buster Keaton sketch with loudspeaker commentary. Very excellent.

Paul K Lyons

July 1978



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