Interesting dream: I was at the site of Westfield School on Brickhill Road in Wellingborough on a grey, wet day. There was some kind of living exhibition of World War II manned by soldiers and to illustrate it they'd knocked down most of the school buildings. I was with a woman (I don't know who) driving around and I found myself becoming inexplicably upset looking at the wrecked husks of buildings where I'd attended classes as a boy.(In real life, of course, they were knocked down long ago to make way for a housing estate.)
Later, still on site, we entered a room with beds and a shower that we were going to stay in and Brian walked out of the shower. I hadn't seen him since he disappeared mysteriously from work and now here he was. We started talking and I woke up.
That's the fourth old Zimbabwean pal who's turned up unexpectedly this week, albeit in my mind.
I walked into Wellingborough this morning to try to walk off the demons that too much work and not enough rest had left me with. Did an hour on the internet then came down here to Irchester Country Park to listen to the wind blowing through the trees. Ginzy was right to say it sounds like a river.
A walk in these parts is like a random delving into my autobiography. Everywhere you go in Wellingborough and the surrounding area is somewhere I have done something or known someone at some point in the past. But today it doesn't FEEL like the past, not any of it; maybe it was that dream I had last night. All the names are coming back; all the faces are right here in the front of my mind as real as Sheldon's or Beata's--even people I haven't seen for 25 or 30 years, who by now might well be dead. And accordingly I've realised that for all its let-downs and its bring-downs,many of which I have caused, my life has been somewhat richer than I normally presume it to have been. Still is, because each person you meet and share a few experiences with leaves a little jewel in the recesses of your mind somewhere. You take something from them that you never completely lose. And look at the great characters who've passed through my life:
both my grandads
Patrick "Nutty" Norman
I haven't missed out when it comes to knowing remarkable people. So why is it that I spend so much time feeling short-changed and sorry for myself?
I would like to think I had time to put right some of the mistakes I've made with other people. But I know me. Even if I live another twenty years--which seems doubtful--I'll probably still go on fucking up, treating everyone like shit. Unless my ego finally dissolves, that is, like the Buddhists say it will if you meditate enough. (Which I don't.)
from the author's private journal